One of the great pleasures of exploring a new destination is sampling the culinary delights on offer. Diving into traditional and local food is a great way to get a real feel of a country’s culture, and Spain is no exception. Traditional styles vary considerably across Spain’s many regions providing a host of wonderful food to sample. Below we look at just some of what Spain’s culinary world has to offer.
As most will know, Tapas is not a specific dish of particular ingredients. In the most basic of terms Tapas consists of small portions of several foods, most commonly bread, meats, almonds, olives, and fish. They are small bite-size experiences that vary vastly, and are often served free with drinks. Tapas is also a way of blending daily life with eating, taking small amounts at any time of the day rather than large meals at specified times. The variety of ingredients and availability at any time is what makes Tapas so delightful.
World-famous as a Spanish dish, originally created in Valencia, Paella originally referred to the type of pan into which anything available was placed to create a dish. Paella has evolved, most famously in Andalucia and is now more commonly a rice-based dish that can contain anything from vegetables to seafood and meat such as rabbit. Again, it is the variety of ingredients that vary from region to region that make Paella one of the most traditional but also varied Spanish dishes.
Fabada Asturiana is a very popular stew consisting of chorizo and morcillo sausages and large white locally-sourced beans. Saffron and smoked paprika are added and the whole thing makes a warming traditional dish that warms and sustains in the colder weather.
Spain is the world’s top producer of dry-cured ham. Jamon is produced using techniques that are centuries old. The breed and diet of the pig from which the ham is produced are carefully labelled, making it a varied and prized delicacy.
Pulpo a la Gallega
Spain’s wonderful coastline gives access to a world of seafood. This dish is Galician octopus, flavoured with paprika, and Galicia’s best known dish. Pulperia, octopus restaurants, are a feature of Galicia and make for a traditional location to sample this delicious seafood dish. What to consider before you go The excitement of setting off to explore a new destination or an old favourite can sometimes get in the way of preparation, so make sure you have checked these essentials before setting off:
Insurance – Insurance is essential but often overlooked. Especially if you are going abroad to try lots of different cuisines as food poisoning although rare is serious and could end up costing you a fortune if you are not covered should you need a trip to the hospital. There are many insurance options out there these days so you can tailor your insurance to your specific trip, for example family travel insurance if you are going on a family holiday.
Flights – Are you clear on timing, tickets, what to wear, hand baggage and what you will need on the actual airplane. Make sure you book your flights in advance for best deals. There are many companies which offer great flight deals out there such as STA.
Getting to the airport – Have you booked a taxi or made sure you are clear on parking if you are driving yourself
Packing – Have you made sure you have all you need; make a list and include any medication you need to take with you.
Have you been to Spain? What was your favorite dish? For more Spain content – check out our Spain section!
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