A vacation to any place is never complete without actually tasting the local food. The local food that is so integral to the people of the region. The same holds true for Spain too. What is a waste to a Spanish holiday if you have not tried the gastronomical variety of the region?
The rich and varied cuisine is encompassed in the rich traditional history of the country. The unique flavours of each region give Spanish food its character. There is the very staple food here in Spain, as you would find regional specialty that should not be missed. The abundance of locally grown fruits and vegetables, proximity to the sea, the natural feed to the animal, the Middle Eastern influence give Spanish food its unique flavor.
The fact the Spanish love to eat and drink can be seen in the fact that in this country lunch usually lasts 2-3 hours followed by the famous siesta. The Spaniards love to take their own time enjoying their meal. If the local are eating out then they often order set meal, which is priced around 10 Euros. The set menu includes salad, seafood, grilled meat, fries, yogurt, or fruit. In the evening, if you are bar hopping as locals do before dinner, then enjoy the wide range to tapas or appetizers that are available at all bars. In fact, you can actually make a full meal of it by combining a variety of tapas.
Of course, you cannot say that Spanish food is the healthiest but the colours and variety will sure tickle your taste buds. There is such a variety to Spanish food that it is difficult to name just a few. However, it would be a shame if you did not any of these local foods when you were in Spain. Here is a list of top 10 foods to try in Spain.
In the summer month, there is nothing more delicious and refreshing like a bowl of Gazpacho in Andalucía in southern Spain to beat the beating sun’s ray. A cold soup never tasted so good. Made from ripest and reddest of tomatoes, it is a smooth blend with olive oil, garlic, peppers, cucumber, and bread. It is served chilled. In addition, of course it is a good hangover cure.
This is one tapas dish that you will find in all bars across the country and that is Patatas bravas. Boiled and then fried chunks of potatoes and doused with spicy tangy sauce, the Patatas bravas. The sauce sweet and spicy pimento varies from province to province. It is the most popular tapas to have with your drinks.
If you happen to be vacationing in the coastal city of Valencia, then do not miss out on the authentic paella, which has gained international fame. This rice based dish with chicken or rabbit, butter beans, runner beans, saffron is made in a big dish on an open fire. However if you are a seafood lover then you can always try the seafood paella with rice, seafood like clams, prawns, fish mussels, calamari, etc. However, if you are adventurous you could try the black rice paella stained by octopus ink.
Tortilla Española or the Spanish omelette as it called by the tourist is one dish that all Spanish know how to make and eat. It is certainly made of potatoes, eggs; onion, salt, and pepper, and sometimes ham, courgettes, chorizo, spinach, etc are added for more flavour. It is unlike any other omelette served in different parts of world under this name. This authentic Spanish omelette is an inch and a half and as big as a plate.
Spanish love their pork and you can see it in a wide range of dishes served here. Chorzio is one such popular favourite. A dried pork sausage that is flavoured with garlic and smoked paprika. You can try the smoked or unsmoked ones both are equally delicious.
One thing that cannot be missed when you walk into a local restaurant or a tapas bar is the Giant legs of jamon hanging in the front. The dry cured ham of acron fed and free roaming pig is one of the treasured foods of the country. Curing the Jamon is an art and age-old technique is used to cure it.
Pulpo a la gallega
Order Pulpo a la gallega when in Galicia. The seafood here is as fresh as it can get. It is boiled octopus seasoned with salt, paprika, and olive oil, typically served on a wooden plate. It is a signature dish of the region and dates back to almost 125 years.
Croquetas de Jamón Serrano
Croquettes are very popular all over Spain with each restaurant serving its own unique recipe. However, the Serrano ham croquettes are one of the most popular with mixture of béchamel and Spanish cured ham. These Croquettes can be so deliciously dangerous, for you can never be sure how many you popped into your mouth while drinking. One is just not enough. If you are looking for some vegetarians one for a change then you can try the one with wild mushrooms and strong blue cheese. They are utterly delicious.
Gambas al ajillo
There is no way that you can miss out on the tantalising aroma of the sizzling prawns when you walk into a local tapas bar in Spain. Fresh shrimps with garlic, olive oil and a dash of sherry make for a mouth-watering dish so very popular all across Spain.
Churros con Chocolate
No Spanish fiesta is complete without the Churros con Chocolate. Who can resist the long, fried, sugary sticks of dough that is served with thick Spanish hot fudgy chocolate? The churros dunked in the sauce tastes like heaven. You will find them everywhere from food trucks to restaurants.
Spanish food can leave a lingering taste long after your Spanish holiday is over. There is so much range and variety that each region offers that you will never short of choice for food in Spain.