Food & Wine in Spain—How to Eat Like a Spaniard

Foodies discovered Spain a while ago, thanks to its unique cuisine and dishes like paella. In the last decade, the Spanish cuisine has seen an impressive revolution, thanks to the innovative work of chefs as Ferrán Adriá ("The most influential chef in the world," according to Time Magazine), Carme Ruscalleda, Sergi Arola, Santi Santamaría and many others. The country has 135 restaurants with Michelin stars, and the city of San Sebastian, in the Basque Country, is the city with more Michelin star restaurants per inhabitant in the world.

Courtesy of the Tourist Office of Spain, here are some special ways to get the most out of a culinary tour in the country:
    
TAPAS
A day spent sampling tapas is the ideal way to experience Spanish culture and discover its bars and taverns. Tapas are a varied sample of popular regional cuisine presented in small portions that are meant to be shared with friends. Tapas can be prepared in any number of styles, both traditional and avant-garde.
    
In all of Spain's cities, towns and villages you will find bars, taverns and even entire neighborhoods that specialize in unique tapas. This is another advantage of eating tapas that you never get tired of these delicious combinations of miniature culinary delights. In the Basque Country, for example, their signature tapas are called "pintos," which refers to the toothpick that is often used to make up the treats. In Madrid, it is common that tapas come in bigger portions called "racines." In many cities, it is very common to serve small tapas for free with an order of beer or wine, or at least for the first round...

WINES
The range and quality of Spanish wines has made the country the third largest producer in the world. There are more than 20 wine routes throughout the country that are perfect for touring and exploring. (Hire a guide, of course, so there's no need to worry about drinking and driving.)

EVENTS
Foodies can't miss the most important gastronomic international events that occur in Spain such as "Madrid Fusión", "Gastronómika San Sebastián" or "Forum Gastronómico de Santiago"; but you can enjoy the Spanish gastronomy all year round through the "fiestas." Visit www.spain.info for more information on culinary events and fiestas that can be enjoyed throughout the year.

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