Spanish food is exotic and flavorful, melding and mixing a variety of incredible ingredients to make absolutely brilliant and delicious dishes. Tapas is one of the most famous imports from Spain. Tapas is essentially a dish served in very small portions, almost like an appetizer. The word tapas means lid or cover, which may refer to the plate of appetizers once placed on top of a wine glass. There are actually a great many tapas bars springing up all over the United States that do not serve anything but beverages and tapas. Jamones is another very important element of Spanish food. Jamones is a ham native to Spain that can be found just about anywhere in stores and restaurants.
One of the trademarks of Spanish food is paella. Paella is a rice dish named after the pan that it is cooked and served in. Although rice is the basis for paella, there are hundreds of combinations for this wonderful dish, and just about anything can be included. Some of the most common ingredients include garlic, onion, peas, shellfish, saffron, and a variety of other vegetables. Omelettes are also a traditional dish in Spain. Again, these can be made with just about anything with eggs as the base ingredient. Oxtail stew is often consumed, and yes, it actually contains pieces of the tail of an ox! On a sweet note, chocolate is very popular in Spain. In fact, many native Spaniards prefer a chocolate drink in the mornings in place of coffee or tea. Spain was one of the first countries to use chocolate flavoring in drinks, so one can imagine how popular it must be. These are just some of the wonderful dishes native to Spain. Try a nice bowl of gazpacho and some paella, and experience the flavors of this beautiful country firsthand.