The food from Spain is probably the most diverse in the world. Since 1100 B.C. Spain is a country that has been invaded by many different tribes and religions. First came the Phoenicians, who planted the first vineyards in Andalucía to produce wine, the Romans arrived around 210 B.C. and planted the first olive trees, and in A.D. 711 the most influential of all, the Moors arrived and planted the first almond trees, rice paddies, and citrus fruit, as well as middle eastern spices and coffee, the Spaniards favorite drink. All this combined with what the Spaniards already had, has made its kitchen truly unique. Spanish food is humble, they don't use heavy sauces, ingredients are cooked simply (most every food in Spain is cooked in olive oil, garlic, and a pinch of salt) and most plates consist of (1) course. You wont find a plate with fish, rice and salad together. All the food is divided into different courses.
When visiting Spain, it's good to know the eating schedule, as most restaurants will not serve you food at 5:00PM. When going to a restaurant to eat, consider ordering from the "Menu del Dia", it includes 3 courses plus wine, and is usually the best deal. You will have several choices per course and it usually cost somewhere between 9 to 20 Euros per person, depending on your location. Try to locate restaurants away from the crowds for the best deals. Always follow the locals! Even at the higher priced tourist haunts, you can still dine in cities like Barcelona and Madrid for much cheaper than most other cities in Europe.
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