Spain, a real treat for the palate
You will find Spain's top chefs at the forefront of the international gastronomic scene. They have reinterpreted traditional recipes such as potato omelette and paella with great success. Nevertheless, the classic versions of Spain's best known dishes will also delight you. Come and discover the typical gastronomy of Spain: it will be an incredible, delicious journey.
Wherever you go, in Spain you will enjoy quality, variety and plenty of taste when it comes to sitting down to eat. Excellent ingredients and cooking techniques have brought international prestige to Spanish gastronomy. The Spanish diet is rich and balanced, with true passion for taste. Pulses, meats, fish, cured meats, vegetables... You will find that each Spanish region prepares them in its own way, and that the results are always delicious. Real gourmets are sure to love this idea: to explore Spain in search of its most typical dishes.
Green Spain: wide variety and generous helpings
In northern Spain you will find the best of the sea and the mountains in generous helpings and different styles. In Galicia you just have to try the shellfish: boiled or grilled, it is simply magnificent. “A feira” octopus and "empanada" (type of pie) are other Galician specialities. If you like seafood, then in Asturias order a "caldereta" (fish stew). The cuisine in Asturias is also famous for delicious dishes such as "fabada" (bean and pork casserole) and rice pudding.
When in the region of Cantabria, make sure you sample a robust mountain stew or some squid in onion sauce. As far as sweets go, you should try "quesada" (made with eggs, cream cheese and sugar) or "sobaos pasiegos" (a kind of sponge). In the Basque Country you will notice that gastronomy is considered an art form. Pil-pil cod, hake in green sauce, "marmitako" (casserole with bonito and potato) or the traditional “pinchos” (miniature culinary creations) are a few of the delights not to be missed.
The Mediterranean coast: the temple of rice
Spain's Mediterranean coast is a paradise for lovers of vegetables, pulses and rice. The sophisticated cuisine of Catalonia offers simple, tasty formulae such as bread with tomato and butifarra (cured sausage), not to mention essential delicacies like "escalivada" (roast vegetables) "suquet" (seafood stew) and "crema catalana" (custard dessert).
When it comes to rice, the essential destination is the Region of Valencia. It is no coincidence that this was the birthplace of one of Spain's most famous dishes: paella. The array of dishes based on rice is huge and varied. Nevertheless, don't miss the chance to savour other specialities of the region such as "fideua" (like paella but with noodles) and duck in orange sauce. Then make for Murcia and you will see why it has such a reputation for vegetables. Good examples are the different salads and omelettes to be found.
Andalusia, the Balearic Islands and the Canaries: unique character
Eating tapas is very commonplace in Andalusia. It even seems as though its most typical dishes were designed to be eaten in this informal manner: fried fish, ham, shrimp omelettes… Cold soups like gazpacho and salmorejo or stews such as bull's tail and flamenco-style eggs are also classic dishes of the region.
In the islands you will have the chance to try more exotic cuisine. In the Canaries you will hear about "gofio" (toasted cereal flour), "papas", which are slow-boiled potatoes served with "mojos" (spicy sauces that also accompany meat and fish), or recipes that include the famous Canaries banana. In the Balearic Islands, "sobrasada" (a kind of chorizo sausage), "tumbet" (a vegetable casserole), lobster casserole and "ensaimada" (a typical pastry) are some of the delights to be sampled.
You have yet to discover the flavours of Spain's inland regions. They tend to be robust dishes based around meat, cured meats, poultry, vegetables and pulses. Here, some of the dishes you can enjoy are: tripe and chickpea casserole typical of Madrid; "pisto" (slow-fried tomatoes and peppers) and "morteruelo" (game pâté) from Castile-La Mancha; "migas" (fried breadcrumbs) and fish stews in Extremadura, along with roast suckling pig and lamb in Castile-León. A little further north, be sure to try specialities including "pollo al chilindrón" (chicken with tomato and peppers) in Aragon, Rioja-style potatoes in La Rioja, and Navarre-style trout in Navarre.
If you like this article and would like to know more about Spanish gastronomy, here you will find other interesting articles:
- Spain, a gastronomic treat - Spain, wonderful flavours for every taste - Designation of Origin products: the best of the best - Green Spain: a world of flavours