Can You Identify If These Foods Are From Italy or From Spain?

Kennita Leon

Image: Alberto Bogo / Cultura / Getty Images

About This Quiz

Spain and Italy are two nations that are known for many things -- their people, their culture and their languages are all incredibly vibrant and exciting and attracts millions of visitors every year. Something else that draws people to these countries is their cuisines. And although people normally confuse the two, we know a foodie like you wouldn't dare. So we're going to test your knowledge of the foods served there in a quiz where we pit the Spanish against the Italians.  Can you really tell us whether these dishes are from Spain or Italy? 

We already know that the Italians take the cake when it comes to all things pasta and that the Spanish love their spices, but if we were to break it down dish by dish, do you think you'd know the difference? Allow us to show you a few platters -- you can use your memory, our clues or just the visual of the pictures to help you decide which country claims each dish.  By the end, we'll know if you're on your way to becoming a foreign food connoisseur or if you should stick to hamburgers and fries. 

Where would you guess that pizza is from?

A pizza is a savory Italian dish which may be eaten with a knife and fork in formal settings, but held in hand in casual settings. It has a round, flattened base made of leavened wheat dough, topped with a tomato sauce, cheese and other ingredients.

Lasagna is a delicious, layered, savory dish. But where is it from?

Lasagna is a savory dish which originated in Italy during the Middle Ages. It consists of stacked layers of pasta filled with alternating layers of sauces, meats, vegetables and cheese, baked in an oven and then served in squares.

The rice dish known as paella is from where?

Paella is a Valencian rice dish and one of the region's identifying symbols. There are many types of paella including vegetable paella and mixed paella (seafood, meat and vegetables). The original recipe includes rice, vegetables, meat and seasoning.

A pastry that can be filled with meat or vegetables, can you tell us where empanadas are from?

An empanada is a popular Hispanic pastry, fried or baked, that can be traced back to Galicia, Spain. It consists of folded dough stuffed with meat (chicken or beef), cheese, corn or other ingredients.

Which country did the calzone originate in?

Calzone is a sandwich-sized, oven-baked folded pizza which originated in Naples, Italy. It usually consists of salted bread dough and stuffed with salami, vegetables or ham, ricotta, mozzarella and Parmesan or pecorino cheese, and an egg.

Can you match churros to the country that it came from?

A Churro is a fried-dough pastry, or choux-based snack that is normally eaten for breakfast dipped in hot chocolate, champurrado, café con leche and dulce de leche. It is a traditional snack in Spain and Portugal which originated in Ibero-America and the Philippines.

Where does minestrone soup come from?

Minestrone is a thick Italian soup for which there is no set recipe. It is typically made with vegetables, meat, a meat-based broth, pasta or rice, beans, onions, carrots, tomato and celery.

Gnocchi is a pasta dish that looks more like dumplings. Where is it from?

Gnocchi is an Italian dish of which there a variety of recipes and names across the region. This dish consists of many small, thick and soft dough dumplings. It is made with seminola, wheat flour, cheese, potato, egg, breadcrumbs and cornmeal.

Breadsticks aren't as American as we think they are. Which of these countries created them?

Breadsticks, also called dipping sticks or grissini is an Italian bread. It is a pencil-sized, crispy dry baked bread that is served as an appetizer, or topped with icing and cinnamon sugar as a dessert.

An alcoholic beverage with chopped fruits, who made sangria?

Sangria is a Spanish alcoholic beverage or punch traditionally made with red wine, chopped fruits (berries, apples, pears, melons, pineapples, peaches, or nectarines) and other ingredients including brandy or orange juice.

Which country is responsible for giving us gazpacho?

Gazpacho, also known as Andulasian Gazpacho, is a classic Spanish cuisine widely eaten in Spain and Portugal during the hot summers. It is a cold soup made with including olive oil, vinegar, garlic, tomato, and cucumber and served with bread.

Ravioli is a stuffed pasta dish that can contain anything from cheese to meat. Where was it founded?

Ravioli is a type of dumpling stuffed with filling and is usually square though may be circular or semi-circular. It is a traditional Italian dish and may be served in a broth or with a pasta sauce.

A dessert of cooked cream, which country created panna cotta?

Panna cotta, meaning cooked cream, is an Italian dessert of sweetened cream. It is aromatized with coffee, vanilla or flavorings, thickened with gelatin and poured into a mold and allowed to set.

A type of meat, where can you find chorizo in spades?

Chorizo or chouriço, is a type of fermented, cured and smoked pork sausage traditionally made with natural casings made from intestines. It may be grilled, fried, eaten with a sandwich or used as a pizza topping.

An appetizer that is a piece of toasted bread with a topping, where was the crostini discovered?

Crostinis are an Italian appetizer that is believed to have originated during the Medieval times. It consists of small slices of toasted or grilled bread with toppings such as cheese, meat, vegetables or simply presented with a sauce or brush of olive oil and herbs.

An oblong biscuit that we call biscotti, which country made this treat?

Biscotti is an oblong-shaped Italian almond biscuit that is twice-baked and has a dry, crunchy texture. Originating from the city of Prato, it is commonly referred to as cantucci and is usually dipped in a drink, traditionally Vin Santo.

Where do tigres (stuffed mussels) hail from?

Tigres are Spanish stuffed mussels and a type of tapa that is frequently served for special occasions. It is made with a very thick white sauce stuffed into mussel shells that is then breaded and fried.

Cured ham, or jamon, is from which of these two countries?

Jamón is the Spanish word for ham that is usually cured for up to 18 months. There are two main commercial types of jamón; jamón Serrano and jamón ibérico, the latter of which is illegal in the U.S.

Filloas are similar to pancakes and crepes, but where is it from?

Filloas are Spanish pancakes similar to French crepes, but thinner and made with wheat flour rather than buckwheat flour. It is commonly eaten for breakfast and is a traditional dessert for Carnival and Easter in Spain.

Can you tell us where pesto originated?

Pesto is a sauce originating in Genoa, Italy traditionally made with crushed garlic, Parmesan cheese, pecorino sardo, olive oil, coarse salt, basil leaves and European pine nuts. It is served with pasta such as fettuccine, linguine and cavatappi.

Salmorejo is a type of puree, but which of the two countries invented it?

Salmorejo is a pinkish-orange, cold-served puree consisting of tomato, oil, bread, garlic, vinegar, sea salt and garnished with Serrano ham and hard-boiled eggs. It originated in Cordoba in Andalucia, southern Spain.

Which country do you think made cuchifritos?

Cuchifritos is the common name used in Spanish and Puerto Rican cuisine for foods prepared with pork as the main ingredient. Cuchifritos vendors usually sell the dish with fruit juices such as pineapple, passion fruit and coconut.

Which country is responsible for coming up with Ciabatta bread?

Ciabatta bread is an Italian white bread with an elongated, broad and flat shape. It was invented in 1982 by Arnaldo Cavallari in Verona, Veneto, Italy in response to the popularity of the French baguette.

Which of these two nations made torrijas?

Torrijas is the Spanish version of French toast topped with cinnamon and honey or eaten as is. It may be prepared a variety of ways such as soaked with red wine, milk, or honey and is always served cold.

Where do you think risotto originated?

Risotto is a northern Italian rice dish cooked to a creamy consistency in a fish, meat or vegetable broth. Risotto may be flavored with butter, Parmesan cheese, white onion and white wine.

Tiramisu is a coffee-flavored dessert. But who created it?

Tiramisu is an Italian coffee-flavored dessert which translates as pick me up or cheer me up. It consists of ladyfingers soaked in coffee, altered with a layer of whipped sugar, eggs, mascarpone cheese and coffee.

Who gave us patatas bravas?

Patatas bravas is a Spanish dish commonly served in bars as a tapa. It is made with white potatoes cut into small, irregular cubes, fried in oil and then served with a sauce, usually spicy tomato.

Chicharron is is a meaty snack of pork belly. But where was it created?

Chicharrón, native to Spain, is a finger food snack which consists of fried pork belly or fried pork rinds. It is usually made various cuts of pork, but may be substituted with chicken, beef or mutton.

Which country do you think fettuccine alfredo is from?

Fettuccine Alfredo, also called fettuccine al burro, is an Italian pasta dish consisting of fettuccine tossed with a smooth and creamy sauce made of cheese and butter. It was created during the 15th century by Alfredo di Lelio I, after who the dish was named.

Stuffed rice balls is the best way to describe what arancini is. Who made it, though?

Arancini are Italian stuffed rice balls that are coated in breadcrumbs then deep-fried. Fillings for the arancini include all ragú, al sugo, mozzarella and or caciocavallo cheese, or ham and mozzarella or besciamella.

Parmigiano-Reggiano is a popular kind of cheese created in ___________.

Parmigiano-Reggiano is a hard granular cheese named after the Italian provinces of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Bologna, where it is produced. It is also known as Parmesan, which is a generic term for the same cheese made outside the traditional regions of production.

A variant of what the French call croquettes, who gave us croquetas?

Croquetas is the Spanish variant of the French croquette and is made with a thick béchamel. It is traditionally filled with jamón, chicken, cod and less commonly apples, wild mushrooms, tuna, cheeses and cuttlefish.

Which of these two countries invented marzipan?

Marzipan is a confection which is a traditional Christmas dessert in Spain. It consists of almond meal (ground almonds) and sugar or honey, which is then shaped and painted with food coloring to resemble fruits.

Where does carbonara hail from?

Carbonara, originating in Rome, is a pasta dish consisting of hard cheese, guanciale or pancetta, egg and pepper. There is no preferred cheese or pasta, though Pecorino Romano and linguine, fettuccine, bucatini or rigatoni are commonly used.

Do you know where gambas al ajillo was founded?

Gambas al ajillo is the Spanish variant of garlic shrimp or pawns. It is a simple dish that is prepared by sautéing the shrimp in olive oil with garlic, with recipes including paprika and a splash of Brandy.

Where do you think the pasta dish spaghetti bolognese comes from?

Spaghetti Bolognese is an Italian dish frequently served outside Italy. The dish consists of spaghetti served with a sauce made of minced beef, tomatoes, garlic, wines and herbs.

Of the two options, which country is responsible for escabeche?

Escabeche is the common name used for a variety of dishes of Mediterranean and Latin American origin. In Spain, it consists of chicken or meat, served with or without a savory broth.

Can you tell us who invented pisto?

Pisto is a Spanish dish which resembles ratatouille to a certain extent. It is made with onions, tomatoes, eggplant, red and green peppers and olive oil and served with bread, pieces of cured ham or a fried egg on top.

A larger than usual type of pasta, where does ziti come from?

Ziti is an extruded Italian pasta larger than a mezzani, but smaller than rigatoni. It is similar to penne but with the edges cut straight instead of diagonally. It also differs from penne in that it has smooth sides instead of ridges.

Tell us where tortilla Espanola hails from.

Tortilla Espanola, also known as the Spanish omelet, is an omelet consisting of eggs, potatoes, onion, garlic and chives and fried in oil. It may be served hot or cold and as an appetizer or main course.

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