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Spain in-depth: practical information

Gifts from Spain: the ultimate guide

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Gifts from Spain

Do you have someone n your life that just loves Spain? Are you looking to buy some cool gifts from Spain? Well, you are in the right place.

Our team of local guides has curated this list of authentic,  traditional, and awesome gifts from Spain, that can be purchased from anywhere! A lot of the best things you can buy from Spain have to be purchased in Spain, but not these. Check out our list of the best gifts from Spain you can buy anywhere. 

Table of Contents

Hand made authentic Spanish guitar

One of the things Spain is most well known for across the globe is flamenco, the passionate and sensual art that originated in Andalusia. One of the essential components to flamenco, and an100% Spanish instrument, is the flamenco guitar. 

A traditional flamenco guitar is made of Spanish cypress, sycamore, or rosewood for the back and sides, and spruce for the top. This explains its characteristic body color.

The Flamenco guitar produces an entirely unique sound, that no other guitar can emulate. The build, the shape, the strings, all contribute to make that characteristic flamenco sound.

Flamenco guitars are usually lighter with thinner tops than classical guitars, which produces a “brighter” and more percussive sound quality. there is also less internal bracing which makes the guitar more resonant.

Volume has also traditionally been very important for flamenco guitarists, as they must be heard over the sound of the dancers’ nailed shoes. 

One of the best gifts from Spain you can purchase. 

flamenco guitar
mantón de manila

Mantón de Manila

The Mantón de manila is the characteristic silk shawl that you see wrapped around female flamenco dancers. The Mantón, however, is a garment that was popularized in Madrid, not in Andalusia as you might expect. They were originally made in China and were popular in the Spain, Latin America, and the Philippines during the colonial era. 

Mantón de Manila literally means, “blanket from Manila. The mantón has this name because silk fabrics were, in the beginning, a Chinese monopoly, prompting the Spanish Empire to restrict silk trade with China and ultimately banning it altogether in 1718.

Protests soon followed however in Manila, the middlemen in the operation, and the silk ban was lifted in 1734, though it required silk to pass through Manila. This monopoly of Manila was later consolidated with the creation of the Royal Company of the Philippines in 1795. 

It was first adopted by Chulas y Manolas in Spain, upper-class women from certain neighborhoods in Madrid, that would drape Chinese silk scarf on their shoulders as a fashion statement and a status symbol.  

Iberico Ham 

There are several delicacies from Spain that are known around the world and Iberico Ham is most definitely one of them. Iberico is actually a breed of pig that is indigenous to Spain that is more closely related to wild boar than it is to modern farm pigs. 

Iberico pigs are traditionally and famously fed acorns that give the meat its characteristic flavor. There is a whole, a complicated system of classification of the hams, depending on how many acorns the pigs have eaten and in what period of time. We have an extensive article you can check out if you want to do a deep dive on Iberico ham

iberico ham

Andalusian Ceramics

If you have aver traveled to Andalusia, you probably noticed the wide-spread use of ceramics as decoration. This tradition is a legacy of the Moorish occupation of the Iberian peninsula. Decorative tiles were hand-painted with a technique called “cuerda seca” and they were used to decorate the exterior of estates and important civil and religious buildings. Andalusia has been an important producer of ceramic since the 6th century BC.

True, handcrafted Andalusian Ceramics are some of the most beautiful and highest quality ceramics in the world. These works of art are the perfect decorative piece that gives out an authentically Spanish vibe. 

Paella

There are few gifts from Spain out there more accessible than a Paella. As we have explained in a previous article on how to make a traditional Valencian Paella, a paella is actually the pan in which the rice dish is made, it’s not called a paella pan or a paellera. No dish is more emblematic of Spain, and to make the perfect paella you need a good pan. 

In our article, we go into great detail on how to make an authentic paella from Valencia, but the proper shape of the pan is essential for the proper cooking of the rice, which should be of the “bomba” variety. If you want to go all the way, you will also need to get your hands on orange tree wood and cook outdoors.  

hand made paella

Espardenyes

This Catalonian creation is mandatory for any Spaniard that is headed to the beach, ready to kick back and relax. Espardenyes are the traditional footwear of Catalonian laborers and now have become what Spaniards strap to their feet to go to the beach. So much so that they are associated much more to the Balearic Islands of the coast of Catalonia, than with Catalonia itself. 

Espardenyes are light and airy and actually quite fashionable. A good, hand made pair, makes for a great gift.  

Damasquina

The Medieval city of Toledo was once world-renowned for its metalwork. It was where the best armor and medieval weapons were produced. This is because Toledo was a melting pot of cultures.

Christians, Jews, and Moors lived together peacefully, and famously shared knowledge, techniques, and know-how regarding many different subjects. These three cultures developed some of the most advanced metalworking techniques the world had ever seen. 

But Toledo was also known for beautiful, more delicate metalwork as well. Damasquina is the technique of inlaying gold into burnt steel, and the result is spectacularly beautiful and makes for an excellent romantic gift. 

gifts from spain damasquina

Abanico

It can get swelteringly hot in certain regions of Spain in the summer. Spaniards have a number of rather ingenious solutions for dealing with the heat: the siesta, white villages, and the abanico or handheld fan. A common accessory you will see used by Spaniards use even to this day. 

It can be sort of a kitschy, touristy purchase, but a good hand made fan is a piece of art.  

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