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Spanish Food: From Spicy to Plain, But Always Delicious
Popular Spanish Dishes
Spanish food is renown all over the world and often associated with tasty meats, spicy dishes, and rice. The most famous type of Spanish dish is undoubtedly paella. This dish is a scrumptious mix of seafood, meat, and vegetables in a unique type of rice. Paella rice is usually yellow in color and large, fluffy grains. However, sometimes paella rice is black and round grains depending on the specific recipe. Usually, paella is bursting with seafood, including shrimp, fish, and shellfish, although meats such as chicken, beef, pork, and sauces may also be included. The spices in paella are a bouquet of flavors and smells, including the ultra-expensive saffron, which works to complete the dish.
The Incredible Egg
One of the reoccurring players in most Spanish food is the egg. Eggs top meat dishes, fill tortillas, or stand alone in their own recipes. The menus on most Spanish restaurants are probably heavy in egg, so egg-lovers will be delighted. Omelets are also popular, coming with a wide variety of fillings, from a variety of local cheeses to meats to tomatoes. Furthermore, many dishes are topped with a fried egg, including hamburgers, steaks, and roast chicken.
Hearty Soup Dishes
Spain also has a variety of soups that are both nourishing and comforting. Gazpacho, which differs in all areas around the country, is a tomato based soup that can be thin and chilled or thick and hearty. Rich stews are also associated with Spain, including those made of wild game such as rabbit, boar, and partridge. The recipes to these stews are often family secrets and closely guarded, although some recipe books have found sources that have spilled to beans and provided a time tested recipe.
Tapas is a unique type of food that is purely Spanish. A mix between an appetizer and a snack, tapas started as a way for those enjoying a glass of wine or a pint of beer to fill their stomachs while at the bar. Today, tapas is available in many shapes and forms. Popular types of tapas include fried calamari (baby squid), shrimps olio (shrimps in oil), potatas bravas (potatoes in a spicy tomato sauce), fried chorizo (fried sausages), and a variety of pate on toasts. Easily capable of serving as a filling meal, tapas are one of the more popular types of Spanish food.
Flan frequently found on the menus of Spanish restaurants. This type of custard is quite similar to the French Creme Brule, but different in its own right. Usually topped with a mouth watering caramel sauce, there is no wonder that flan is a must-have dessert for anyone looking to experience Spanish food. Other desserts include marzipan treats, known in Spain as Mazapan. Marzipan was introduced to Spain by the Moors and has caught on in popularity over the years. Made with a sugar and almond paste, Spanish mazapan also includes a variety of nuts to create sweet treats perfect for snacking or ending a meal.