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National Food of Spain

The national food of Spain is freshly prepared dishes with extra virgin olive oils, wines, cheeses, chic peas, lentils, parsley, rice almonds, garlic, saffron, cinnamon and fresh fruit. Add these to more olive oil and wine, very fresh fish, seafood, game, cured hams, sausages like chorizo, fresh breads, and to a lesser extent, beef.

Spain's post-Franco cultural Renaissance has encouraged richness and diversity in everything from arts and letters to gastronomy. As with all things Iberian, food and wine take a great many forms. This is a country where each valley and village takes pride in its unique way of preparing the simplest dishes.

Each of modern Spain's 17 Autonomous Communities has its own cuisine. The only Spanish dishes that might be called a national food of Spain are the tortilla española de patatas (potato and onion omelette), gazpacho (a cold Andalusian soup of ground vegetables, garlic, and bread in a tomato base), and paella (a Valencian feast of saffron-spiked rice and seafood).

Generally speaking, the food in central Spain is known for roasts and stews, eastern Spain for rice and seafood dishes, northern Spain for meat and fish.

Southern Spain for deep-fried seafood. Fresh vegetables, onions, and garlic are consumed in abundance throughout.

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