Spanish is known worldwide for its rich history and culture. And what adds further to its beauty is the range of famous Spanish cuisines which are the most-loved cuisines in the world. Spanish cuisine is one of the most vibrant and diverse foods in the world. From the Paella to Fabada and all kinds of cured meats, traditional Spanish dishes are gaining fame in the global culinary scene. Spain has tons of delicious foods to try with each city and region having its own specialties. Spain embraces its past and shows its beauty through various dishes.
10 Local Foods You Must Try Out in Spain
1. PAELLA VALENCIANA
Paella Valenciana is the national dish of Spain because it is simply phenomenal. It’s the traditional paella of the Valencia region. Paella is named from the wide, shallow traditional pan used to cook the dish on an open fire. It consists of round grain rice, rabbit, chicken, duck, green beans, garrofo and optionally, snails. Other ingredients include artichokes, various meatballs and bell peppers, saffron which gives paella its vibrant yellow color is always the main aroma in this dish. This Paella Valenciana is easy to make and is perfect for dinner.
2. TORTILLA ESPANOLA
Tortilla Espanola or Spanish omelet is the most commonly served dish in Spain. Tortilla Espanola is a tender, lightly runny omelet filled with olive oil-poached potatoes. Tortilla Espanola exists in almost every corner of Spain and it is also called Tortilla de Patatas. True tortilla is dense and olive oil-rich, flipped and browned in a pan. You can eat it for any meal, served alone, make it into a sandwich and fill it with anything! This classic Spanish dish can be sliced into wedges for breakfast or lunch.
Churros are tube-shaped sticks of dough, piped from a star-tipped pastry bag, fried in oil and rolled in cinnamon sugar. Spanish churros are commonly enjoyed for breakfast. They are the Spanish equivalent of doughnuts and are sold at cafes, churros bars, and at street vendors’ carts. Dipping them in hot melted chocolate is pretty much the law. They are surprisingly easy to make.
Gazpacho is typically a tomato based vegetable soup that is served cold. It is superb and bursting with freshness from the garden summer flavor. Fresh cucumber, red bell pepper, plum tomatoes, red onion and garlic are combined with tomato juice into a flavorful and light soup that is delicious and healthy. It is an absolutely delicious raw soup that is filled with fresh flavors. It is the perfect cold food on a hot summer day.
5. LECHE FRITA
Leche Frita is a popular Spanish dessert. Leche Frita means ‘fried milk.’ It has a silky smooth texture, sweet and rich flavors, and very unique look. The main ingredient in this dessert is milk. Spices are also added like nutmeg, cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice. It’s a most popular street food in Spain. Leche Frita is crunchy from outside and sweet inside. This common street food is simply a milky custard – chilled, breaded, and fried.
Croquetas are small, lightly breaded and fried bechamel fritters that include delicious Spanish cured ham. They are crispy, bite size logs of smooth ground ham coated in breadcrumbs. They are then twice coated with saltine crumbs, making them super crispy. They are savory and creamy inside. Ham croquetas are the perfect breakfast or snack. These are addictive and pretty awesome.
7. PATATAS BRAVAS
Patatas Bravas are one of Spain’s most popular tapas. These are crispy fried potato chunks filled with spicy tomato salsa and garlic aioli. It’s one of the most classic Spanish tapas dishes that is served in bars all over Spain. Crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside; these potato wedges are served with Bravas sauce. The sauce should be a bit spicy, hence it is named Bravas. It is served as an appetizer but would make a great side dish.
8. CREMA CATALANA
Crema catalana is a Spanish custard dessert. This dessert is made with milk, egg yolks, cream, sugar, vanilla, orange peel and cinnamon. It has an irresistible creamy texture and caramelized sugar topping. Crema catalana is very similar to the French crème brulee but there are some distinct features. Crema catalana is traditionally served on Saint Joseph’s Day although nowadays it is consumed throughout the year. A delicious Crema catalana can be prepared at home easily.
9. FABADA ASTURIANA
Fabada Asturiana is a very traditional dish from Asturias in the north of Spain. It is made with large white beans, chorizo sausage, blood sausage, ham, pork and paprika. It is served as a starter and sometimes as the main course of the meal. It is a rich hearty meal that is great for recharging energy after rigorous activities. It is popular during the colder months and it is traditionally eaten with crusty bread and a glass of Asturian cider.
Pisto is a traditional Spanish dish, similar to Ratatouille. It’s a hearty vegetable stew made with zucchini, eggplant, onion, tomato, green and red peppers, and olive oil. Originally from the Murcia region of Spain, it’s a fantastic vegetable dish. The secret to this Spanish Pisto is using high quality Spanish olive oil. Pisto is a great dish because it is tasty, very healthy and takes little time to make. Usually served warm; it can be accompanied by an egg or some Manchego cheese and bread.
I hope you found the article interesting. Try out these dishes when you visit Spain and share your experiences.