Have you already tried Spanish dishes before? Aside from tapas, there are many other Spanish dishes to choose from. It depends on what time of the day you want to eat and the kind of meal you want to try.
For breakfast, the weight of the meal is usually lighter compared to other countries. For instance, the continental meal consists of coffee or juice, pastries, fruits, and jam. Meanwhile, the typical Spanish breakfast is just coffee and crackers or toast.
Lunch, the biggest meal of the day, is composed of wine and a few courses. But after that, they take a break for a while (around 1 to 2 hours for siesta) and then resume their day. In the afternoon, they also have merienda or a light snack.
Traditionally, the Spaniards go to pubs or Spanish restaurants with bars to enjoy a few drinks before dinner. Since they eat dinner a little late, the drinks are normally served with tapas.
The schedule of their meals may be confusing at first, but you can easily get used to it. If you need more details, below are the reasons why you should try Spanish cuisine!
1. Olive oil is well-used
Have you ever seen a savoury Spanish dish without olive oil? Sure, there may be a few, but we all know that since Spain is the main source of olive oil. It also makes sense why they use it more often.
Aside from the convenience of having a constant supply of olive oil, it also has a lot of health benefits. These include the prevention of diseases like breast cancer, bad cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, and dementia.
Olive oil is mainly used for cooking, but it’s also incorporated into medicine, cosmetics, and bath products. In terms of olive oil consumption, according to experts, extra virgin olive oil is recommended because it undergoes less process.
2. Lots of fruits and vegetables
When you visit Spanish restaurants or look at Spanish recipes online, did you notice a lot of fruit and vegetable ingredients? The most common vegetables you can see in many dishes are onion, potato, carrot, beans, and peppers.
Meanwhile, the main fruits Spanish dishes offer are apples, citrus, and grapes. It’s not necessarily that these fruits are incorporated into the dishes, but they’re commonly served as juices on the side.
So even if lean proteins contain nutrients, they’re just as important as fruits and vegetables. Some vegetables, such as carrots and tomatoes, contain lycopene which contains antioxidants and can prevent heart diseases.
3. Lots of seafood
Spain has 17 autonomous regions. And since the locations of these regions are diverse, some regions are abundant in different resources. For instance, Asturias and Galicia are both located on the north side of Spain which is near the Atlantic. Since they’re near huge bodies of water, there’s no surprise that they have a lot of seafood and seafood dishes.
Usually, Spanish dishes are cooked by sauteing, roasting, frying, and stewing. So if you want to try different seafood dishes, you can go to Spanish restaurants or in Spain. But of course, you can cook the dishes yourself. However, it’s best if you try them first before making your version.
4. Local ingredients
As mentioned, the location of Spain has a lot to do with its cuisine. They have a wide range of staple products from local sources so there’s nothing to worry about preservatives and artificial flavouring.
So if you like fresh produce, you’ll like it in Spain. Specifically, you’ll like the taste of their dishes. However, according to experts, Spanish cuisine is not just about the food shared, but the life and stories of individuals while enjoying their meals.
It’s also the reason why there are tapas. In Spain, tapas are not just small portions of food served in bars and Spanish restaurants. It’s also the act of going out with your friends and co-workers after office hours.
5. Helpful in weight loss
Are you trying to lose weight? Studies show that the Mediterranean diet can help you achieve your weight goal. It may not reflect immediately, but the effect can be seen in the long run. Once you adapt their eating pattern, it’s easier to maintain the diet.
Instead of consuming fat, you can add extra-virgin olive oil to your meals. It’s healthy, plus the amount of weight you can lose is up to 2 pounds.
Additionally, there’s also something about the fresh produce that makes Spanish dishes last longer than others. So since the meals are fresh and healthy, what more can you ask for?
Isn’t it amazing to discover how wonderful different cuisines are? Although there are some differences in how dishes are prepared, you can easily appreciate them as you learn more about the culture and traditions.
So what do you think about Spanish cuisine? Don’t hesitate to share your stories and experiences by leaving a comment below!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Aliana Baraquio is a web content writer who also loves cooking dishes from different countries. If you want to experience a Barcelona-style restaurant that serves high-quality food, and a modern, contemporary, fresh feel from the south of Europe, visit TAST Catala Spanish Restaurant.