5 Essential Dishes in Spain!

Spain is famous for its delicious Mediterranean cuisine based on fish and seafood, olive oil and plenty of fresh fruits. Food in Spain is more than just eating, it’s a lifestyle. Spanish people can spend hours over a meal and drinks with their family or gathering in bars to enjoy tapas with friends after work. If you want to know what food to try when you’re in Spain then you should have a look at our list of the 5 essential dishes in Spain:

Tortilla de Patatas

One of the best-known dishes in Spain is without any doubts the tortilla de patatas. This Spanish omelet, made with eggs, potatoes, olive oil and onions is served in every bar throughout Spain, often as a tapa or appetizer along with a small beer (caña) or as a light dinner. There are endless ways to prepare a tortilla and some Spaniards even add a bit of spicy sausage (chorizo) or mix it with spinach and tomatoes. This all-rounder can be enjoyed hot and cold, is easy to transport and the perfect snack if you want to get new energy after sightseeing. Search for a local bar, order a tortilla and ask the owner for his secret recipe (receta). Definitely the most delicious way to practice your Spanish!

Gazpacho

What do you do when you love soups but live in a region where the climate is hot and arid most of the year? You create a soup that is served cold! This is the answer the Andalusians, based in the hot southern regions of Spain, came to during their long and humid summers. To cool themselves down they processed tomatoes, onions, peppers and garlic into a liquid salad and called it gazpacho. The most tasty of all Mediterranean vegetables was mixed together in form of a soup! Quick and easy to prepare, you can do a gazpacho at home on your own or order it as a starter in any restaurant in Spain.

Paella

If you ask any foreigner to name a dish served in Spain, they will almost always say the same thing: paella! This rice dish, originated in the mid-19th century in the region of Valencia, has certainly achieved world fame. There are three different types of paella that are most commonly found throughout Spain: paella de carne (or paella valenciana) with rice, vegetables, beans and meat, paella de marisco with seafood instead of meat and the paella mixta, which contains everything. The long preparation time makes it a dish which is usually cooked on Sundays or holidays and is to be enjoyed with the whole family during a long lunch or a local fiesta.

Cocido Madrileño

Stews or cocidos, as they are called in Spanish are typical main dishes in Spain. Probably the most famous one is the cocido madrileño that takes its name from Spain’s capital where it has its origins. This dish includes a soup (caldo) and a main course with meats, sausages and chickpeas (garbanzos). Traditionally prepared in a cooking pot, the cocido has to be cooked all day to make sure the meat is soft and absorbs the extra flavor of herbs, garlic and leek.

Pescado frito

If you thought fried fish was a typical British dish, then you haven’t been to Andalusia yet! Not only do they have countless variations of pescado frito on every menu throughout the south of Spain but also at incredibly cheap prices. In most places you can pay less than 5 Euro and get a full plate of fresh fish fried in olive oil. The fish gets dipped for only a few seconds in hot, virgin olive oil and gets coated with a thin layer of flour. This crispy and tasty specialty is an essential part of Spanish cuisine and one of the things you should definitely try during your stay in Spain!

¡Buen provecho!

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