Heavily influenced by historical events that formed the local culture and societal norms, Spanish cuisine is some of Europe’s Iberian Peninsula territories. The geographical and climatic influence is easily noticed on the cooking methods and
Heavily influenced by historical events that formed the local culture and societal norms, Spanish cuisine is some of Europe’s Iberian Peninsula territories. The geographical and climatic influence is easily noticed on the cooking methods and the ingredients used. Spain is an incredibly rich food culture, and it is always exciting to find new foods to try. Each region has its own distinct, and incredible food specialties, like Paella, is originally from Valencia. There is always something to eat when visiting any city in Spain. So without no further ado, here are 10 Spanish delicacies that you certainly should not miss!
1. Paella – Writing an article about Spanish food and missing out Paella would be blasphemy! A world-famous Spanish rice dish, Paella is comfort food that is often cooked in giant batches on large and round paella plates. It is piled high with meat and seafood and served with lemons. Created in Valencia, this dish is now found everywhere around Spain. However, in Valencia, they do not use seafood as protein on the rice but rabbit meat. Yes, it does taste different, and there are different variations throughout Spain, such as Arroz Marinero Gallego from Galicia where they use only mussels and no meat. In one sentence, this dish is a must when visiting Spain!
2. Gazpacho – Often described as a cold soup, this dish is instead a liquid salad! Gazpacho consists of fresh tomatoes, fresh cucumbers, fresh peppers, olive oil, vinegar, garlic, and salt. It is often thickened with bread and onions. These are the original ingredients. It is one of the must-try dishes when visiting Spain. This dish has made its way through everyone’s heart all around the world!
3. Patatas Bravas – A popular vegetarian dish, patatas bravas is coarsely chopped and crisp potatoes covered with spicy tomato paprika sauce and aioli. This dish is mainly served as an appetizer or tapas in bars and restaurants. The potatoes are fried and extremely fluffy inside and are piled high on a plate then topped with a secret blend of tomato sauce, paprika, garlic, chili powder, and sugar. The sauces vary from the chefs, but it does not matter as these are delicious no matter what!
4. Lechazo Asada – Considered a true specialty in Arande de Duero, lechazo asado is a roasted baby lamb with crackling skin and tender meat. This dish is unique in the way it is raised, that is only on milk, which makes the meat especially tender and delicious. In the regions of Castile-Leon, the lamb is often replaced by a suckling pig and cooked in the same way. This is one dish you should not miss at all!
5. Tortilla Espanola or Spanish tortilla – One of the most popular dishes in Spain, this is traditionally made with eggs and potatoes, and sometimes other ingredients are added. The perfect appetizer to accompany drinks! Do notice that the potatoes are tender and melt in your mouth even if the egg is still a bit runny in the middle. It is recommended to head out early in the morning so that you don’t miss this delicious food! This dish has no resemblance to a Mexican tortilla.
6. Tortilla de Patata – If a tapas bar does not have this dish on their menu, then you are not in Spain! Even though this has a resemblance with Tortilla Espanola, this dish is often adorned with zucchini and served as a vegetarian option.
7. Spanish chorizo – Seasoned with spices including Spanish smoked paprika, this cured and fermented pork sausage is spicy and sweet in flavor. Originated from the Iberian peninsula, it can now be found through Spain. It is eaten as it is or with cheese and bread, and can be included in many other dishes. Spanish chorizo has no resemblance with its Mexican variety, and it can be sold raw and can be crumbly.
8. Grilled Octopus (Pulpo) – A delicious dish that is often flavored simply with paprika and olive oil, grilled octopus is commonly known as Polbo a Feira or Pulpo a la Gallega in Spanish. This dish is mostly served in tapas bars or seafood restaurants.
9. Rabo de Toro – Forget the traditional bullfighting and discover this Spanish delicacy in your plates! Rabo de toro (stewed bull’s tail) is one of the most authentic dishes. Having its origins in the 16th century Cordoba, this dish is mainly prepared with oxtail with a mix of sophisticated ingredients in a slow-cooking process which makes the meat melt in your mouth. The ingredients do vary from one recipe to the next with mostly vegetables being included in the preparation. There is some version of this stewed bull’s tail to contain a bit of wine (Jerez) or even chocolate.
10. Churros – Well, I started with a world-famous dish so I’ll end with one! Churros is a dessert that can be served as breakfast, snack, or dessert. These are very popular in Spain and can be found all over the country. Cylindrical ropes of fried dough, it is rolled in cinnamon and sugar and often served with a cup of warm chocolate for dipping. Even if you are on a diet, this delectable dessert is hard to resist!
If you are tempted to have any of these delicious dishes, then head to Vela Mayor Tapas & Bar in Miami, Florida. It has the best rooftop party and amazing meals for everyone!