Essential Ingredients For Spanish Cuisine

Posted on Oct 23 2013 - 3:04pm by burningsalad

Essential Ingredients For Spanish CuisineThere are some ingredients that you can’t make authentic tasting food from a particular region without.  In this post I delve into Spanish cooking and share with you 5 very important ingredients that you should stock up on if you are planning on experimenting with Spanish cooking.  Spanish cooking relies on a lot of tomatoes, eggs, fresh garlic and olive oil amongst other things.

Olive Oil

You need to make sure you have a decent and large bottle of olive oil.  It is always a good idea to try and find a good olive oil that is either produced in Spain, Italy and France and one that is properly regulated so that you know you are going to get a good quality and level of flavour.  It is wise to skip blended or light olive oils as they do not have the same level of flavour and the production of these types of olive oil is regulated less.

Fresh Garlic

It is important that you make sure you have at least 2 full heads of garlic close to hand in your cupboards at all times when cooking Spanish dishes.  If you are not as familiar with using garlic in cooking as I am, then you need to be sure to store it in a cool and dry place and before you start peeling and chopping it for a recipe, make sure it has not begun to sprout or dried out.  If it has, you should just throw it away and buy fresh heads.  Always look for solid and fresh heads, not ones that feel hollow or too light.

Paprika And Peppers

Pimento or Spanish paprika is a very prized ingredient when it comes to Spanish cuisine.  It can be smoked or not, spicy or sweet.  You will find sweet Spanish paprika in most upscale Spanish food stores and supermarkets.  If you can’t find any for sale in your area, you should look online for it.  If you use inferior paprika or non-Spanish paprika you will change the flavour and it will be less authentic as a result.

Chilli peppers or peppers are found in various regions throughout the Americas, but it was adopted into the Spanish diet hundreds of years ago.  In Spanish it is used in various dishes, especially a large number that feature stuffed meats and fish.  Spanish people also dry them and grind them down into a fine powder to make pimento or paprika that we spoke about above.


As eggs are an essential part of potato omelette and paella, it is a good idea to have a large supply of eggs, say about a dozen when you are on a Spanish culinary adventure.  Many desserts in Spanish cuisine also require eggs.

Tomatoes And Tomato Sauce

Similarly to other Mediterranean people, Spanish people use and enjoy tomatoes in a variety of ways.  Whether it is cooked or fresh, it is a good idea to have at least a couple of tins of chopped tomatoes, tomato purée; as well as fresh tomatoes in your fridge.


3 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Leighton Williamson January 10, 2014 at 7:34 am - Reply

    I have signed up to take a Spanish cookery class and was looking for some good information to prepare me for it and came across your blog.  I thank you kindly for the hard work and research you have put into producing a helpful post.  I now know what kinda of ingredients to expect from the course.

    • Martin O'Sullivan January 16, 2014 at 6:25 pm - Reply

      I took a Spanish cookery course a few years ago and enjoyed it Leighton I am sure you will have a very interesting time! 

      • Leighton Williamson January 17, 2014 at 10:54 pm - Reply

        Cool, thanks for the headup!  I was looking forward to it, but, now I am looking forward to it even more!  Thanks dude! 🙂

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