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Best gifts from Spain... other than a paella pan

Updated on September 12, 2013

Have you visited Spain?

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Picture somewhere in La Mancha
Picture somewhere in La Mancha

Visiting Spain?

Spain is one of the most visited countries in the world. Spain is cool, and attractive for many reasons: its extroverted people, its unique culture, its historical contribution, its modern art... and, of course, we cannot forget about the food...

People buy many things when traveling to Spain and bring many, many presents home. Here is a short list of unique gifts and presents, or gifting ideas, that people like to buy in Spain. Enjoy gifting!

Top ten gifts from Spain

From my point of view here is the TOP 10 of what travelers and visitors SHOP IN SPAIN, what people proudly buy for themselves or for gifting. If you live in the USA, as I do, those are really original items that you can bring from Spain to USA:


1. FOOD. Cabrales cheese, Manchego cheese, Piquillo peppers, Anchoives, Serrano or Iberico ham... the list of original food is unlimited.

2. ORIGINAL T-SHIRTS. The tourist industry is very important, and the typical t-shirt has become a sophisticated item. You will find exclusive designer t-shirts during your visit.

3. JEWELRY. Tradition and modernity converge into great and original jewelry, available for every budget.

4. ART. Remember that this is the country of Dali, Gaudi, Picasso, Miro... and many others.

5. ANTIQUES. A long history means that you can find unique pieces that are part of the country history. You will have many places and markets devoted to antiques. A good example is "el Rastro" in Madrid.

6. OLIVE OIL SOAPS. This is the country of olive oil, and the olive oil industry provides this essential ingredient for the soap production.

7. WINE AND SHERRY. Rioja, Ribera and many other "denominaciones de origen" (regional quality certifications), plus the incredible Sherry, make it a no-risk option.

8. SPANISH FAN. The most typical item, to bear the hot Andalusian summers... You will find from the most simple ones to authentic pieces of art.

9. SHOES. From traditional shoes as "espardenyas" to modern designer original shoes, the shoe industry makes products of excellent quality. It is a fact that leather shoes from Spain are among the best in the world. People in Spain walk a lot, so there are many stores in every city, and plenty of options to choose from.

10. FLAMENCO DRESS... finally. Yes, this is the most unique, luxury, ethnic, beautiful item that you can buy in Spain.

Modern Gift Store

Source

My favorite...Olive Oil Soaps

Some of the best modern Castile Soaps are made in Spain with olive oil as the base ingredient. This process is part of a long tradition, that has been maintained generation after generation during a great number of centuries.

According to Wikipedia "the first European soap-making factories were created by the Muslims in the 12th century in Spain (Alicante, Malaga, Carthagene and Castile)". That tradition has been living in Spain for centuries and today, in the XXI century, we can find a relevant soap industry in the country where the tradition and modernity converge to a great mix.

One reason for this is the important olive oil industry in Spain. Spain is the first world producer of Olive Oil, followed by Italy and Greece. As Wikipedia says, "together, they produce more than 75% of the world production. Spain produces around 30% of the world's olive oil, with 75% of this being produced in the region of Andalusia". This industry provides a unique ingredient that is the base product used by many small soap and cosmetic manufacturers in Spain.

Compared to other oils and ingredients used in soaps (as animal fats), olive oil is a 100% vegetable natural product, with beneficial properties and moisturizing effects that have been well known since ancient times. Soaps made with olive oil provide an additional antioxidant-toning action, completely natural, that helps to protect the epidermis.

Besides, in Spain, small manufacturers of olive oil soaps have added color and design to their packagings and presentations which make the product specially attractive for the modern consumer, and perfect for gifting occasions.

Tradition and high quality join modernity to provide an excellent product and a gratifying sensorial experience. There's no question these are some of the best olive oil soaps in the world.

Olive Oil Soaps Store in Spain

Olive Oil Soaps Store in Spain
Olive Oil Soaps Store in Spain

If you decide to buy a Paella Pan, here is a good Paella Recipe

Hello, here is the link for a paella recipe that is very good from my point of view:

http://www.canalcocina.es/receta/paella-mixta-2 . The only thing I don't use is paprika.

Some important things that you need to know in order to make your Paella following the recipe. From my experience, Paella has 5 "ingredients" (I would better say "components") in this order:

1. What we call SOFRITO: tomato+garlic+onion+sweet peppers fried on olive oil (not other oil). That is always the base of your paella.

2. Your PREFERRED INGREDIENTS; it can be whatever you want: only seafood, only meat, only vegetarian, a mix. Choose your favorite ingredients. Usually I make chicken+seafood (mussels, squid, scallops, shrimp).

3. SPICES. Some saffron (it is expensive but you have to use a tiny amount: 8-10 filaments), plus some paella colorant.

4. RICE. There is a kind of rice originally from spain called bomba rice. But you can start with a regular medium rice.

5. BROTH. A vegetable, or fish, or chicken broth, always better if it is homemade. This is KEY for the taste, and you prepare it in advance. You have to put about 2.5 times the amount of rice, but read the rice indications.

Good luck with your paella!. And please, let me know how was it.

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