Showcasing the Mediterranean diet and Asian diet  



Extra virgin olive oil

Extra virgin olive oil is made with the highest quality olives from the first cold pressing. It is used in cooking and adds depth and texture to hot dishes when added at the end of cooking. It's also used in salad dressings and sauces and for bread dipping.




White wine vinegar

White wine vinegar is used in salad dressings or sprinkled over fried potatoes. Red wine vinegar is also popular in Spanish cooking.







Olives, sometimes stuffed with anchovies or pimento (red pepper paste), are eaten as appetizers and snacks, or added to stews, hot pots and salads.






Rice is used extensively in Spanish cooking. The best rice for paella is either Bomba or Calasparra rice which are highly absorbent types of Spanish rice. If you can't find these varieties, standard medium grain rice is the best substitute—don't use Italian arborio rice as it's too creamy or Japanese short grain rice as it's too sticky. Long-grain rice is typically used in pilafs and salads.








Beans such as white beans (left) and chickpeas (right) are used to make hearty bean stews, flavorsome soups and salads. Canned beans are the most convenient to use because they require no lengthy pre-soaking.







Lentils are added to stews and soups and are used in salads. Pardina lentils, a small nutty flavored lentil which holds its shape well when cooked, is the most popular variety of lentil in Spain. If you can't track down pardina lentils use regular brown lentils as a substitute.









Saffron is the pungent dried stigmas of the crocus sativus plant. It adds an authentic flavor and color to Spanish dishes such as paella and suquet. Saffron is expensive, but only used in very small amounts. The dark orange threads need to be soaked in hot water to bring out the color and flavor.







Smoked paprika

Smoked paprika is made from dried and smoked, finely ground red bell pepper (capsicum). Smoked paprika is an essential ingredient in Spanish paella. Available in sweet, bittersweet and hot varieties.





Capers are the pickled flower buds of a Mediterranean plant. They are commonly used in Spanish cooking to add zestiness to stews, soups, salads, and grilled fish dishes.









Caperberries are the fruit from the same plant that produces capers. Caperberries are larger and less intense in flavor than capers and can be eaten as part of an appetizer dish or used to garnish salads.




Artichoke hearts

Artichoke hearts marinated in olive oil, vinegar and herbs are served in salads and in tapas dishes.