SOME FAMOUS DISHES FROM SPANISH CUISINE
Spanish cuisine is known all over the world, and some of its typical dishes are so popular that if you’re in Spain you can’t pass up the chance to try them. All the dishes we suggest below are so famous you’ll have no problem finding them on the menu in any restaurant. And then you can upload your photos to the Internet to make your friends envious. Remember that these are just a few examples
1 – Cocido madrileño (chickpea casserole)
A nice hot cocido, or chickpea casserole, is a pleasure everyone can afford to enjoy. Although there are many kinds of cocidos, the one called cocido madrileño has a traditional way of eating it: You start with a tasty noodle soup, then chickpeas and vegetables, and you finish with meat and sausages. It always goes down well, and particularly in winter.
2 – Gazpacho
This traditional cold soup is typical of several regions in Spain including Extremadura, Andalusia and Castile-La Mancha. The most popular is the Andalusian version, which is made with tomato, peppers and garlic (all finely chopped) among other ingredients. It’s not only healthy (and a perfect example of our Mediterranean diet), it’s also delicious.
3 – Octopus ‘a feira’, ‘sochangre’, with garlic, in a salad.
This list could not fail to include one of the most traditional recipes from the region of Galicia in northwest Spain. Connoisseurs say that it should be served on a wooden plate and sprinkled with a generous pinch of coarse salt, ground red pepper (a spicy touch for the more adventurous) and olive oil. No celebration in Galicia would be complete without it.
4 – Fabada (white bean casserole)
We’re still in northern Spain, although this time in Asturias. After a long morning’s sightseeing, who wouldn’t be tempted by the thought of sitting down at the table and tucking into a hearty plate of ‘fabes’, white beans simmered together with a variety of meats such as black pudding, chorizo, bacon and gammon. It’s guaranteed to revive you.
5 – Paella
There are numerous versions, although many claim that the genuine Valencian paella is made with Valencian rice, chicken, rabbit, snails, ‘garrafó’ (white beans), ‘tabella’ (broad beans), ‘ferradura’ (green beans), garlic, tomato, ground red pepper, olive oil, salt and saffron. Tip: the best way to enjoy it is straight off the fire, sitting at an outdoor terrace on the shores of the Mediterranean.
6 – Spanish omelette
This is regarded as the typical Spanish dish par excellence. You’ll find two schools of thought: those who say the genuine potato omelette should be made without onion, and others who claim this ingredient is the key to a good tortilla. Controversies aside, it definitely has to have eggs and potatoes. There are numerous bars in Spain whose star dish is precisely this. There’s no doubt that it’s absolutely delicious, and we urge you to try it.
7 – Cod ‘al pil-pil’
The Basque Country is famous for its outstanding fish, and that’s why the region has so many seafood recipes like this cod dish. The fish juices, combined with the cook’s skill, produce a delicious emulsified sauce. You can either order it in a restaurant or learn how to make it yourself by attending one of the traditional cookery courses organised in this part of Spain.
8 – Roast lamb
Typical of the cuisine of Castile-León, the traditional method is to roast a milk-fed lamb (‘lechazo’) in a wood-burning oven in an earthenware dish. This produces the golden brown colour that makes it so irresistible. In some areas of Castile-León the lamb is replaced by suckling pig and cooked in the same way. Both dishes are a genuine institution in this area. Don’t leave without trying them.
9 – Churros
These are popular for breakfast or as a snack, usually with thick hot chocolate, or sprinkled with caster sugar. You can also find food stands in the street that sell them freshly made. See how to make this famous Spanish breakfast food at home.
10 – Santiago cake
A delicious sweet sponge cake, flavoured with almonds and decorated with the cross of St. James. This is the best known cake made in Galicia, and a classic purchase for pilgrims who finish St. James’ Way. To see if a Santiago cake is good, check the texture – it should be light and spongy.