Paella: A rice and seafood or meat dish originating from the mid 19th century in Valencia off the coast of Spain. Often thought of as Spain’s national dish, paella is a symbol of Valencia in particular. Types of paella include Valencian paella, seafood paella and mixed paella. Mixed paella features a combination of meat, seafood, vegetables and beans.
Jamón: Spanish word meaning ham, specifically dry-cured ham hailing from Spain. The two types are Jamón Serrano, which refers to ham from the mountains, and Jamón ibérico, which refers to ham from the Black Iberian Pig. Similar in taste and consistency of prosciutto.
Chorizo: Pork sausage from the Iberian Peninsula. This dish features dried smoked red peppers in addition to the sausage. The European version features a fermented, cured or smoked sausage, while the Mexican version adds chili peppers.
Iberian Peninsula: Located in southwest Europe, comprising Spain, Portugal and Andorra and the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar. Its is just one of the three major southern European peninsulas, which include the Iberian, Italian and Balkan, bordered by the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. The Pyrenees separate this peninsula from the remainder of Europe.
Tapas: Refers to Spanish appetizers and snacks, served cold, as in the case of olives and cheese, or warm, as in the case of fried baby squid. You can even combine a variety of tapas to make a full meal. Known as bocas in select Central American countries.