The Spain food that is served across the country has some similarities, but does differ by region.
The south region, Andalucía, has some great food
Tapas, sometimes called Pinchos, are small dishes that are available in tapas bars and many restaurants. It’s a very common way that Spaniards eat. It originated in the Andalucía in the 19th century and was meant to be eaten with Sherry. They were once free, but not anymore. There are many varieties of uniquely prepared meat, vegetables, or seafood dishes. These dishes are meant to be shared and make a great light meal or heavy meal, depending on your desires.
Each tapa bar is usually known for its particular specialty of spain food. They are usually best accompanied with dry sherry or a draught beer. Try tapas with my favorite beer Cruz Campo!
Because of its vast coastline, southern spain (or all of spain) has great seafood. The variety includes cod, hake, prawns, crayfish, clams, razor clams, octopus, cuttlefish, tuna and sole.
Seaside restaurants offer pescaito frito, fried fresh fish. Sanlucar has great langostinos, king prawns that are sweet and spicy.
Chorizo is a sausage made with smoked paprika and
garlic that is a regional favorite.
Fruits and vegetables
Southern Spain has a great hot climate for fruits and vegetables. They include tomatoes, papayas, peaches, mangos, oranges, asparagus, eggplants, artichokes and persimmons. And don’t forget the olives!
Common Dishes on a Spain Food Menu
The Tapa Menu
If you don’t know Spanish, you might be able to figure out what some of the tapas are, and others might get confusing. I think tapas are the best way to eat every day. It’s a great way to sample the regional cuisine and its fun every time!Sure, you could hit up a pizza place or fast food, but that would defeat the point of being in Spain! Their food has a rich history and must be savored!
Most popular Tapas in Southern Spain Food
Patatas Bravas – Fried potato chunks with a spicy red sauce. Alternatively, if you prefer something more creamy, the Patatas con Aioli is potatoes with a garlic mayonnaise and is seen quite frequently on menus.
Almendras Fritas – Fried salted almonds
Calamares Fritos – Fried squid rings and tentacles. Deep fried in olive oil, they have a light flour batter and usually served with a lemon wedge.
Jamon Serrano – Salt cured ham. It’s dried in the mountain air (Serrano air). The pigs are fed a diet of acorns, which gives it even a more unique flavor.
Queso Manchego – Sheep’s milk cheese from La Mancha.
Tortilla Espanola – Omelet made of potato, onion and eggs, usually served in a large wedge or several small bit size pieces.
Chorizo – Sausage flavored with paprika and garlic. It is eaten both cold or fried and served warm.
Salpicon de Mariscos – A cold salad of fresh seafood in a vinaigrette.
Pollo al Ajillo – Small pieces of chicken wings sautéed and simmered in a garlic sauce.
Albondigas – Meatballs served in a spicy tomato sauce, sometimes served without.
Mixed Green Olives - Olives stuffed with almonds or more commonly anchovies are served at almost all tapas bars.
Banderillas – Canapes skewered on toothpicks, meant to be eaten all at once.
More typical tapa spain food dishes you might see on the menu at the bar or restaurant…
Alcachofas - Artichokes, usually pickled in vinegar
Almejas – Clams
Berenjenas Rebozadas – Roasted eggplants
Boquerones al natural – Fresh anchovies in garlic and olive oil, can be served fried.
Bunuelos de Bacalao – Salt cod fritters
Cacahuetes – Peanuts
Calamares a La Romana - Fried squid rings
Callos – Tripe
Caracoles - Snails (very little, in shell)
Carne en Salsa – Meat in a hearty sauce
Champinones – Button mushrooms fried and served in a light sauce with garlic and parsley
Chiporones a La Plancha – Grilled cuddlefish with a garlic and parsley sauce
Chopitos – Cuttlefish in fried butter
Chorizo al Vino – Chorizo served flamed with brandy
Merluza a La Romana – Hake fried in a light batter
Migas – Breadcrumbs fried and flavored with several savory ingredients
Montaditos – Mini sandwiches made with a variety of fillings
Morcilla – Black pudding (blood pudding)
Muslitos del mar- Crab meat croquette skewered on a claw
Orejas de Cerdo – pigs ear
Paella – Rice dish made with meat, fish or vegetables containing the spice saffron
Pan de Ajo – garlic bread
Patatas a lo Pobre – Potato chunks sautéed with onions and red and green peppers
Patatas alioli – Potato chunks in a garlic mayonnaise
Pescaitos fritos – Fried fish with a light flour batter
Pescaditos – Small fried fish
Pimientos – Fried green peppers
Pimientos Rellenos – Stuffed peppers
Pinchos Morunos – Morrish kebabs, usually pork
Pulpo – Baby octopus
Quesos – Spanish cheeses,
made from sheeps milk, goats milk and cows milk
Rabo de Toro – Bulls tail
Revueltos – Scrambled eggs with asparagus or mushrooms
Salmonetes – Red mullet
Sardinas – Sardines, fried or grilled
Sepia a la Plancha – Grilled cuttlefish
Sesos – Brains, lamb or calf
Tortilla Espanola – Egg, potato and onion frittata
Verdura a La Plancha – Grilled vegetables
Hungry for more?
Here are some popular Spanish food recipes.
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