Spanish Food: The top 5 exported products.
Between the paella, tapas, gazpacho, and the Mediterranean diet, there’s a lot of famous and delicious culinary exports. So, it’s no wonder that we have been watching an increase in Spanish food exports.
The reality is that it’s not only the creativity but especially the quality and flavor of Spanish foods that has been the starting point of the increase in Spanish food exports. Just to give you an idea, Spain is not only the biggest oil exporter as it is also one of the leading exporters of wine.
But we can’t forget about the Spanish Iberian ham or the Spanish cheese. Oh, and the fruits and vegetables which are an important part of the Mediterranean diet are also on the list of the top exports of Spain.
Spain’s Most Beloved Food Products
The truth is that we can’t only refer to one specific food but to many different foods.
Some of the most well-known Spanish foods are olive oil and the Iberico ham. After all, the Spanish olive oil delivers a unique flavor to many Spanish recipes not to mention that it is also healthy and helps balance cholesterol.
In what comes to the Iberico ham, this delicious food is only produced in this country from pigs that graze roaming free in unique environments providing a completely natural diet, based mainly on acorns.
One of the things that make Spanish cuisine so beloved is that it is incredibly delicious and healthy at the same time. After all, it uses many different fruits and vegetables including bananas, citrus fruits, strawberries, grapes, apples, pears, tomatoes, onions, garlic, and so on. But you still have the Spanish cheese and the carefully selected wines to ensure that you have a complete meal.
Spanish Food Is One Of The Healthiest Ones
When you are looking to improve your health, you need to pay attention to what you eat. One of the healthiest cuisines in the world is the Spanish one since it is based on the Mediterranean diet. As you probably already know, this diet is based on olive oil, fresh vegetables, and other fresh seasonal food.
The Mediterranean diet has been gaining a lot of popularity since 1960. Back then, it was discovered that coronary heart disease caused fewer deaths in Mediterranean countries, such as Spain, Greece, and Italy than in the U.S. and northern Europe.
Subsequent studies found that the Mediterranean diet is also associated with reduced risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
What Is The Mediterranean Diet?
Simply put, the Mediterranean diet is based on the traditional cuisine of countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. It is usually high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds, and olive oil.
Other important elements of the Mediterranean diet are sharing meals with family and friends, enjoying a glass of red wine, and being physically active.
The foundation of this diet is vegetables, fruits, herbs, nuts, beans, and whole grains. Moderate amounts of dairy, poultry, and eggs are also central to the Mediterranean Diet, as is seafood. In contrast, red meat is eaten only occasionally.
The Mediterranean diet is also rich in healthy fats. As we mentioned above, olive oil is the primary source of added fat followed by nuts and seeds. Fish are also important in the Mediterranean diet especially mackerel, herring, sardines, albacore tuna, salmon, and lake trout.
But the Mediterranean diet can’t be complete without a glass of red wine. Here are the top 5 most exported food products from Spain:
The Top 5 most Exported Spanish Food
In the past ten years, Spain has been increasing its food exports by about 80%. But more than this, the country also became the fourth top exporter of these products in the European Union.
#1: Olive Oil:
As we already mentioned above, olive oil is one of the main Spanish foods in this cuisine and in the Mediterranean diet. Therefore, it is natural that this is the most exported Spanish food.
Spain makes 44% of the world’s olive oil, more than twice that of Italy and four times that of Greece. As a result, it’s the top olive oil-producing country in the world. More than a quarter of Spain’s oil (10 percent of the total world production) comes from the province of Jaén in Andalusia.
#2: Spanish Iberian Ham:
The Spanish Iberian ham is only produced in Spain and it’s a complete artisan production. It comes from black Iberian pigs and the process continues to follow the most traditional techniques to ensure that you get that delicious flavor.
The ham is cured in special bodegas and drying rooms to benefit from the mix of the fresh dry air with the humidity of the rains and the moderate heat of summer.
#3: Spanish Wine:
Spanish wine comes from several regions of Spain. In fact, grapes are actually the third biggest crop in this country right after grains and olives.
While Spain has many vineyards, due to the dry climate, they are the third producing country after France and Italy. The most densely planted vineyards in Spain are in La Rioja, Spain’s most famous wine region.
It’s important to keep in mind that 56.2% of Spanish wine is designated as a “quality wine” (VCPRD—Vino de Calidad Producido en una Región Determinada or “Quality Wine Produced in a Determined Region”) and as of 2017, Spain had more than 90 denominaciones de origen (D.O.s).
There are also 42 areas with wines designated as Vino de Tierra (literally, “Wine from the Land”), which is the next step down from denominación de origen in terms of quality.
While the Mediterranean diet advocates moderate red wine consumption, most Spanish vineyards are actually white. This is because the country also produces sherry and brandy.
#4: Spanish Cheese:
Cheese is a mainstay of the Spanish diet, whether eaten by itself, or with bread, a tapa, or even as a dessert.
Because of the variations in climate and geography, as well as culture, each region of Spain can produce several or more varieties of cheese. However, one of the most popular Spanish cheeses comes from the Basque Country – the Idiazabel. This rustic ewe’s milk cheese was often smoked in the rafters of the shepherds’ huts.
#5: Other Spanish Food and Vegetables:
When talking about foods and vegetables, we have to talk about Navarra. After all, this region of Spain boasts 6 Designations of Origin, 6 Protected Geographical Indications, and 4 quality certifications.
The quality of the raw ingredients is related to the unique climate of this region. The Ebro river flows through Navarra and all along its path generates a fertile land known as “La Mejana”, which together with the climate and the culture forged through the past coexistence of Jewish, Arabic, and Christian traditions enables the cultivation of foods and vegetables.
There’s no question that Spanish food plays an important role in the entire world. At Origen Hispania, we offer all these foods presented at wholesale price and 100% traceability to ensure that you only get the best foods.