Essential Ingredients for Cooking Spanish Cuisine

Michael Schamis recently served as a business development officer/analyst for MarketCounsel, a business and regulatory consulting firm. In his free time, Michael Schamis enjoys cooking all types of food, including Spanish cuisine.

Olive oil, specifically extra virgin olive oil, is used in almost every Spanish dish. The oils range from subtle to fruity, and are especially used for fried Spanish dishes. Garlic, which is typically used in meat and fish dishes, flavors many Spanish soups, tapas, and sauces. It is very popular for seasoning seafood dishes, which the cuisine is known for. Peppers and paprika also add spice to Spanish dishes and are frequently used with garlic and onion. Spanish paprika is especially strong because of the way it is slowly smoked.

Tomatoes help complete nearly every Spanish dish, including salads, sausages, and even breads, while potatoes are used in many different side dishes along with casseroles and soups. Valencia rice, or Spanish rice, easily absorbs the flavors of other ingredients. It is commonly used in paellas because its shorts grain is perfect for the dish’s texture. Saffron, specifically the Spanish varieties, is known for the aroma and flavor it adds. Along with thyme, oregano, and rosemary, it is used as a spicy addition to many Spanish dishes.

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