When you order a beer or a glass of wine in Spain, you'll often get something small to eat - algo para picar - and it's often a small bowl of olives.
Olives are an essential part of the Mediterranean diet, making Spain one of the healthiest countries in the world. You'll usually find them in salads, on pizzas or just on their own as a snack before a meal, and they're also part of many Mediterranean recipes.
Given its rich and varied history, it's no surprise that Spain offers an estimated 260 different varieties of olives from the glistening olive groves that cover a large area of the country. Andalusia accounts for 80 % of national production, with the Andalusian city of Jaén being known as the olive capital of the world and producing more olives per year than Italy alone.