guest post by Amanda Hattersburg
Spain's popularity as a holiday destination means there are many attractive Spain holiday deals to choose from, whether you’re looking to indulge in some scintillating time in the sun or view the architecture that has made it such a fascinating tourist attraction.
But despite the diverse range of activities across the country, there is one thing holiday-makers universally appreciate about Spanish culture... its cuisine!
There are so many different dishes to indulge in – most are relative to their region – offering different depths and dimensions to their respective areas. Here are some favourites, and where they can be found.
A dish totally in tune with both Spanish and Portuguese culture, cocido is a classic regional stew made from meats, vegetables, sausages and either chickpeas or garbanzo beans. The most famous cocido lies in Madrid, and is called the cocido madrilène. Translated as ‘Madrid stew’, it’s heavy on the meat and typically contains salt pork, beef, ham, chorizo, a stewing chicken, morcilla and a vegetable and potato mix.
A very popular dish consumed widely across Spain, gazpacho is a raw tomato and vegetable-based soup. Originating from Andalusia in the south of Spain, gazpacho is the perfect way to cool down on a hot summer’s day. Served cold, gazpacho soup is distinct because of its bright red colour, though replacing the tomatoes with other ingredients such as watermelon, avocados or seafood can make a difference and offer real variety, both in colour and flavour.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that paella is Spain’s national dish, such is the delicacy’s reach across the globe. But, in Spain, paella is regional to Valencia and regarded as something of a local speciality. There are three different types of paella to sample when visiting Spain: Valencian paella, mixed paella and seafood paella. No matter which paella you try though, watching its preparation is mastery itself. According to tradition, paella is supposed to be cooked over an open fire by men, which has to be kindled with oranges, pine cones and pine branches for aroma before being eaten directly from the pan.
The Spanish Mediterranean diet also consists of a lot of seafood - fish such as hake, squid, shellfish, traditional fried fish dishes and more besides. The Spanish culture and available cuisine across its many regions is a delight to explore and discover day after day, and something that has to be truly experienced first-hand.
Photo Credits: food, cocido, gazpacho