If there is one universal truth when visiting Spain, it is that there is no reason for you to go hungry. You can find food markets, food vendors, and restaurants of every variety in all the inner cities. You can also find roadside restaurants throughout Spain at regular intervals.
What makes the Spanish cuisine so special is its freshness. Add in the fact that you can enjoy a wide variety of regional dishes, and we cannot ignore the plentiful availability of quality seafood either. You can find a variety of produce in most of the Spanish supermarkets. These are some of the favorites that you have to look out for:
It would be almost impossible not to mention paella when talking about Spanish delicacies. This rice dish is typically prepared over an open fire in a large pot. It includes plenty of fish, chicken, meat, and a variety of vegetables.
Even though Catalonia is home to the dish, you can now get it throughout Spain, presented in a number of different ways. Every cook is going to make different paella, meaning that it is worth trying different restaurants to find a variation that you love. One good idea is to avoid some of the more ‘touristy’ paella restaurants and focus on where the locals eat. This is where you get quality Paella.
If you are in Spain on a hot summer’s day, this perfectly refreshing drink is served ice cold. It comes from Catalonia, but the original concept came from the Muslim presence in Valencia between the 8th and 13th centuries. You pour sugar, water, and tigernuts (chufas) over ice.
One additional bonus is that this is drinkable for people who follow a vegan or vegetarian diet, it is made from a plant. You can often get these alongside fartons – which is a sweet pastry that you can dip into the Horchata. Oh and do not be deceived by the name, tigernuts are not actually nuts, meaning that even people who have a nut allergy can enjoy these.
This soup originally came from Andalusia (the Southern part of Spain) but it has since spread across the country. The earliest recipe came from fieldworkers who would combine vinegar, olive oil, water, salt, garlic, and stale bread into a wooden bowl. They would add tomatoes as well, but only if they were lucky enough to have them.
Today you can get gazpacho all over the world, including most of the restaurants in Spain. Just like paella, every restaurant has its own recipe for gazpacho. During the summer, you are going to have chilled gazpacho (with ice) this is not only healthy, but also very refreshing. You can get an Ajo Blanco (white garlic), variant in Andalusia that is made with olive oil, vinegar, garlic, bread, and almonds.
It should be clear by now that the Spanish cuisine liberally uses pork products. The country is extremely proud of its pork products, and deservedly so. One of the favorites for many people is chorizo. This is a pork sausage that you can get smoked and unsmoked, and is often flavored with ingredients like garlic and smoked paprika.
The taste of chorizo is salty, savory, and undeniably delicious. Some of the variations are sweeter (dulce) while others are spicy (picante). This sausage goes well with anything ranging from a baguette with cheese to using it in an authentic Spanish dish.
The Spanish omelet is undoubtedly one of the most popular dishes throughout the country. It includes potatoes, onions, eggs, and sometimes ham, peppers, or chorizo. You can eat it as an appetizer (tapa), on a sandwich, or even eat it as a light dinner.
One thing to note is that it is a lot heftier than most of the omelets that we know, it is the size of the plate and an inch and a half thick. A few variations include eggplant, mushrooms, zucchini, and green peppers.
Churros con Chocolate
This is a perfect option if you are seeking something sweet. This is a combination of a cup of thick Spanish hot chocolate and sugary, fried sticks of dough. This is not ‘weak’ chocolate either. This is almost like fudge, rich and dark.
Especially if you just want a quick sugar fix, this is a great snack to split with two people. If you really need some tips on how to eat this, dip the fried dough into the chocolate – insert into mouth – done! This is a delicious option whether you eat it for breakfast, a snack throughout the day, or a dessert at night.
These are some of the most popular tapas dishes in Spain, and like the gazpacho and paella, these are different everywhere you go. Patatas bravas are potatoes that are first boiled and then fried. They are then drizzled in a spicy, tangy sauce.
Depending on the city that you go to, you also get a different creamy sauce to go along with your order. Especially if you combine this with the first sauce, it makes for a great balance. You can often find these in bars or as appetizers. Again, try them in different locations because the variety is astounding.
The foods and wines listed here are the essence of Spain. They are some of the most representative Spanish foods. Every region of Spain has its own delicacy and trying them is the most wonderful way of enjoying your trip. Regardless of where you go in Spain, you are going to find a number of amazing delicacies.