On your way to Spain? Fabulous! You probably have a full itinerary of places to get to when you are finally there. Or if you are lacking behind, check out Spain trip planner to help you with that. Whatever the case may be, do not forget that one of the most important particles that forms any culture is the food. Exceptional, tasty, authentic food. And the Spanish are very proud of their cuisine, as they should be. With traditions as old as theirs, naturally, there are many national dishes, but here are the 5 best ones which you should definitely taste.
A rice dish, originally coming from the city of Valencia. Its Spanish name is paella valenciana and it is made out of grain rice, peas, rabbit, chicken and vegetables, all cooked in olive oil or chicken broth. There is also paella de marisco which is a seafood paella and the meat is replaced by fish and other marine products, also omitting vegetables. This dish has a rich taste as all the ingredients perfectly mix together with Spanish seasoning and its texture is very soft. You will probably find paella on the menu of every national food restaurant in the country so make sure to find one during your trip!
Originated in Andalusia, gazpacho is a cold soup made of raw, blended vegetables. It is usually served as one of the classic Spanish appetizers, also known as tapas. The basis of the soup are tomatoes and cucumbers, and both locals and tourists love to have gazpacho in the summertime as it is cold and refreshing. Traditionally, this soup is drunk from a glass or a traditional Spanish bowl. Other complementary ingredients are garlic, olive oil, onions, vinegar and water. Just as paella, gazpacho is usually found at every Spanish cuisine restaurant, so definitely order it for a great start of the meal.
One of the most typical and the most expensive tapa in Spain is Jamon Iberico – Iberian ham. With ruby red color, smooth texture and rich, savory taste this pork meat is sold in both little provinces and big cities. You can buy big chunks of it in markets of Barcelona or Madrid, and the best part is that you keep on curing it later on. The flavor matches perfectly with cheese, olives and wine which makes it a great picnic food.
If you plan on going through the biggest cities of Spain, searching for the most authentic and specialized food markets, definitely check the Barcelona to Madrid train, for a more comfortable way of travelling.
Spanish tortilla, or Spanish omelette, another one of the signature dishes in Spanish cuisine, is made of potatoes, eggs and caramelized onions. It is unique in the way that you can eat this as any course of the day, or even as a tapa. Do not let the name fool you – Spanish omelette does not look like a traditional omelette at all, it has more resemblance to a quiche. Sometimes, the omelette is squeezed between slices of bread which makes for a delicious sandwich. If you end up enjoying it, you can definitely try making it at home as the recipe is short and very easy to follow.
Pulpo A La Gallega
Both the name and the dish are a mouthful. This is one of the most fancy dishes in Spain – a boiled octopus. It is prepared by dipping the octopus into a cauldron with boiling water. After the tips of the tentacles curl and the octopus is done cooking, it is seasoned with salt and both sweet and chilli paprika. The head can be both left on or disregarded, that depends on the preference. Though Pulpo A La Gallega sounds quite extreme, we highly recommend at least trying it. Who knows, maybe this is the national dish you will love the most?
Get the full Spanish experience by saying yes to these new flavors in your life. Make sure to compliment the locals if you end up enjoying their food which we hope you will, and if you do, we guarantee you will be craving for more soon enough.