Spain is one of my favorite countries – not only because it has beautiful, vibrant cities like Barcelona and Madrid, but also because it has absolutely delicious food. The following five foods are typical for Spain and you should definitely try all of them if you have the time.
Paella is a dish from Valencia, but you can find it in restaurants, pubs and bars all over Spain. It is rice cooked either in a fish or a vegetable stock – then, chicken, fish, shrimps, clams, and several other types of sea food is added. In the traditional paella, the chicken is substituted with rabbit.
However, if you order vegetable paella, carrots, peas, asparagus and other vegetables will replace your meat and fish.
Remember that many restaurants only prepare paella for at least two people, because the paella is always freshly made in a pan above a fire, and the smallest pan serves two people.
2. Pan con tomate
Pan con tomate translates to “bread with tomato” – and that is essentially what it is. The bread is first toasted, and then a mixture of grated tomato with garlic is distributed on the bread. Traditionally, first a garlic clove and then a cut up tomato is “rubbed” onto the bread to spread the juice equally. Then, olive oil is poured over it.
This is a really simple dish but as delicious as it sounds.
Gazpacho is a cold soup made from pureed tomatoes, cucumbers, paprika, garlic, onions, and vinegar. Traditionally, shrimps are then added to the mixture as a topping. Gazpacho is usually served in a mug and eaten without a spoon.
4. Patatas bravas
This translates to “spicy potatoes”, which already describes this dish pretty well. The potatoes are just cooked and cut up and then fried in a pan to give them a little crust. They are then topped with brava-sauce, a sauce made from paprika, barbecue-sauce, red pepper, chili, and vinegar.
Patatas bravas can also be served with alioli instead of brava-sauce, a white garlic sauce.
This is usually eaten in tapas bars, together with things like tortilla or pan con tomate.
Tortilla is another dish typically served as “pinchos” (small pieces) in tapas bars. It is made by frying cut-up potatoes in oil until they are cooked through. Then, onions, salt and pepper is added and mixed well. After that, eggs are added to the mixture and it is fried like a pancake, and then flipped until it is cooked. The tortilla can be eaten warm or cold, and goes well with some salad, other tapas, or just with alioli.
This is actually not a food, but too delicious to exclude from this list. Sangria is red wine mixed with orange juice, vermouth, and several spices. Chopped up fruits like oranges and lemons are then also added and the mixture is stored for 24 hours in the fridge. Shortly before serving, fizzy water is added.