Spain is known for its rich culinary traditions, its paella and its tapas but…did you know all of the 10 shocking facts about food in Spain?

10 shocking facts about food in Spain

1. The most known fact about Spanish food: Tapas Culture

Spain is famous worldwide for its tapas. Contrary to what people believe tapas are not a type of food but a size, aka a small portion. In some regions like the south they come as a bite to have with a drink but they can also be bigger plates for the table to share.

2. Shocking facts about food in Spain: Churros are not a dessert

You will not see anyone in Spain having churros as a desert. Likewise, if you see churros in the desert menu of a restaurant you might be finding yourself on a tourist trap. In Spain churros are either a breakfast – very typical on Sunday and in the summer – or a snack.

Facts about food in Spain
Facts about food in Spain / www.unsplash.com

3. There are food fights… for adults

Every village in Spain have its own festivities but none are as weird and funny as La Tomatina, in Buñol, where people from all over the world join to literally throw each other kilos and kilos of tomatoes.

La Tomatina Festival facts
Facts about Spanish food / www.unsplash.com

4. Fun facts about food in Spain: The peculiar meats

You will have plenty beef and chicken in Spain but do not be surprise if, in the counter of the butcher you also find rabbit, a pork’s face, beef intestines and brains. We literally eat everything!

5. Paella is not the same everywhere in Spain

In the Valencia region, where it is from, paella is cooked with rabbit, chicken, beans and snails. Every other version is called “rice with things”. In Murcia, for example, it often has red pepper, but that is considered a sin in Valencia.

Facts about Spanish food
Facts about Spanish food / www.unsplash.com / Sandra Wei

6. Facts about Spanish food: Meals are long

Specially when eating with friends or family. So long in fact there is a Spanish word, “sobremesa”, which is the time you spend at the table after a meal. During sobremesa people have a dessert, a coffee, a liquor and chat with each other with no rush.

7. The ham obsession

Spain is famous for its cured hams, with Iberico being the most popular. You will find cured ham pretty much everywhere. In special occasions such as Christmas for example it is very typical to have a whole leg of ham in the house to share with guests, and you will also find a serrano ham cutting station in pretty much every wedding.

Facts about Spanish food
Facts about Spanish food / www.unsplash.com / Dan Dennis

8. Fun facts about food in Spain: Not all foods are tapas

You also have pintxos! Similar to tapas, pintxos are a Basque Country specialty. These are small portions of foods often served on top of a slice of bread, held together with a toothpick. You will find them in the north of Spain.

9. Not all the wine is Rioja

Spain is one of the world’s largest wine-producing countries. It is renowned for its red wines and while everyone knows Rioja many people in Spain actually prefer Ribera del Duero. There are also many pretty special local wines like the ones with grapes that grow in volcanic sole in the Canary Islands.

Facts about food in Spain
Facts about food in Spain / www.unsplash.com / Brett Jordan

10. Fun facts about food in Spain: We use olive oil for everything

Spain is one of the largest producers of olive oil in the world and we use it for pretty much everything you can think of. To cook, as a dressing for salads, in bread instead of butter in our morning toast, in body moisturizers…

These fun food facts showcase just a glimpse of Spain’s rich culinary culture but the best way to learn about it is experiencing it! See you in Spain!

Facts about food in Spain
Facts about food in Spain / www.unsplash.com / Roberta Sorge

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