Spanish cuisine is legendary amongst the true foodies of the world. While many Americans assume that Spanish food equals Americanized Mexican food, this is definitely not the case. True Spanish food includes decadent seafood, high quality unique meats and cheeses, and dishes prepared using an array of cooking methods.
One of the very best way to explore and try a variety of true Spanish dishes while traveling in Spain is to enjoy tapas. Served hot or cold, tapas are various snacks or appetizers typically served before lunch and dinner. You can find an eclectic array of decadent treats making up tapas including local cheeses, olives, fried seafood, meatballs, vegetables, meats with sauces and so much more. It is truly an experience not to be missed. In addition to the tapas experience, there are 5 authentic Spanish foods that you must try before you leave the country.
Paella is the most well-known of the dishes on this list. The mélange of tastes cooked together has been copied worldwide and is known as a signature Spanish dish. However, no matter where you’ve tried paella before, you have never experienced anything as delicious as the original paella in Spain. As you travel through Spain, be sure to try the three different varieties of the rice, vegetable and meat dish: the original Valencian version, mixed paella and seafood paella.
Espeto is as much a Spanish delicacy as it is an experience. Typically cooked in the open air seaside, the bamboo skewer of sardines prepared over a charcoal fire is a treat that any seafood lover visiting Spain must try. Your impression of sardines will be forever changed.
Jamón Ibérico is a unique ham primarily made in Spain that is reputed to be the best in the world. Made according to very strict standards, this ham is extremely expensive, relatively rare and hard to find outside of Spain, which is one of the main reasons to try this ham while traveling in Spain. It has only been available in the U.S. for about 6 years and the cost is prohibitive for many.
A perfect complement to Jamón Ibérico, Manchego cheese is a Spanish sheep milk cheese from the La Mancha region of the country. The cheese is aged from 2 to 24 months. Only cheese that meets the very strict standards, set forth by the Protected Destination of Origin department of the European Union, can call itself Manchego. This unique distinctive cheese can be enjoyed in 4 varieties: fresco, semicurado, curado and Viejo.
You’ll never look at a French fry the same way again. A uniquely Spanish twist on fried potatoes, Patatas Bravas is a dish featuring double fried cubed potatoes, prepared in quality Spanish extra-virgin olive oil and served with a rich tomato based brava sauce and a dollop of aioli. Patatas Bravas are often served as tapas.
The serious foodie knows that travelling is as much about trying the authentic local delicacies as it is about the sightseeing. When planning your travel agenda, your satellite Internet connection will provide you with the information you need to learn about the very best regional dishes for the area you are visiting. Take the time to learn about the best of the best foods that you simply can’t miss on your travels abroad.