Spain has been invaded over the centuries by various peoples, including the Phoenicians, the Romans and the Moors. For centuries Spain was divided into small feudal kingdoms that had their own money, culture, languages and food! Although Spain is one country and two basic ingredients common to all regions are garlic and olive oil, there are large regional differences in cuisine.
The Culinary Regions of Spain
Generally, Spain can be divided into six culinary regions:
The North of Spain where we find lots of sauces and seafood, such as the regions of Galicia and Asturias.
Cantabria region where the varied cuisine cleverly combines the products from the sea with those from the pastures and market gardens.
The Pyrenees, home of the chilindrones, sautéed peppers, tomatoes and onions dish that accompanies many of the region's dishes.
Cataluña region where casseroles or cazuelas abound.
The Eastern region, which includes the Autonomous Community of Valencia, where the primary dishes are rice-based like the popular Paella Valenciana.
Andalucía, where fried fish is a staple and bars don’t serve a drink without a tapa to munch on.
Central Spain where roast meats and cocidos or stews dominate the daily diet. This would include the region of Castilla-Leon.