Spanish cuisine has evolved considerably in recent years and, with the creative geniuses like Ferran Adrià and the Roca Brothers, has become one of the most popular in the world. Typical Spanish cuisine, therefore, consists of hundreds of years old recipes focused on the use of new, local and seasonal items.
Each region of Spain has its dishes typical of the area and unique flavors, so do not hesitate to try every specialty that this country has to offer. To make things easier, today we discover the most traditional dishes of Spanish cuisine :
Paella is perhaps the most popular Spanish dish and, over the years, has been produced with countless variants and iterations. This rice dish originates in Valencia, where it is typically cooked with rabbit meat, chicken and even snails. The fried and crispy rice, which is burned at the end of the paella, is cooked on hot coals in a kind of special bowl named paellera and is, if well prepared, the tastiest component of the paella-socarrat.
2. Madrid stew
The traditional cuisine of Madrid, the Spanish capital, was first eaten by the working class to make the harsh winters in the world much more bearable. This “Madrid stew” also contains chickpeas, winter vegetables, chickens, bacon, and sausages. The conventional and right way to eat this stew is to consume first the soup-stressed juice and then second the rest of the ingredients.
3. Asturian stew
As the name suggests, this dish was born in Asturias, a region in northern Spain. It is a stew similar to cocido from Madrid, but the main ingredient is fabas, a type of white bean cooked for many hours along with other ingredients such as pork, bacon, black pudding, obtaining a red stew, perfect for long days and cold.
4. Gazpacho and Salmorejo
Far from cold winters in the north, in the hot summers of Andalusia, those two cold soups made of raw vegetables were born. Tomatoes, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions and vinegar are the best popular, gazpacho. Salmorejo, traditional of Cordoba, is made out of garlic, onions, olive oil, and old crumbs of bread, and usually is eaten with little bits of Spanish bacon, hard-cooked eggs and croutons of toasted bread.
5. Spanish potato omelette ( Tortilla de patatas )
The Spanish queen’s food is definitely the potato tortilla, which is eaten in the world and adapted to all tastes. The best definition of Spanish cuisine is literally to fried the potatoes, combine them with beaten egg and ointment, and boil until the eggs coagulate. Based on user tastes, the final texture can be more or less juicy. The potato omelet is the most popular recipe, with or without fried onions. Chorizo, zucchini or some other portion are available as well.
6. Octopus at the Fair
Although the pulp is not exactly the top of your choice food list, it occurs on several menus in Northern Spain as a delicacy. Also named pulpo a la gallega (Octopus-style Galician), the dish is characteristic of the Galicia region, renowned for its incredible seafood in the Atlantic. The octopus is baked and eaten with a little olive oil, large salt and paprika in thin slices. The feel is smooth and sumptuous. The scent is intense, but subtle, not at all what you’d imagine. It also comes with boiled potatoes.
Croquettes can be produced from almost any product, as one of the most popular recipes in Spain, while Spanish hams, mushrooms and merlu are the three most famous varieties. This is a kind of dense bechamel sauce, combined with oignons and the favorite component that creates balls by breadcrumbs and fried. The croquettes are perfect as an appetizer, and we welcome you to sample all the varieties you can find.
This dish of humble origin is a wonderful example of taking advantage of leftover food because the main ingredient is old and dry bread. This bread is crushed and cooked with various ingredients, such as meat, sausages, or vegetables. The word “crumb” means crumbs! Traditionally, it is eaten by poor farmers for breakfast, for the high energy intake, although it is currently served at lunch. The most famous variants are those from Extremadura, Migas extremeñas, and from Castilla-La Mancha, Miga’s manchego, although this dish is found almost all over the country.
To try this dish, you will need to be in Catalonia from January to March, which is the season when the main ingredient, calçot, a kind of leek-like onion, reaches maturity. Calçot is grilled, cleaned, and eaten standing. You can also eat it with romesco sauce, a sauce made with nuts, and nyora peppers. This dish is typical of the Cataluña area and is consumed at parties, festivals, and other special occasions.
10. Crumpled Potatoes
The cuisine of the Canary Islands has unique features that differentiate it from continental cuisine. The star dishes are the so-called “crumpled potatoes” with spicy mojo picón sauce. It consists of boiled new potatoes, a kind of potato found only on the islands, with much salt, so that once cooked, a salt crust forms on their skin, which are served with a spicy, red pepper sauce, the so-called mojo. For a less peppery version, order potatoes with green mojo made with herbs.