Spain is officially known as the Republic of Spain, a sovereign state located on the Iberian Peninsula in South-western Europe. The capital of Spain is Madrid and the official language Spanish. Spain is blessed with abundant resources economically and agriculturally. Spain with a 44% share is the largest producer of olive oil in the world beating Greece and Italy. They also boast of large vineyards as 15.5% of Spain is covered with vineyards. They are also the 5th explorers of wine to the U.S.A. wines, saffron and olive oil play a major role in Spanish dishes as well as tomatoes, potatoes and cocoa. Spanish cuisine consists of a great variety of dishes which stem from differences in geography, culture and climate. It is heavily influenced by seafood available from the waters that surround the country, and reflects the country's deep Mediterranean roots. Spain's extensive history with many cultural influences has led to a unique cuisine. In particular, three main divisions are easily identified. Examples of such food include paella. Because Spain is located on the Iberian Peninsula and surrounded on three sides by water, fresh seafood is readily available.
Traditional Spanish cooking has popular roots. It is the people's cuisine. Most of it is down-to-earth, uncomplicated food, based on the ingredients available locally or the crops grown regionally. Mountains run through Spain in several directions, acting as natural barriers to communication and making transportation difficult until the last half of the 20th century. This is just one of the reasons why cooking differs so much from region to region. Another is the fact that Spain was created by uniting many small kingdoms, each with their own traditions. Many dishes are prepared today using the same cooking methods and ingredients as they were two or three hundred years ago. Like the Romans, the Arabs, who conquered and lived in Spain for 800 years made fabulous contributions to Spanish cuisine, and their influence is seen in many recipes. There are different ingredients and foods used in Spanish cooking such because cooking in Spain varies and is based on regions. However, the use of herbs and spices is quite common.
Olive oil is very common in Spanish dishes and is grown in Andalucía. Ham is very important in Spanish dishes and can be found on every menu, fish, seafood, varieties of cheese, beef, lamb, pork, eggs, fruits, nuts and spices are also common features of Spanish cuisine. The Spaniards also have a variety of drinks well known and enjoyed by locals and foreigners as well. A typical example of one such drinks is Sangria. It is worth knowing that the sangria is a popular drink and thus there are many recipes and ways of enjoying this beautiful Spanish drink. However, below is my favourite way of making this drink.
List of ingredients (Sangria for four)
A variety of fruits depending on personal taste but mine include oranges, apples, and a slice of lemon.
A bottle of fizzy drink preferably 7up or lemonade.
A carton of grape juice.
A carton of cranberry juice.
Wash and peel the back of all fruits apart from the lemon and cut neatly into even shapes.
Add 200 millimetres of 7up into a jug, add one whole carton of cranberry juice as well as a whole carton of grape juice.
Stir well and add your fruits to the mixture.
Pour on cool ice and decorate with a slice of lemon.