Big news for all the gastronomic travelers! Spain is not only sun and beaches, it is also great food and great cultural offers. This year Spain ranked first among European countries for gastronomic tourism. The Mediterranean diet of the northern coast of Spain combined with the elements of traditional Moorish cuisine in the South, you will find is a big variety of delicious dishes. Spain is also known as one of the largest producers of best wine, olives, and charcuterie.
Tapas and Pintxos
There’s hardly something more typical and well-known around the world as Spanish traditional appetizers. The art of preparing and eating Spanish tapas has become one of the reasons that have brought gastronomic tourism to Spain. Pintxos (small canapés) are not as internationally famous as the tapas, however in the Basque country and some other regions of Northern Spain you’ll probably have to ask for pintxos instead of tapas. They are usually accompanied by Txacoli, traditional Basque white wine, or natural Basque apple cider.
Tapas is a collective name for any kind of appetizers and snacks you can be served in bars and restaurants. There is a number of typical tapas you will find in any place you visit, so here is a quick overview:
Top Spanish Tapas Recipes to Try at Home
1. Jamón, Queso y Chorizo – (Ham, cheese, and chorizo on bread)
2. Tortilla Española – (Spanish omelet with eggs, potatoes, and onions)
3. Patatas Bravas – (Potatoes with spicy brava sauce)
4. Patatas Alioli – (Potatoes with aioli sauce)
5. Gambas al Ajillo – (Shrimp in garlic)
6. Calamares Fritos – (Calamares a la Romana – Fried squid)
7. Aceitunas a la Madrileña – (Olives a la madrilène)
8. Croquetas de Jamón – (Ham croquettes)
Paella is the typical and well-known rice dish from Spain and it originated in the region called Valencia. Today paella is made in every region of Spain, using just about any kind of ingredient that goes well with rice. There are as many versions of paella as there are cooks. It may contain chicken, pork, shellfish, fish, eel, squid, beans, peas, artichokes or peppers. Paella is also an ideal outdoor dish for entertaining. It’s fun to cook, and it is a fun dish to serve and consume. A special type of Paella is the Paella with black rice. If you haven’t tried it yet, make sure to order it next time you are in a restaurant.
Tortilla de Patatas is another one of the best-known Spanish dishes. It is simply sliced potatoes and chopped onions fried in olive oil, then mixed with beaten egg and cooked to form a solid omelet. Now, it is simply known as tortilla Espanola or the Spanish omelet. Also, the tortilla Espanola is eaten everywhere in Spain as a tapa, and as the main course at Spanish dinner tables, there are many varieties of tortilla, eaten in all sorts of ways.