One of the best things about visiting Spain is the chance to enjoy some of its glorious local food. There are excellent restaurants, eateries and food markets all throughout the country where you can sample some uniquely Spanish delicacies.
Spanish cuisine reflects the traditional maritime roots of the country, and frequently includes fresh and flavourful seafood. The Mediterranean influences on the cuisine of Spain mean that food here is wholesome, fresh and very healthy.
If you want to taste truly authentic Spanish food at a cheaper price, try venturing away from the tourist areas and find a restaurant where locals dine. You might find that reading the Spanish menu is challenging but the meal will be very much worth it!
When you are in Spain, there are a few very important Spanish dishes that you just have to try:
This is a traditional rice dish which is simmered for hours in an enormous pan over an open fire. It is brought to the table in the very pan it was cooked in and shared between many people. Paella is usually cooked with seafood, chicken, rabbit or pork and is seasoned with many local herbs and spices including fragrant saffron. This hearty and filling dish is a wonderful food to share with friends and family, and its many succulent flavours are very satisfying.
This type of pork sausage originated in the Iberian Peninsula and is spicy and full of flavour due to it being prepared with dried smoked red peppers. Chorizo is eaten in many different ways, from sliced in a sandwich, barbequed, or even simmered in apple cider. There are hundreds of different varieties of chorizo sausage depending on which region of Spain you are in, and each will be made with slightly different ingredients or seasoned with unique combinations of herbs and spices.
While you are in Spain, be sure to order tapas at least once. The term refers more to a style of dining than a particular food, as tapas are a wide variety of appetizers and snacks. They are served with drinks and combined to make a full and varied meal. There are cold tapas such as olives, cheese and bread and warm tapas such as fried baby squid. It is customary for the Spanish to go bar hopping after work and spend the warm evenings drinking wine and nibbling on tapas together. Enjoying tapas with a group of friends encourages conversation as the many different dishes are shared around the table.
You might be used to soup being warm, but after you try this cold tomato-based treat you might change your mind. Gazpacho originated in the region of Andalucía region of southern Spain and is widely consumed throughout the country. In the summertime, this chilled soup is a light and refreshing meal and is often made with fresh and delicious local vegetables and bread. Give it a try and see how tasty this traditional Spanish dish can be on a hot day.
Go ahead and be adventurous on your holidays to Spain and try something you have never tasted before. You might just discover a new favourite meal and fall in love with the fresh and flavourful tastes of Spanish cuisine.