Spanish Cuisine: A tourist's guide
Jul 22 , 2011
While many chefs and cooks attempt to replicate the nuance of Spanish cuisine, you'll only real-ly find the authentic Spanish food by traveling directly to the source of the goodness. Known for the seafood, seasoning, tapas, paella, meat, vegetables, and more.
Traditional Dishes and Common Ingredients in Spanish Cuisine
There are lots of traditional dishes specific to the different regions in Spain and many that are popular across all of Spain. Most widely known for its seafood caught fresh from the waters surrounding the country, Spanish cuisine is rife with thousands of flavors and fresh ingredients.
Vegetables are second in priority to meat, but are unsurprisingly a popular item and often served sautéed and cooked well done. Very common to accompany Spanish dishes is a short to medium grain Spanish rice, which is slightly sticky when cooked.
Aside from the tapas, paella, and cocido are a few other classic items that define Spanish cuisine. The tortilla de patata and the famously sweet churros are a couple plates you must try upon visiting Spain.
The tortilla de patata, also known as the potato omelette is one classic component of Spanish cuisine. It is thick egg omelette that appears similar to a cake. It is made of eggs, potatoes, and onions that are fried in olive oil.
The churros are the guilty pleasure that Spaniards often begin their day with. Churros are a dough-fried pastry often coupled with a thick hot chocolate or espresso in the morning.
Tapas: Little big food
The word “tapas” translates to “lids” because they are a covering to the little pangs of hunger between meals. Tapas are one of the most well-known Spanish inventions and are a staple component to Spanish cuisine.
Every café or bar will serve a selection of tapas, which can include meatballs, potatoes, bread with a topping and much more.
Much like appetizers or small samples, you can find tapas also in special tapas bars, which are probably the best place to enjoy these delicacies.
Paco Pepe is known as the best tapas bar in Spain and likely the world. Visit Paco to acquire an understanding of the true tapa and the bona fide tapas bar experience, a signature aspect of Spanish cuisine. Paco is located in the small village of Gaucin in Malaga, Spain.
Paella: The big one
Paella is a famous Spanish dish made of rice and seafood and gets its name from the pan it is cooked and typically served in, the paellera. There are different varieties of paella. Along with seafood, paella can be cooked with pork, rabbit, or chicken and is typically seasoned with saffron.
To taste the best Paella in Spain, you must visit Valencia. Some of the most well-known restaurants in Valencia where you can experience this fine taste of Spanish cuisine are El Forcart, La Pepica, La Marcelina, and El Rall.
El Cocido: A stew for all seasons
El Cocido is the national dish of Spain, and it translates literally to “cooked.” Cocido is a stew that combines a variety of meats including chicken, sausage, vegetables, and garbonzos, plus hardy potates, and cabbage, carrots, onion, and garlic.
You must search for the best cocido in Madrid, Spain’s capital. One restaurant in particular that offers a special preparation of el cocido is Taberna de la Daniela.
Now that you know what’s at stake, check out some of the best Madrid restaurants.