Food in Spain is more than just a way to satisfy hunger. Are you looking at holidaying in Spain? Check the ETIAS requirements and whether an ETIAS application is needed. Many citizens traveling to Europe from outside of the Schengen zone may need the European Travel Authorization known as ETIAS.
Spanish dishes vary according the time of the day they are enjoyed. This is not unique to Spain, of course, since we all know about breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks in between.
Desayuno, the continental-style Spanish breakfast, is eaten shortly after waking and before embarking on the work or school day. Think coffee, chocolate drinks, milk, Marie biscuits, magdalenas, and churros. Toasted bread is a must and are typically flavored and fancied with butter, oil, and tomato.
Many workers will slip in a mid-morning snack of some kind, sometimes referred to as El almuerzo which is also the term for lunch. This is because the large midday meal that is lunch is a long way off from breakfast, enjoyed usually between 2 and 3.30 in the afternoon. After the meal, the Spanish will follow up with sobremesa, which simply means table talk. The Spanish term for lunch is el almuerzo or la comida, which translates simply to the food.
This meal can constitute several courses in a restaurant with as many as six choices for each course. Lunch in the home is usually a lesser affair with one or two courses and a dessert. Spanish food served at midday usually includes a soup dish, salad, a fish or a meat dish and a dessert of a sweet something, fruit, or yoghurt.
It is also common to enjoy Tapas before or during lunch or dinner. These are small portions in the form of appetizers, commonly albóndigas (meatballs), mejillones en escabeche (marinated mussels), gildas, callos, torreznos or raxo de cerdo.
La merienda is much like afternoon tea at around 6 in the evening as an afternoon snack between lunch and supper. Coffee is a norm at this time along with a sweet treat, sandwich, and fruit.
La cena is the Spanish term for the meal that is dinner or supper, eaten between 8:30 and 11 at night. This is a one course meal followed by a dessert.
Eating and drinking are importantly integral in the Spanish culture. Spanish food is very aptly described in just one word and that is Mediterranean. The Mediterranean diet that is the pride of Spaniards offers the healthiest food that is indubitably of the best in the world. Mediterranean cuisine as the basis of food in Spain. Spanish dishes are therefore made up of a variety of ingredients central of which is fruit, vegetables, legumes, bread, pasta, rice, grains, nuts, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, seafood, fish, meat, cheese, and yogurt. And of course served with a local wine.
Tortilla De Patatas
Of the many Spanish dishes, this one is celebrated as a national dish. Essentially an omelet made with eggs and potatoes, onion is arguably an optional addition, depending on individual preference. This is a firm favorite food in Spain.
Another well-known food in Spain is yet another form of the humble Spanish omelet, this one prepared using inter alia chorizo, peppers, and onions. It is argued though that potatoes and eggs should be the only ingredients.
Diced potatoes are lightly fried and added to the egg mixture to be fried some more at high heat. When flipping to turn the tortilla it is tradition to declare Olé! when successful.
This rice dish is originally from Valencia. It is therefore almost unanimously regarded by Spaniards as a dish from the Valencian region while non-Spaniards are convinced it is top of the national Spanish dishes. Whatever the viewpoint, paella is inarguably an identifying symbol and of the best-known dishes in Spain. The main ingredients are saffron-flavored rice, chicken, and seafood, cooked and served in the traditional large, shallow pan that gives the dish its name – paella.
This specific dish links the Spanish cooking tradition with the Latin American cuisine. The flavorful Dominican Locrio is a one-pot rice dish cooked with a variety of ingredients such as meat (chicken, pork, or seafood), vegetables, and spices. If curious to taste more dishes like the Locrio and to compare them to the European cuisine, you can visit the Dominican Republic. A place of rich culture and traditions. If heading to the Dominican Republic, do not forget to obtain the mandatory entry permit – the DR e-Ticket.
Central to Spanish cuisine in its original state or as the all-important olive oil, the taste and presence are somehow enhanced when enjoyed in Spain. In Spain, the little bowl of olives makes its appearance as an accompaniment to drinks or simply as a snack before meals.
The classic Spanish food is a tender melt-in-the-mouth taste delight. This juicy and rich dish of pork cheeks or beef cheeks is braised to perfection and typically soaked in a delicious sauce of some kind.
The name of this Spanish stew that is served as a main meal literally translates as rotten pot, which sounds less than appealing. It is best to think of the word adapted into English as olio, which is defined as a spiced meat and vegetable that has its origins in Spain and Portugal. It is in fact a specialty of the city of Burgos. This definition gives the idea therefore of a dish of various ingredients. Talking of ingredients, olla podrida is made with chickpeas or beans thrown together with meats and vegetables. Meats such as pork, ham, bacon, partridge, beef, chicken, and sausage. Carrots, potatoes, leeks, cabbage, and onions are typically the veggies in the pot. The pot to be more specific was traditionally on of clay and the cooking process took several hours.
Also known by the name Tostón asado, cochinillo asado is well known in Castile and is broadly speaking a roast suckling pig. It is a popular Spanish food in Madrid and in the regions of Aragón and La Mancha. Traditionally it is roasted in the oven and then served hot with a crispy crust in the same earthenware pot in which it is roasted. Yes, the roast piglet is normally served with an apple in the mouth.
Rabo De Toro
This is of the most traditional of Spanish dishes and is made by stewing bull’s tail.
Translated as brace potatoes, this staple of the classic tapas menu is unusual because of its inherently spicy sauce. Cubed potatoes are shallow fried and served with a fiery sauce uncharacteristic of Spanish food, such as spicy ketchup or garlic mayonnaise dusted with pimiento or smoked paprika.
Spain’s famous Andalusian tomato-based soup is served cold which comes as rather a surprise to the uninitiated and blissfully ignorant. It is made with tomato, peppers, garlic, bread, and lashings of olive oil.
Pimientos de Padron
No self-respecting Spanish tapas menus will be without pimientos de Padron, named after the town of its origin in Galicia, in Spain’s rainy northwest. The dish is fried green peppers served with salt. Its appeal lies in the Russian Roulette factor! Among the innocently sweet and mild flavored peppers is an occasional fiery hot interloper to surprise the taste buds.
Spain is not really known for its pastas, and yet here we have fideuà, Spain’s answer to vermicelli. Known around and about Catalonia and Valencia as a rival to paella, prepared as it is in a paella dish, it is a tasty part of local seafood dishes.
A celebrated Spanish food, Jamón is a cured ham made of a leg of ham preserved by salting and hanging to dry. The most common is Jamón Serrano (of the mountain), prepared using the meat of white pigs, while Jamón Iberico is more expensive and made from the meat of black pigs. The ham is thinly sliced to melt in the mouth when eaten typically with bread.
A decadently moreish delight, this snack is made by frying sausage-shaped dough pastry and then tossing them in sugar. Often sold by roadside vendors at street parties and fiestas, they absolutely should be enjoyed dipped in hot melted chocolate.
This delightfully tasty, sweet treat is the ideal item with which to end any mention of food in Spain. More ideal would be getting to Spain to partake of as many of these Spanish dishes as you can manage. All that is left to be said is Viajes Seguros and Bon Appetit!