Spain boasts a glorious coastline and magnificent culture, but many people come here exclusively for the food. However, the specialities and delicacies on offer will largely depend on where you decide to visit.
So, here are 10 different regional dishes that visitors can expect to find after stepping off their flights to Spain.
1. Bacalao al pil pil
In the Basque Country, you’ll find a great deal of seafood dishes due to its proximity to the Atlantic and Cantabrian Seas. One of its most famed dishes is fried cod in hot garlic sauce known as bacalao al pil pil.
Typically eaten as an appetiser, Spain’s take on gazpacho (cold soup) is made from fresh tomatoes, green peppers, cucumbers, garlic, onions, and herbs. This is particularly popular in the Andalucía region of Spain, and really refreshing in the heat.
For the very best paella in Spain, head east to the Costa Brava and Costa del Sol. Prominent destinations such as Málaga take advantage of the Mediterranean Sea and produce their own unique take on this mouth-watering dish.
Found in the Pyrenees, chilindrón is a sauce comprising of tomatoes, peppers, garlic, ham and wine that accompanies many of the region’s hearty dishes. Perfect for warming up after a day’s walking.
5. Esqueixada salad
Featuring grilled or baked vegetables and lashings of olive oil, esqueixada salad can be found in Catalonia, which is also famous for the white butifarra sausage containing pork, tripe and pine nuts.
6. Papas arrugadas
This dish is a speciality of the Canary Islands and consists of new potatoes baked and rolled in rock salt, served with mojo picón (piquant red sauce) or mojo verde (green herb sauce) if cooked alongside fish. If you like potatoes, this delicious dish is for you.
7. Sample tumbet
This ratatouille and potato casserole featuring either meat or fish is well liked on the Balearic Island of Mallorca. Here, the spicy sobrassada sausage and sweet ensaimada pastry also deserve a mention.
8. Pisto manchego
Although cheese made from sheep’s milk is well worth trying in La Mancha, be sure you don’t miss out on pisto manchego, a ratatouille-like vegetable stew of red peppers, onions, aubergines, courgettes, and tomatoes.
9. Merluza a la sidra
The region of Asturias is known for producing cider, which can be enjoyed at mealtimes too. Merluza a la sidra is hake in a sauce of this sweet and tart beverage.
10. Gazpacho de pastor
Extremadura is the place to go for game dishes, as wild boar, pheasant, partridge and hare are all commonplace on restaurant menus. The pick of the bunch is arguably gazpacho de pastor, an individual game tartlet.
Although you probably won’t be able to visit all of these regions, these listed examples are some of the most popular delicacies, so can usually be found all over the country, which will come as good news to food connoisseurs everywhere.
Images by Jonathan Pincas and Koldo Miranda used under the Creative Commons license.
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