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Iberico ham and potato omelette, traditional Spanish dishes.

Discover the origins of the most traditional Spanish dishes

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In Spain you’ll find recipes that originated in the distant past, with flavours that you can still enjoy today.

  • Valencian paella

    Paella

    This is the standout dish of the Valencian Region. The origins of paella lie back in the 15th century, when the peasants were looking to make a simple dish with the ingredients they had to hand. Using poultry, rabbit, fresh vegetables, olive oil and saffron, they created dishes that were almost always different variations on the theme.

  • Spanish tortilla de patatas (potato omelette)

    Tortilla de patatas

    According to a recent study, tortilla de patatas (potato omelette) was first mentioned in Villanueva de la Serena (Badajoz), in 1798. The invention of the dish is attributed to Joseph de Tena and the Marquis of Robledo, who created it in order put an end to hunger cheaply and simply.

  • Serrano ham cut by hand

    Serrano ham

    This is Spain’s standout product, born of the need to preserve food. It was when pigs came into Phoenician hands in 1100 BC that the practice of salting food to preserve it led to the creation of this delicious product, popularised throughout Europe by the Romans.

  • Rabo de toro

    Rabo de toro

    A dish that dates back to Roman times, although the version that’s most popular today actually originated in 16th-century Cordoba. This hearty dish was eaten after the bullfights, at the exit from the bull ring. A stew made with lots of different ingredients, it used to serve between 10 and 20 people.

  • Pan con tomate

    Pan con tomate

    A slice of bread rubbed with half a ripe tomato, with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. A delicious dish that’s simple and healthy that dates back to the 18th century when the Catalan peasants were looking for ways to soften the previous day’s bread.

These are just some of the dishes you’ll savour while you’re in Spain, and they’re bound to taste even better now that you know a bit about their history.

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