Question: What are the national dishes of Spain?
Since each of Spain’s regions has its own regional specialties, it is difficult to say that there is a national dish of Spain. Historically Spain was divided into small kingdoms; each one with its own language, culture and cuisine. Even today, Spain remains divided into 17 Autonomous Communities, each one with its own unique cuisine. However, there are a few dishes that have gained popularity all over Spain and some internationally:
- Tortilla Española – Spanish Omelet, made of eggs, potatoes and onions.
- Gazpacho – Andalusian Cold Tomato Soup. This refreshing dish originated in the region of Andalucia, but is served everywhere during the hot summer months.
- Paella de Marisco – Spanish Seafood Rice. Paella Valenciana originated in the fields of Valencia, where country folk mixed rice with rabbit, snails and vegetables and cooked it over an open fire. It has evolved into Spain’s most well-known dish, where fish, shellfish, meat, pork and/or chicken may be used.
- Jamon Serrano – Spanish Ham. Several regions are known for the ham they produce, but it is eaten all over the Peninsula.
- Chorizo Sausage – Spanish Pork Sausage. A wide variety of chorizo sausage is eaten in every corner of Spain on a regular basis.
In addition to the dishes listed, you must remember that tapas, the little dishes of Spain that are served in taverns all over Spain are also “national” dishes.
There is a huge variety of them! Each town may have its own specialty tapa, although some tapas dishes are eaten nation-wide, like olives, ham and chorizo.
Spanish Regional Cuisines
Spanish regional cuisines are fascinating and delicious. Each article below contains links to regional specialties.
- Spanish Regional Cuisine of Cataluña
- Spanish Regional Cuisine of Asturias
- Spanish Regional Cuisine of Castilla-Leon
- Spanish Regional Cuisine of Galicia