Spanish cuisine has long been a culinary reference point the world over and is also the main sponsor of the famous Mediterranean Diet, declared a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage.
This is a healthy and balanced diet, based on one ingredient that is essential both for its excellent taste and its multiple health benefits: olive oil. The Mediterranean Diet also encourages a moderate and regular consumption of wine and other fresh local produce, especially vegetables, oily fish, fruit, dairy products and cereals, wheat and rice in particular.
But Spanish cuisine also has any important value: the culinary and cultural variety conferred by having 17 regions. This means you can such delicacies as the fish and seafood of the Rías Baixas routes, the magnificent cheeses and pistos of the La Mancha Walks, the succulent gazpacho y pescaíto frito (fried fish) of the Marco de Jerez region, el typical cold cuts of Utiel-Requena and the tasty rice with rabbit of Bullas and Jumilla, among many others. And of course we should not forget other star products of our gastronomy such as ham and potato omelette, which can be enjoyed on any of the Wine Routes.
Special mention should also be made of the 600 native Spanish grape varieties, including Monastrell, Albariño, Grenache, Macabeo and Tempranillo. For Spain has some of the most internationally prestigious wine-producing areas such as La Rioja, Penedés and the Ribera del Duero, to mention just a few.
Spain also enjoys high standing in haute cuisine circles. Such important Spanish restaurateurs as Santi Santamaría, Juan María Arzak, Martín Berasategui, Carme Ruscalleda, Joan Roca, Pedro Subijana and Pedro de la Osa have now gained the maximum three-star recognition from the prestigious Michelin Guide, which places our restaurants at the peak of international haute-cuisine. And then there is Ferran Adrià, a true institution in the world of signature cuisine, whose El Bulli restaurant was five times declared the best in the world by the well-known publication Restaurant Magazine.
Ultimately, what Spanish cuisine has to offer is a perfect combination of flavour, pleasure and health, a perfect miscellany created for the enjoyment of the most demanding palates.