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SPANISH CUISINE The charm of Spanish cuisine lies in its hazy definition. Located on the Iberian Peninsula and bordered by the Mediterranean Sea, France, Andorra, Bay of Biscay, Portugal and the Atlantic Ocean, the country has historically been subject to many external influences, which have translated into the varied flavours that make up the Spanish cuisine.

What is universally recognised about Spanish cuisine however is the use of incredibly fresh ingredients, herbs and spices. Spanish cooking highlights the consistent use of ingredients like olive oil, garlic and parsley, which lend weight to its reputation of being one of the healthiest cuisines around.

Despite the multiple influences that define the cuisines in different regions of Spain, some dishes are considered common to the entire country. The paella is considered by Spaniards to be one of their national dishes. A rice dish that came from the Valencian city of Spain, one of paella's key ingredients is the expensive and exotic spice saffron, which turns the rice a beautiful yellow colour.

The original paella consisted of green beans, chicken, rabbit and snails but as its popularity grew beyond the Valencian borders, seafood and mixed versions containing the Spanish sausage chorizo emerged. The dish has now become one of Spain's most successful food exports.




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