Spain’s typical dishes

Who says Spain means good food, appreciated all over the world. In fact, how to resist the famous paella? Or how not to drink the queen of summer parties, namely sangria?

sangria_afrutada Photo CC-BY-SA Juan Emilio Prades Bel

The list of Spanish cuisine is very long: potato tortilla, grilled octopus, chorizo, gazpacho, paella of course, not forgetting the tapas (it is not a dish but many tastings of various specialties that many bars serve as an accompaniment to appetizers, or in wine tasting). Then there are also the typical products such as Jamon Serrano (mountain ham) or Pata Negra, the most expensive ham in the world.

The typical Spanish cuisine is made of many incredible dishes, but some are less known (but no less good!). From North to South, the various specialties reflect the regions of origin even though many have been influenced by the culinary culture of the peoples who have occupied Spain in the past.

All coastal areas of the Mediterranean or the Atlantic side prefer the dishes of fish or seafood, of course. On the other hand, in the inland areas is more often proposed meat- based dishes. In all cases, however, all the vegetables and typical Mediterranean vegetables, such as tomatoes and peppers, are part of most recipes throughout the Spanish territory.

When you come to Spain, to Madrid by plane or by ferry to Barcelona or Alicante, you already know that some dishes such as gazpacho or paella are part of traditional Spanish dishes and you will expect to try them as soon as you can. But if you take the time to know a little better the territory, you’ll get the opportunity to discover many other local specialties that will make you appreciate even more the traditional Spanish cuisine.

paella
Photo CC-BY 2.0 Manuel Martin Vicente

For example, it is thought that the cod is cooked mainly in neighbouring Portugal, but in Spain there are some very tasty recipes that showcase  a very particular taste for this dried or salted fish.

The COSTA BRAVA COD is such a rich dish that constitutes a full meal, not only for the inhabitants of the region of origin. This consists of pan-fried cod fillets to which are added boiled potatoes and cooked in a fish broth with the addition of tomatoes.

The SPANISH COD is just as rich and tasty: the fish is first boiled then plunges into a sauce made with broth and white wine, and it will be added anchovies, mushrooms and shrimp and finish with the addition of whipped egg yolks and parsley.

Even the recipe of the Barcelona-style LAMB  is quite complex, actually a soup with mutton stew cooked in broth and  lamb breast; the stew is passed into the eggs, garlic and onion and then in flour and fried, then to put it back in the pot with tomato sauce.

The BASQUE KID  is cooked in such a simpler way but just as tasty: you brown the pieces of meat with a lot of onions, salt and pepper, then add hot water and, after 40 minutes, the rice and let cook all for another 15 minutes.

COSTA BRAVA ARTICHOKES  are first emptied, then filled with minced meat flavoured with onion and herbs, and it will be cooked in the oven, after being placed upon a base of chopped tomatoes.

The most famous Spanish sweet pudding is without a doubt the Catalan cream. There are still many others, but one of the most popular throughout Spain are the pancakes or Buñuelos. These pancakes may include other ingredients such as for example the fruit, and are based on eggs, sugar and flour with the addition of milk or liquor, to form a batter to be fried. Some recipes replace the sweets with other savory ingredients like mushrooms or spinach and the Bunuelos thus become a starter or side dish.

The sangria is undoubtedly the most popular Spanish drink and certainly welcomed in many festivals around the world. But since everyone already know about it we want to talk instead of a Spanish cocktails less known but very good. This is the CAP FINISTERRE. Try it right away! We do not know the exact origin of the name but legends say that the cocktail was invented by one of the captains rounding on his boat Cape Finisterre in the north-west Spain. The barmen put three ice cubes in a shaker with two glasses of ginger then they add lemon juice, one tablespoon of honey and a small glass of Calvados, then whisk vigorously.

There is a great variety of Spanish wines, but one in particular has crossed the boundaries of the region of origin to be appreciated all over the world; it is the MALAGA. This fortified, sweet wine is born in Andalusia and is amazing particularly after lunch with desserts, puddings or cookies.

The recipes here are certainly less widely reported than those that we usually see when researching about Spanish recipes but very worthy. Try them all once you arrive in Spain, and look for the local places to taste them. Enjoy your meal!

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