Contrary to popular belief Brits abroad don’t just exist on a diet of fry ups and pie and chips. The popularity of cooking shows on TV showing the huge variety of foods and flavours on offer across the globe has lead to people being more adventurous with what they eat than ever. Traditional Spanish cuisine is influenced by the Greek, Roman, Phoenician and Moorish settlements so it is colourful, fresh and tasty. So when in Spain make sure you give their tasty local dishes a try.
A great way of introducing yourself to Spanish cuisine whilst on holiday is to try Tapas- small dishes that can be eaten as a snack, starter or main meal, depending on how hungry you are! Tapas bars and restaurants are everywhere in Spain, whether you are in one of its large cities or small mountain villages. The kind of tapas dishes on offer can vary between regions but they there are some dishes that you will no doubt find on the menu wherever you are in Spain. These include:
Chorizo – the spicy Spanish sausage popular in many Spanish dishes
Patatas ravas – fried cubes of potato with onion chilli and garlic
Calamares – fried squid rings
Tortilla – potato omelette
Jamon Iberico – thinly sliced salt cured ham
Gazpacho – a cold tomato soup with cucumber and garlic
Albindigas – meatballs, usually pork but sometimes beef or even seafood.
Gambas pil pil – fresh prawns in sizzling olive oil with garlic and chilli
There are many more dishes that you can find on a tapas menu. Most of which are absolutely delicious so be adventurous! The small dish size makes this an easy way of trying local cuisine without having to munch through a whole meal!
Of course Spanish cuisine isn’t all about tapas, there are lots of other dishes that are synonymous with Spain. Paella is meat or fish cooked in a large pan with saffron rice. Pescado frito, or fried fish is very popular in Andalusia and inland you will find lots of warm hearty stews on the menu. For desert you have to try churros – the Spanish doughnut! These long pieces of dough are deep fried and rolled in sugar before being dipped into a rich, thick, hot chocolate sauce- delicious!
If you are watching your waistline while you are away then you will find lots of fresh, healthy grilled seafood dishes on offer and the crispy salads made with freshly picked beef tomatoes taste amazing on a hot, sunny days eaten out on the terrace!
So make sure you don’t just opt for the usual steak and chips on your holiday in Spain. Give your taste buds a treat and try out the local Spanish cuisine.