Spain is one of Europe's most diverse countries, historically, culturally and geographically. Along its own History, Romans, Celts, Arabs have left their vestiges, creating a unique collection of different products to offer. Also, the incoming products from America and other lands during 16th and next centuries, have largely enriched this great heritage.
Paella is something of an icon for Spain, and is probably one of the most widely-imitated of Spanish dishes. The name comes from the characteristic pan in which it is cooked, with a large diameter and low sides. Today paella pans can be bought in Sydney, Tokyo, New York or any of the world's great capitals. But rice is used in a multitude of ways in Spain, not only in a paella pan. Traditional rice dishes are made in the typical pucheros, or stewpots - the ones with high, round-sided walls normally used to make bean stews, and in cazuelas, or earthenware casseroles. In pucheros, rice is normally accompanied by pulses and the result can be described as a hearty soup, ideal for cold winter days. In both cases, the starting-point is usually a sofrito to which the cooking liquid is added. Paella is usually cooked directly over the heat whereas rice dishes in a casserole are often finished in the oven.
EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL & VINEGAR
Extra virgin olive oil and aged wine vinegar are two of the building blocks of Spanish cuisine. Spain is the largest producer of olive oil in the world, so it's no surprise that some of the world's finest oils are Spanish. Spain is also home to sherry vinegar, one of the great vinegars of the world. We have the roads of Spain to select the finest first cold pressed extra virgin olive oil and sherry vinegars. Artisan produced and vibrant in flavour, these are some of the best olive oils and vinegars you will ever try.
The long coastline of Spain, combined with the two archipelagos, the Balearics and the Canaries, ensures that fresh fish and shellfish are ubiquitous elements of the Spanish table. Seafood is key to the healthy Mediterranean diet and is central to the cuisine of Spain, which is virtually surrounded by Mediterranean and Atlantic waters. Simpler grilled, pan-roasted, fried, and boiled fish are popular menu items as well, typically accompanied with mojos, vinaigrettes, or other sauces that add color, flavour, and a distinctive regional stamp.