Spanish Foods to Satisfy
From glistening beaches to medieval castles, from rugged mountain ranges to peaceful country villages, there is truly a little bit of everything for visitors to experience in Spain. Quaint ancient towns inspire a feeling of calm serenity while vibrant flamenco dancers and valiant bullfighters, adorned in the customary rich red and black attire grant a glimpse into the country’s well-loved and time-honored traditions. Everywhere you go there is an underlying feeling of passion and an intense zest for life that makes this country so magical to visit. One of the best ways to truly experience the beauty and uniqueness of Spain is by tasting some of the traditional dishes that have been prepared there for generations. Here are 5 foods that top our “must-try” list.
This traditional rice dish can be found in just about every kitchen, café and restaurant throughout Spain. It’s typically prepared with the delectable spice saffron and cooked alongside chicken or seafood. It is by far the most popular dish in the country and once you get a taste you’ll understand why. A visit to Spain simply wouldn’t be complete without consuming this delicious treat.
Classical Spanish cuisine tends to be very pork-centric, particularly cured ham. If you were to introduce an analogy you could equate pork to Spain as you would Champagne to France. Jamon is the Spanish word for ham, and trust us – you’ll see it on the menu wherever you go. The two most popular varieties of pork dishes are jamon Serrano and jamon iberico, which means “the best of the best” and refers to pigs raised on acorns. It may not sound appetizing, but it’s actually quite delicious.
When most people think of soup they envision a steamy concoction that brings warmth on cold nights and comforts the soul. The Spanish answer to soup is Gazpacho, which is quite the opposite. Served raw and cold, it is an interesting vegetable based dish that is particularly popular during the warm summer months and along the coastal areas. It is delightfully refreshing and a unique spin on a traditional fare. Try it – you’ll be surprised.
Tortilla Espanola/Tortilla de Patatas
This dish’s Spanish name makes it sound a bit more complicated than it actually is. It’s basically a large, thick omelet filled with cubed potatoes. It can be served plain or with additional ingredients such as green peppers, chorizo, mushrooms, or diced ham. Whichever way it’s prepared, this dish is truly a favorite among the locals and is best described as traditional comfort food. Bring your appetite, though. You’ll need it to eat one of these!
Gambas al ajillo
Given the country’s close proximity to the ocean, it’s no wonder seafood dishes are so popular in Spain. One of the best is gambas al ajillo, which is made up of fresh shrimp cooked in a delicious garlic and olive oil base. It’s simple yet mouthwatering and it’ll most certainly have you coming back for seconds.
Whether its rest and relaxation, cultural discovery, or excitement and adventure you’re after, Spain offers all of this and so much more. From its diverse and beautiful landscape to its rich historical roots, and age-old traditions which blend seamlessly into the modern era, a visit to Spain promises to be unique and unforgettable. Spanish cuisine is no exception. Much like the people and traditions of Spain, the food prepared there is filled with spice and personality. Taste it and you’ll experience the true flavor of this incredible country.