Spain continues to be the largest producer of olive oil in Europe, with over half of its yield coming from Andalucia in southern Spain. The health benefits of a diet rich in olive oil are well publicised.
Olive oil is an essentail part of the Spanish way of life and can be found in virtually every kitchen in Spain be it domestic or professional. Not only used for frying, olive oil is widely used as a condiment and there is always a bottle on the table in restaurants for drizzling over salads and seafood dishes. Olive oil is also regularly served instead of butter for dipping bread.
Vinegar is another regular in the Spanish kitchen. widely used for salad dreesings, soups and sauces there are many varieties, the most famous being sherry vinegar from Jerez. This is traditionally made using the finest sherry wines which are aged in oak barrels for different lengths of time. Vinegars flavoures with herbs, spices and fruit are often seen in restaurants on the table with the olive oil for drizzling over salads.