There’s nothing better than discovering a new favourite meal, and with Spanish food being packed with flavour, you’ll be spoilt for choice. We may be biased, but in our opinion, the food in Spain is the best in the world. Not only is it delicious (and almost always freshly cooked with local produce), but it’s good for you too! In fact, in the recent study that named Spain as the healthiest place in the world, the Mediterranean cuisine was highlighted as the likely cause.
No matter what your food preferences may be, you’ll find something to suit your taste buds in Spain. Their use of flavour is unrivalled, and their clever combinations of herbs and spices ensure that Spanish food is always full of character.
So, whether you have a Costa Blanca property on the beach and want to try some fresh seafood, or a village property in Murcia and want to take advantage of the local markets, read on for our top 10 foods that you must try when spending time in your Spanish property:
Starting our list with the rice-based dish paella may be an obvious choice, but its popularity is for good reason! Probably one of the most well-known Spanish foods, paella cooked using flavour-packed freshly caught seafood and spicy paprika is hard to beat. If you’re allergic, or simply not a fan of seafood there are a variety of vegetarian and meat paellas that are just as tasty.
Tostas de tomate y jamón
The perfect lunch dish, tostas de tomate y jamón is a simple yet effective traditional Spanish meal. Translated as ‘toast with tomato and ham’, the preparation of this meal is what makes it so delicious. Garlic and tomato are rubbed on thick slices of toast, which is then drizzled with olive oil, and topped with Ibérico ham. The simplicity of this dish shouldn’t make it underrated – Iberico ham has a unique flavour that is complemented wonderfully by the garlic and tomato to produce the perfect quick lunch.
Gazpacho is a refreshing cold soup that is traditionally made using the freshest tomatoes, cucumber, olive oil and garlic. Don’t let the idea of cold soup put you off, gazpacho is the perfect cooler for those hot Spanish days. If you happen to own Spanish property in Andalucía, you’ll find this dish in almost every tapas bar you come across.
It could be argued that all food tastes better when deep-fried, and crispy and delicious Spanish calamari is no exception. One of the things that makes Spanish food so tasty is that fresh ingredients are always used where possible, and so freshly caught squid, deep fried with a squeeze of lemon juice over the top is always a winner.
Another classic that is well worth a mention in our top ten list. A traditional tortilla Española will only ever include potatoes, eggs and onions (like an omelette). It may sound boring, but the end result is truly mouthwatering. If you’re rustling up a tortilla Española in your own Spanish property, you can experiment with the recipe by chucking in whatever leftovers you have to hand such as chorizo, spinach or ham.
A popular tapas pick, patatas bravas is another one of those dishes that is so simple to make, but packed with rich flavours. The ingredients used in the dish will vary from region to region, but the basic ingredient is always fried potato. Some tapas restaurants may use paprika, some garlic, and some will insist that they’re using a secret family recipe that they can never reveal! Whichever recipe you sample, you can be sure of a delicious taste.
Gambas al ajillo
Translated as ‘garlic prawns’, gambas al ajillo is a true taste sensation, drawing on the natural flavours of fresh ingredients. The freshly caught prawns are pan fried with garlic, chilli and olive oil until sizzling. This dish smells as good as it looks and tastes, so if you happen to be in a tapas bar when someone orders this dish, you’re almost guaranteed to end up ordering some for yourself too!
Pisto is essentially a Spanish ratatouille. Its versatility as a vegetarian dish makes it common as an appetiser, side dish or tapas. Just like with patatas bravas, the ingredients tend to vary between regions, but commonly include peppers, tomatoes, courgettes, onions and garlic.
Ok, so not technically a food, but sangria is well worth a mention in any discussion on Spanish cuisine. If you’ve holidayed in Spain, you’ve probably already enjoyed a glass or two of this delicious alcoholic drink as it really is the perfect accompaniment to a sunny day. Sangria’s origins go back over 2000 years when water wasn’t always safe to drink, and so alcohol was added to try and make it safer. Made with red wine, brandy, orange juice and mixed fruit slices, sangria is just as popular today.
Finishing off this list is a sweet treat that is most popular during Christmas. Turrón is an almond nougat that comes in soft and smooth or hard varieties. Predominantly made in Alicante, you’re sure to come across Turrón if you own a property in Costa Blanca.
Sample Spanish cuisine for yourself with your own Spanish property
If any of the dishes on our top ten list have tempted your taste buds, but you are yet to own your own property in Spain, why not start the process by booking one of our 3-4 day £99 property viewing trips.
Our viewing trips include return flights from UK airports, accommodation, and all main meals – giving you the chance to sample some of the traditional Spanish delicacies mentioned here! One of our property experts will guide your viewing trip, imparting local knowledge and showing you 8-10 properties per day that suit you.