Spain… Tapas land, sangria, siesta and salsa.
I myself lived in Madrid, the capital of Spain and you (almost) is thrown to death with food. Nothing is awesome in this country: wine at 11 morning and after an extensive lunch and of course siesta, just again back to work. Life in Spain really gets underway a little later than we're used to. Where we often start working around the clock of 8.30am (and many people have been sitting on cleaning up for a whole morning, bring children to school or exercise), supermarkets in Spain are comfortable only open at 10:00. Before then, you don't see many people on the street, an hour later, they can sit well on the wine. A special Culture! It stole my heart in the time I lived there. In The Netherlands we are used to eating relatively early, in the past this was 17.00, where now average households around the clock of 19.00 dinner. In Spain life is all a little later. This means that they get up later, until later (including siesta) and therefore eat later. Dinner time in Spain begins often 21.00, before 20:30 many restaurants are also closed. Going out? In The Netherlands often go after dinner and you end up around noon in a bar or club. In Spain they stick here again for a few hours on top. They only go to the club around 03.00 (!) . And then say they that Brabant nights are long….
Anyway, enough about the culture. If you are in Spain there are some things you 'should' (of course you shouldn't try anything, especially not on holiday). If you ask me, your cultural experience is not complete without a look in the kitchen…
1). Spanish Omelette / Tortilla
A Spanish omelette, also called Spanish tortilla, is something other than the tortilla we normally get used to. You would actually can say it's a potato omelette. It consists of potatoes, onions and eggs.
Tinto de Verano
Tinto = Red wine and Verano = summer. Tinto de Verano is a truly Spanish summer drink. Of course, we all know Sangria and Tinto de Verano is equal, but in my opinion tastier. It is based on red wine and bitter lemon.
3). Patatas Bravas
This is one of Spain's best-known dishes, the patatas bravas. These are fried potatoes in spicy Tomato sauce. (Almost) everywhere you go in Spain, you can do this dish Score.
For dutch people, this is not really a whole new dish: the croquetas. The Spaniards are only too happy to fry and the croquetas are a well-known option from the deep-fried list. The Croquetas are small croquettes that they have in all colors and flavors. Mushroom, chorizo, Cheese, fish, you can't think of it so crazy or they have it. Some examples: Croquetas de bacalao, Croquetas de gallina y huevo, Croquetas de jamón serrano, Croquetas de jamón y pollo, Croquetas de atún and Croquetas de champiñone. Are you in Madrid? Then you have to go to Casa Julio for the most famous croquetas from the capital. U2 even came flying over special for this croquetas, enough reason to go, right ;-)?
5). Jamón ibérico
Jamón means ham. Iberico ham is a well-known, exclusive and expensive Spanish Ham. Sometimes you pay for a bag of loose pieces here to-go already €15.
Paella is also a well-known in the list. This dish comes mainly from Valencia, because it is a dish with rice as the main ingredient and as additions often seafood such as fish and shellfish, chicken or other animal and natural products. I tried this dish myself in Valencia, Barcelona and Madrid. Madrid is a city and therefore not the best option at all to really get to know this dish. Valencia is where it comes from and so the best place to try it.
Gazpacho, another acquaintance in the list! This is a kind of made from cold soup from raw greens and herbs, usually with tomato and in the original version decides without meat or broth. The soup gets cold Eaten.
8). Pinxtos or Pinchos
The literal translation of a pincho is a skewer. The can be written as pinxtos or pinchos. This stop roll is full delicacies served on baguettes.
Churro's. I ate this myself once in Paris and thought this dish was coming from there. Not true at all, so. It's a Spain. This is, as I said, eaten for breakfast. In the reality, this actually happens all day. Even after walking. It's wheat dough that is fried and often dipped in chocolate and sometimes with other toppings.
Oh, one last tip: do you like red wine (just like me)? Rioja is the best wine in Spain, if you ask me.
Lots of (eat) fun!