A gastronomy guide to Spain
If you consider yourself a bit of a gourmet traveller, you’re in for a treat if you find yourself on Spanish shores. This small slice of Europe is made up of very distinct regions, each with their own customs, traditions, and gastronomic specialities.
Here’s some of our favourites:
The ocean and mountains collide in the Basque Country, and this is reflected in the flavours of this culturally rich and distinctive region of northern Spain. You’ll often find cod on the menu here, and a delicious speciality to look out for is Cod Pil Pil; dry salted cod in a garlicky sauce.
Spain’s southern region, famous for its pure bred horses, produces one of the country’s most loved dishes. Gazpacho is a tangy and refreshing cold soup, which is served as an entree or by itself for a light lunch. Packed with five different types of vegetables including fresh tomatoes, green capsicum, garlic and onions, it’s a kind of soup salad, which is healthy and very delicious.
Cocido Montanes is the most famous dish of this northern region of Spain. This yummy bean and vegetable stew is traditionally cooked in the wood-fired oven. It’s a great dish for cold nights, but can be enjoyed all year round.
Got a thing for Spain?
The bean tortilla (omelette) is a distinctly Catalan dish. Often made using chick peas and chorizo sausage, the tortilla is fried up to create a plump looking omelette packed with potato, onions and garlic for extra flavour. Bean tortillas are eaten for breakfast, lunch or as tapas.
If you love seafood, Galician Pulpo a la Gallega is a simple but delicious must-try regional speciality that will truly float your boat. Think fresh octopus, paprika, crusty rock salt and olive oil served on a wooden platter as either tapas or a main with potatoes. Nom, nom, nom.
If you’ve heard of Spain’s Rioja region before, it’s quite possibly because of its famous wine. While you’re busy sampling some of Spain’s finest vino, make sure you taste some of the regions other best known flavours including lamb shanks flavoured with chorizo, rosemary and garlic, and the famous Rioja potatoes served with capsicum and (you’ve guessed it) chorizo, in a smoky sauce.
Originating from Valencia on the east coast of Spain, paella is one of the best-known of all the Spanish dishes and is widely regarded as Spain’s national dish. This pan-baked rice dish is made using saffron giving it its yellow colouring, and often features seafood, chicken or even rabbit, along with seasonal vegetables like artichokes.