If you want to know more and to understand better the Spanish kitchen, then you must read this post.
I discovered the spanish kitchen in February, while visiting Bilbao and I found it fabulous. And it is still my absolute favorite for its richness of flavors and spices.
My tip: do not eat in the restaurants near the main tourists attraction, dig deeper, where the Spaniards eat!
First of all, the basic characteristics of the spanish kitchen:
-massive use of olive oil. Do not worry about it, it is world’s best, and the healthiest of all edible oils.
-many dishes are based on sofrito (tomato sauce with olives oil, garlic and onions)
–garlic and onions are the main used spices. If you are sensitive to those, you are lost. No joking, let the house know about it!
-it is usually to drink during the meals
–bread is usually in large amounts
-in summer the salads are very wide spread
-as deserts you can get usually fruits or milk products
Ole! Bon apetito!
There are big differences between the regions of this country, due to their particularly geography and culture. But the roots of this kitchen are basically Mediterranean, as the fish and sea fruits are easy to get practically in every corner.
Historically speaking, there are a few significant influences:
– romans, who brought the olive, olive oil, grains,
-the Greeks brought the wine( ask about today wines from Malaga and Alicante!)
-the moors had a huge influence in Spain for centuries, and many recipes are still in use today
-from America were brought tomatoes, potatoes, pepper and beans
When spaniards go out to the bar and ask for drinks, they usually got some tapas(easy appetizers, every bar has 6-8 different tapas. My tip: do not forget to order the tapas, they are absolutely delicious and very cheap, you usually get them for free, as a bonus for the drinks! Keep in mind the following tapas: chorizo al vino(sausage boiled in wine); gambas(shrimps); rajo(meat), queso con anchoa(cheese); ensaladilla( boiled vegetables with tuna fish, olives etc); tortilla(potatoes); allioli( garlic paste on bread)
But you don’t need to starve staying always to the apetizers, no Sir! Not at all, prepare to put some kilos during your travel in Spain and remember these main dishes: tortilla de patata( potatoes omelette); gazpacho ( cold tomato soup); paella( rice with safran); fabada asturiana( beans); embutidos+chorizo+morcilla( sort of sausages)