With its very different regions – the long coastline, rugged mountains, baking plains and rich farming land – there are a vast range of Spanish dishes but they all have a few things in common: they're simple, unpretentious, and use beautifully fresh seasonal ingredients. Peasant-style dishes, like this garlic soup, sit alongside spectacular seafood options. Paella, one of the nation's best-known culinary exports, is a versatile classic, enjoyed with a variety of ingredients, like chorizo, calamari and mussels or crab, prawns and chicken.


Further afield, Spanish-speaking South America cooks follow similar culinary principles. Hearty soups and stews are common among the Latin diaspora, with recipes including Peruvian potato and pork stew and Paraguayan chicken soup with ricotta dumplings. Fried snacks are also found throughout South America. In Argentina, banana fritters accompany the local drink mate, while Columbians enjoy anisita (corn griddle cakes). Plantain, cheese and jam is a quintessentially Latin flavour combination that can be found in fried sandwich form here. South American desserts are heavily influenced by the European classics as can be seen in these recipes for a fruity, nutty sweet bread, three milks cake and Argentinian tiramisu.


The Kitchen Conversations podcast series brings you regular food stories and recipes from SBS Radio's language groups. For more information, visit the website.


To find out more about Spanish cuisine, check out our food guide here.