The international prestige of Spanish gastronomy continues to grow day by day. On your holiday in Spain you will enjoy healthy, imaginative and, above all, highly varied cuisine. Part of the secret lies in the ingredients - top-quality products that you can take home as souvenirs too. And what is more, with the best guarantee: the Designation of Origin certification. Discover what they are and where to find them.

Tapas, traditional desserts, mouth-watering dishes, the Mediterranean diet… Travelling in Spain means enjoying a wide range of delights when it is time to sit down to eat. Furthermore, some of these delicacies can be taken home with you too: when you try Spanish ham, cheese, wine and olive oil, you will discover that they make mouth-watering souvenirs and gifts to take back for your friends.

To make sure you get the right thing, go for quality. In Spain, the Designation of Origin (D.O.) seal will guarantee this. This mark ensures that the foodstuff in question is of excellent quality, produced in a specific geographical area, with its own unique characteristics. Designations of Origin are protected by European Union directives, and include Spanish gastronomy's most famous products.

A wide variety, and delicious too

There are over 250 foods and drinks protected by this quality control system. Getting to know them will also give you the chance to visit different regions of Spain. There is a wide variety of products: from cheeses, vegetables, pulses and cured meats, to drinks, sweets and spices. Nevertheless, there is one group that stands out especially - wines. Who hasn't heard of wines from La Rioja or cava sparkling wine? Alongside them there are other D.O. wines of extraordinary quality that you could sample in a very enjoyable way: by going on Spain's wine routes.

To go with the wine there are top-quality foods such as Iberian cured ham: some of the most famous hams are those bearing the seals of Guijuelo (Castile-León Region), Dehesa de Extremadura (Extremadura Region), Huelva and Trevélez (both these last from Andalusia). As far as cheeses are concerned there is also plenty of choice, including, Cabrales (Asturias), Idiazábal (Basque Country), Mahón (Balearic Islands), Tetilla (Galicia), Manchego (Castile-La Mancha) and Palmero (Canary Islands).

For those with a sweet tooth, there are products like honey from Granada or "turrón" (almond sweet) from Jijona (Region of Valencia). Salads take on a whole new meaning with an olive oil from regions like Jaén or Cordoba, and vinegar from Huelva or Jerez. If you like paella and rice dishes, then try one from Albufera, Valencia, seasoned with saffron from La Mancha - the results are spectacular.

There is a wide, varied list of Spanish products with the Designation of Origin seal. Choose your destination and discover the quality of its produce: these will become the best souvenirs of your holiday in Spain.

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