Whether you are taking a short city break weekend, a longer vacation or just doing business in Span for a few days, one if thing is for certain, you will love Spanish food. During your stay, no matter how long it is, you will want to eat, and while for some, global fast food is easy, for many Spanish food is a must. But what are some of the best Spanish dishes you really must try? Here are 5.
Let’s start with something sweet and something that is consumed in astronomical amounts by many Spaniards. Turrón is a sweet almond Nougat that is extremely popular at Christmas. However, many do not know that it is a true sweet treat available any day of the year even when you have no reason to celebrate at all. The small town of Jijona in the province of Alicante is where most of these very tasty treats are made and there are two types. Made with honey, almonds and egg white the two versions of this sweet treat are Jijona which is soft and chewy and the hard Alicante Turrón that has pieces of almond in it.
Tortilla Española is a classic dish and one that is surprisingly tasty. Over the years there have been some variations on the Tortilla Española just to spice things up, but the traditionalist will have nothing of it. Nothing beats a traditional Tortilla Española that consists of Eggs, Potatoes and Onions, for some even the onion is extravagant, but it does give the meal a little more taste. Slow cooked in olive oil this simple dish is a very filling meal.
Perhaps the most well-known of all Spanish Dishes, Paella, is for some what Spain is known for. A traditional Paella includes chicken or rabbit, saffron, runner beans and butter beans. However, the Paella is not complete without rice and quite a lot of it. The rice is used to absorb the flavours not just to make the dish more filling. Try Paella with rabbit and you will be surprised just how tasty it is.
A simple fried chicken dish, known throughout Spain is Pollo al ajillo. Everyone says the Pollo al ajillo made by their mother or grandmother is the best and truth be told this may actually be so as every time I have had it, it tastes better. This really is a simple dish. Whole unpeeled garlic is fried in olive oil to flavour the oil then removed. Chicken is then fried in the oil and when cooked the garlic cloves, some rosemary and thyme as well as a dash of sherry are added to make a dish that is unbelievably tasty.
If you have not had a bowl of Gazpacho then you have not been to Spain. This blend of ripe red tomatoes, cucumber, peppers and garlic can be found, ice cold, in jugs in many Tapas bars throughout Spain. It is one of the most refreshing things to eat or drink anywhere in the entire country and is quintessentially Spanish!
These are just 5 of the must try dishes you can have in Spain. There are many more surprisingly good dishes and one or two house specialities you will stumble up. However, to really get the most out of any restaurant, being able to speak Spanish, will open up many gastronomic delights.
Spain is a popular tourist destination and if a person hasn’t visited, he or she probably wants to. Apart from some flamenco and some lounging on the beach, Spain has many attractions, but there are some that can only be done in Spain. Here are 7, with one special one at the end.
Travel on a Zip Line to Portugal: Limite Zero takes one minute to travel from the Andalucía village of Sanlúcar de Guadiana and over the border to Alcoutim in Portugal. This is the only international zip line in the world and is the only zip line that takes you forward by an hour due to the time difference between Spain and Portugal.
Eat a Gazpacho at McDonald’s: This is a fun thing that can only be done in Spain. Gazpacho is very popular in Spain and while many tourists are looking for slightly different dining experiences to McDonald’s, this is worth a try. Spain is the only country in the world that has Gazpacho on the McDonald’s menu. Come on, it is worth a try, at least for a selfie!
Eat in the world’s oldest restaurant: This is a step up from McDonalds and Madrid in Spain is the only place in the world this can be done. Sobrino de Botin in Madrid is around 300 years old and holds the world record for the oldest restaurant in the world. If you visit, you really must try the oven baked lamb… it is legendary!
Visit the Tomb of Christopher Columbus: Christopher Columbus is well known by many people. Without out him much of the world we know today may not actually have been found. It is a tough thing to consider. Maybe it is worthwhile saying a word of thanks by visiting his impressive tomb. Recent DNA tests prove that the Cathedral of Seville does really house the remains of Christopher Columbus. The tomb is ok but the Cathedral is magnificent
Near Death Experience: No, you don’t have to come close to death but you can attend the festival of the near death experience or La Fiesta de Santa Marta de Ribarteme that takes place every year in Las Nieves, Galicia. During this bizarre event people pretend to be dead and are carried through the streets in coffins.
World’s biggest nightclub: For those wanting something a little less macabre a visit to the island of Ibiza will get your heart racing. Here the world’s largest nightclub called Privilege has space for over 10,000 people to party the night away.
Tapas: Perhaps the best thing about Spain, and final thing you can only do in Spain is to enjoy real Tapas. This gastronomic part of Spanish life will come to life when you can converse with the locals in their mother tongue.
Spain has so much to offer tourists of all ages. However, these and many other hidden gems can be found in the country, famous for its rich history and culture, by speaking Spanish. Language opens up more doors than many could imagine, takes tourists down a road less travelled. To really experience Spain, find places that perhaps no one else has before; speaking Spanish will make a difference.
Travelling is an exciting opportunity which can be enhanced by learning the language before you go. This blog contains some interesting articles about language and travel.