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An A-Z of the Best Food and Drink Spain Has to Offer

8 May 2018

¡Bienvenidos todos! I’m now over three months into my semester abroad here in Ciudad Real and I’ve very much been enjoying everything Spain has to offer, especially the food! I love exploring all aspects of the Spanish culture, but as a foodie discovering all of the tasty delights Spain has to offer is definitely one of the best!  Since there are so many dishes out here to try, I’ve decided to compile some of the main ones into a list. ¡Aqui vamos! (here we go!)

Aceite de oliva- (Olive oil)- un ingrediente muy importante de la dieta mediterránea. Podemos encontrarlo en todas partes. Unas gotas de aceite de olive marcan una diferencia grande en la comida.

Bocadillos- They’re essentially baguettes, so not a revolutionary or mind-blowing idea as we do have sandwiches in the UK, but there’s something special about the humble bocadillo. Perhaps it’s something to do with the fillings. In Spain, calamari and Spanish tortilla topped with mayonnaise are among the most common fillings, along with the more classic fillings of cheese and ham.

Churros- Un plato típico de España muy delicioso, especialmente con chocolate fundido. Cuando llegues a España, localizar una churrería debe ser una prioridad.

Dulce de leche- un sirope de caramelo cremoso y pesado que puede acompañar a los churros.

Empanada- it’s sort of like a pasty but less flaky. It’s typically filled with meat, fish or vegetables and a flavoursome tomato sauce. Interestingly, the word “empanada” comes from the Spanish verb “empanar” which means to wrap in bread!

Fabada- This is a hearty Spanish bean and sausage stew, traditionally made in Asturias.

Gambas al ajillo- (prawns in fried garlic) ¡Un plato sabroso, aromático y sencillo!

Hornazo- This meat pie from the area of Salamanca and Ávila is normally filled with pork loin, chorizo and boiled eggs.

Iberian ham- (Jamón ibérico). Spain is well known for the ham it produces from free-range black Iberian pigs, in fact it is the world’s number one producer and also consumer of dry-cured ham. You won’t be able to walk into a supermarket in Spain without seeing about a hundred cured legs of pork.

Juice- specifically orange juice (Zumo de Naranja) It’s naturally so incredibly sweet without a hint of sourness and is often made fresh in cafés- so much nicer here than in the UK! This is something I’ve definitely taken advantage of since being in Spain!

K– I’m going to cheat a bit here and use another C instead of a K…  Croquetas- They’re made by mixing together cured meats or fish with béchamel sauce and then fried. They are often served as tapas. A tapas is sort of like a mini portion of a dish where you have 2/3 (or more!) different tapas dishes which then equate to one meal.

Leche frita- (Fried milk) Me parecía un plato muy extraño, pero este postre tiene un centro lechoso y cremoso además de una lámina crujiente.  Son parecidas a las torrijas, un otro postre español muy conocido.

Mariscos-(Seafood) Son extremadamente prominente en la comida Española, y una cosa que me di cuenta cuando llegué a España es que el calamar es muy popular.

Natillas- Un postre de leche, azúcar, huevos, canela y vainilla.

Octopus (Pulpo) – Octopus is a surprisingly popular dish here in Spain, and is particularly famous in Galicia where they seasoned it with paprika. I’ve heard it’s quite tasty, but I haven’t managed to try it yet- I can’t quite bring myself to eat it, I think it’s something to do with the tentacles…

Patatas bravas- Patatas fritas con salsa picante.

Queso. Hay más de 150 tipos diferentes de quesos en España. Quesos típicos son Manchego que es fuerte, Arzúa que es cremoso y quesos azules como Cabrales.

Rabo de toro- Un estofado tradicional andaluz de rabo de buey, zanahorias y cebollas.

Spanish omelette (tortilla española) – This is one of those staple dishes I love that’s always delicious and I could eat all the time without getting bored. It’s made with egg and potato and sometimes onion and is common all over Spain. I like to eat it accompanied by pickles, bread and mayonnaise.

Tostada con tomate- (Tomatoes on toast)- Este plato es muy simple y delicioso y podemos encontrarlo en todas partes. A veces, se acompaña a jamón ibérico y siempre a aceite de oliva. Se hace fácilmente y es uno de mis platos favoritos.

Spanish ratatoUille- (Pisto)- Me chifla la versión francesa de este plato entonces querría mucho probar la versión Española. Esta versión es una mezcla de tomates, calabacines, pimientos, cebollas, ajo y aceite de olive. El toque diferente es la incorporación de un huevo frito o de chorizo.

Valencian cuisine- Valencia is known for making gazpacho as well as one of Spain’s most famous and delicious dishes; Paella (but more on this below!). Other famous dishes include arroz  negro- rice with squid and squid ink, and Fideuá, a dish sort of similar to paella but made with noodles instead of rice.

Wine- Spain is renowned for its wine and is often drunk at meal times. Tinto de verano is a popular drink here in Spain and is made by mixing together tinto de verano (a red wine) and lemonade.

Xató- a Catalonian sauce made with almonds, hazelnuts, breadcrumbs, vinegar, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Usually served with an endive salad- yes, I know I’m really scraping the barrel with this one, there aren’t a lot of choices starting with “x”!

Y– PaeLLa- technically double “L” makes a “Y” sound in Spanish, so I don’t think I’m breaking any rules! Paella is a signature dish well-known across the whole of Spain. It is an amazing rice-based dish made with seafood or chicken (or sometimes both) or even just vegetables. The very traditional Valencian paella is made with chicken or rabbit, beans and vegetables. It’s also surprisingly easy to make!

GaZpacho- Una sopa fría y muy fresca, de tomate, pepino, aceite de oliva, pan rancio, vinagre de vino, ajo, sal y pimienta.


Muchas gracias por leer este blog y ¡buen provecho! (bon appétit!, enjoy your meal!)


Un Poco de Vocabulario

Localizar- locate, pinpoint

Marcar una diferencia- to make a big difference

Encontrar- find

Una gota- a drop

Cremoso/a- creamy

Pesado/a- rich (when talking about food)

Fuerte- Sharp (flavour)

Rancio- Stale

Un toque diferente- twist

Chiflar- To like very much- works in the same way as “Gustar”