It seems like Mediterranean countries have been blessed with gorgeous landscapes, warm and welcoming people and an incredible cuisine that can blow anyone’s taste buds. Spain is way far from being the exception. Spanish cuisine is mother to most of Latin American cuisines. It has evolved to include ingredients from all around the globe without losing its traditions and regional influence. But what makes Spain one of the countries with the most popular and delicious food? Keep an eye on the following read and learn all you need to know about the Spanish cuisine.

Spaniards keep an eye into freshness when it comes to seafood and regional dishes, so it’s good that if you visit Spain, try to go where the locals go, not the tourists. No one knows Spanish cuisine more than Spanish people, so avoid those place that look like your country of origin and aim to traditional places, roadside restaurants and such. Thos places hold a more authentic taste, an even more special attention and surprisingly turn to be cheaper than the rest of the restaurants. It’s important to learn some phrases beyond salutations, like asking for recommendations and how to get there. Also, some tourist guides and a previous investigation will help you find those places.

Spain has just a few cities where the waiters and hosts also speak English, so you have to be prepared if you’re going to a place where welcoming masses of tourists is not on the daily agenda. Among the Spanish word you need to know we can find “pescado”, which means fish; “sopa”, that means soup; “carne”, which is meat; “ensaladas” are salads; “pollo” is chicken and so on. If you read a menu and recognize some of these words, then you know what you are going to eat.

It’s also wise to know about the dishes and ask for them at once. The main event in Spain is Paella, a mainly rice dish that gets to be cooked with chicken or seafood. There are other places were rabbit and pork is the main protein. Paella is always nice to be asked for two as it’s served in the big pan where it was made.

Another amazing plate is called fritura de pescado. This plate literally means “fried fish” but it also includes squid and other seafoods. You can add some lemon to it if you want to.

In the east, there is a plate called the Suquet which is friendlier with people that aren’t accustomed to seafood. It is a tasty tomato stew served with potatoes, shellfish and some spices.

Spain is well known for its seafood and it’s very hard to find a place where it isn’t fresh or has not the greatest quality. The environment in restaurants is awesome and not so different from home, you get welcomed by a host(ess) get served by a waiter, pay (tipping is always welcome) and leave.

There’s so much more to find about Spanish food. Dare to have a taste!