Cooking with Spanish flavours

Brightening up even the dullest day by cooking up a Spanish-inspired feast.

We’ve put together a list of the kind of spices and ingredients to keep in your cupboard if you want to be able to whip up some delicious dishes with a Spanish spin.

Olive oil

For an authentic experience, be sure to stock up on some good quality olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil is best but ordinary virgin oil is fine – just avoid bottles that say they’ve been blended.


Sweet, slightly spicy and very distinctive, paprika is one of the most essential spices to keep in your cupboards if you like Spanish flavours. Search for Spanish Paprika (often called Pimenton) if possible – you should be able to find it in upscale supermarkets or delis.

Sherry vinegar

This delicious vinegar is produced from sherry wine and has a light, sweet taste. It’s an ideal choice for salad dressings and can also be used in recipes for hot dishes that need a little acidity.


No Spanish paella would be complete without a pinch of saffron and this lovely spice is expensive but well worth the cost. It boasts a sweet aroma and beautiful yellow colour that gives dishes an extra kick.

Fresh garlic

Most Spanish dishes require at least a little bit of garlic so try and keep a fresh head in your kitchen at all times. Store it in a cool dry place and if you notice it hollowing out or sprouting, throw it out and replace.


This dried, cured sausage is incredibly versatile and packs a lot of punch into a small space.  Hard cured chorizo can be kept for months in the fridge if it has been sealed and is a wonderful addition to cold tapas or hot stews. 


For Spanish dishes with a bit of heat, cayenne pepper is a must. Buy the peppers fresh, dried or as a powder and use to suit taste, not forgetting that this is a hot chilli pepper so a little can go a long way.


Used in a huge variety of Spanish dishes, tomatoes are an absolute must. Be sure you always have a few fresh tomatoes on hand as well as a couple of cans of chopped tomatoes and a tube of tomato puree.


For a really authentic experience, it’s a great idea to buy some Spanish rice for your cupboards. Unlike other varieties, it is short grain variety with a firm texture. The best thing about it is how readily it will absorb flavours.

Cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg

These are three spices you’re very likely to have in your cupboard already but all are perfect for giving your meals a splash of Spanish flavour. All are often used in both sweet and savoury dishes and they are often used together.

What’s on your Spanish-inspired shopping list? 

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Rachel - Silversurfers Assistant Editor

Hello there! I’m Rachel and I’m the Assistant Editor for Silversurfers. I work behind the scenes to bring interesting, informative and entertaining subject matter to the Silversurfers community. I hope you enjoy the features we have shared with you. Please feel free to comment below and share your thoughts with us, we love to hear from you!

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