With extensive Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines, it’s no surprise that seafood is a mainstay of Spanish gastronomy. Perhaps most famous is paella de mariscos, the saffron-infused rice dish that is, for most people, the very definition of local cuisine. Prepared in a flat, round pan, there are many different kinds of paella; but this one, originating as most do in the port city of Valencia, is beloved for its succulent shrimps, squid, octopus and mussels.
Lesser-known but equally delicious seafood dishes to sample on your Spanish holiday include marmitako (Basque tuna stew) and bacalao al pil pil (salted cod served in a sauce of its own oils, blended with olive oil, garlic and guindilla chillies).
Cured meats are also omnipresent. Whether you encounter them hanging in a local market or listed on the menu of a five-star restaurant, must-try favourites include jamón serrano and jamón ibérico, thinly sliced pork tenderloin known as lomo, and fuet, a type of dry-cured Catalonian sausage. Chorizo may be known internationally these days, but in Spain you can become a connoisseur of different regional flavours.