This past week, we've been writing all about Spain's fascinating history and beautiful art. However, we wouldn't be covering authentic Spanish culture in its entirety if we skipped the country's unique culinary experiences.
Abundant in olive oil and dry cured meats, rich bite-size tapas and indulging sweets; Spain's exquisite cuisine has something for every foodie. Check out our list of the 10 amazing Must-Eat dishes You need to order in Spain.
The Spaniards most prized and loved possession is their dry-cured ham. Pardon our Spanish - We meant to write, jamón. While deciding which bar to experience your first authentic tapas meal after a day of exploring – you will find many hams hanging from the ceilings like they are shining medals of that given establishment (and indeed they are). Never parting from ancient production techniques, the pig's breed and diet are what differentiates the variety of jamón on the market. The two main families of jamón are Jamón Serrano and Jamón Ibérico. Serrano is produced from white mountain pigs, while Ibérico; known as the world’s best ham, is made from black Iberian pigs that roam freely in the South of Spain.
2) Queso Manchego
Queso Manchego is a delicious cheese made from sheep milk. Produced in the region of La Mancha, the name derives from the sheep breed called Manchego. The best way we suggest enjoying and munching on some of this cheese is alongside thin cuts of jamón, spicy chorizo and slices of pan, bread.
Chorizo is another prized meat from the Spanish that can be served raw on the tapas menu and cooked in any first or second plate. This Spanish sausage can be sweet or spicy with a variety of spices added to build its perfection. Our favorite way of enjoying chorizo is raw with a cube of queso manchego.
A definite cannot-miss classic when in Spain is paella. This rice-based dish is a part of the country's national culinary identity and offered in many different variations from region to region. When closer to the ocean's coast, paella is served with the fresh catch of the day and when further inland; expect rabbit, chicken, and chorizo to be thrown in. However no matter the region, the absolute must in any paella dish is this celebrity herb which brings the dish altogether; saffron. Our tip: Valencia serves paella and other rice dishes best!
5) Tortilla Española
Known as the Spanish omelet, this simple yet delectable dish is something all travelers rave about when returning back home. Eggs, potatoes, onions and olive oil are the main components of this dish with some places offering some sweet or spicy chorizo for an extra element of flavor.
A classic dish in Spanish cooking and served either hot or cold soup, as a salad or stew is Gazpacho. Based on tomatoes, olive oil, cucumbers, and onions; this popular soup is usually blended up with ice cubes before being served. If you ask us - a cold Gazpacho soup is a great way to stay refreshed and beat the Spanish sun.
7) Patatas Brava
The Spaniards do potatoes best. Fry em', roast em', bake em' then drown them in delicious cheesy goodness. We'll take 4 of the last also known as patatas bravas. This is a classic and must-eat tapas dish; besides who doesn't enjoy potatoes?!
Croquetas are the, BEST, Spanish snack known to humankind. Potatoes. Cheese. Ham. All in one little-breaded pocket? Yes, please! We know you won't be able to just have one...
9) Crema Catalana
Somewhat similar to crème brûlée, Crema Catalana is instead served cold with a zesty creamy flavor and lemon as the main flavor component. We can’t think of a better way to finish off your meal than with this superb tasty dessert.
10) Churros Con Chocolate
Absolutely nothing beats this indescribable Spanish treat that is something ever traveler will long for once they return home. Think thin fried dough, sprinkled with powdered sugar demanding to be dipped in rich, hot chocolate. Now that’s a dessert or snack… Okay, maybe even breakfast – Why not?! (We won’t tell).