With seventeen autonomous regions, Spain is full of diverse landscapes and culture, and as you can imagine, food and wine! Though the country has a diverse cuisine, the foundation of Spanish cooking is simple: it’s all about using the freshest local produce to make traditional dishes from old family recipes. From tasty tapas to mouthwatering seafood and traditional stews, Spanish food has won the hearts (and stomachs!) of many.
Here are 8 must-try foods in Spain for your next trip!
Discover authentic Spanish food
Paella in Barcelona!
Of course we have to start with paella! Our recommendation is to try it in Barcelona. Originating in Valencia, paella has evolved from a rice dish that was mixed with rabbit, snails and vegetables. Now Spain’s most well-known dish, it is enjoyed with fish, seafood or chicken and of course, lots of sangria!
Talking about how simple the basis of foods in Span is, Tortilla Española is a perfect example; this Spanish omelet is made out of eggs, potatoes and onions. Seriously that’s it, and yet every one tastes different and everyone insists that their mother makes the best! Perfectly cooked by slow frying the potatoes and onions in lots of olive oil, before mixing in beaten eggs, you haven’t tried something truly delicious until you’ve tried this!
Try traditional Spanish food from a Spaniard’s family recipes first hand. You won’t regret it!
The Spanish absolutely love their ham and at the top of the leader board is Jamón Ibérico. This quality ham obtains its distinctive nutty flavor purely from what the black Iberian pigs eat: acorns! It is often enjoyed with pieces of toast covered in garlic, tomato, a drizzle of olive oil and the flavorful jamón – an exquisite lunch you’ll just have to try for yourself!
Experience a magical Iberian dinner with a local and discover the beautiful city of Madrid in a different light!
Gazpacho, a refreshing cold tomato soup, originated in the region of Andalusia and now is widely eaten throughout Spain and Portugal, especially in the summer. A perfect dish served al fresco on a hot summer’s day, Gazpacho is refreshingly cool yet has a subtle tartness and acidity that gives you a much needed kick into action. Looking for foods in Spain that will give you a much needed respite from the sun? Gazpacho won’t let you down!
How do the Spaniards cope with the scorching sun? Have a gourmet Spanish dinner with locals and find out!
You can’t talk about the foods in Spain without mentioning the most prevalent tapas dish in the country: Patatas Bravas! Although the dish varies around each region of Spain, the components are similar, including chunks of fried potato with a tomato-like sauce. In Madrid, they make a sweet and spicy bravas sauce, rather than tomatoes, using Spanish paprika, olive oil, flour and stock. Again, simple but delicious!
See first hand the variations that each tapas dish can have by enjoying wine and tapas with this Barcelona couple!
Gambas al Ajillo
Gambas al Ajillo is something that you can try in any bar and believe me you will. As soon as you see someone receiving it, with its earthenware dish of sizzling prawns, the tantalising aroma hitting your nose, you’ll be saying “I’ll have what they are having!” A simple combination of fried garlic, green chilli and olive oil mixed in with prawns and parsley, this tapas dish couldn’t be any tastier.
Nobody loves tapas more than the locals, so enjoy a fusion tapas experience at a loft in Barcelona!
Pollo al Ajillo
Another dish that is often passed down each family member is Pollo al Ajillo or garlic chicken. Unpeeled cloves of garlic are fried in olive oil and removed before cooking the chicken in its juices. When that is cooked, the garlic goes back in with some rosemary, thyme and dry sherry or white wine and ta-da! A perfect and mouthwatering Pollo al Ajillo! There is no definitive recipe for this much-loved dish so explore each region or eat it with a local Spaniard who will insist their Grandma’s recipe is the best anyway!
Experience why Grandma’s cooking is the best with a hand’s on cooking experience!
Chocolate and Churros
What better way to end our must-try foods in Spain list than with something for the dessert lovers! Perhaps one of the best known desserts in Madrid, and a delicacy all around Spain, chocolate and churros is something that you cannot miss when you travel here.
Warning though, once you try them once, you will be hooked and you will eat nothing else all holiday! Delicious and light doughnut-like sticks sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon, this dish can be enjoyed any time of day. Do as the locals do and dip it in your coffee in the morning or in a hot cup of chocolate and drink the rest!
Discover other Spanish delicacies in a local food tour of the famous Boqueria Market!
So, has this list left you salivating at the thought of trying these delicious creations? If so, step away from the screen and get to Spain to devour its regions! If you don’t know where to start, the best place to begin and discover foods in Spain is with the locals.
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