The Sublime Foods of Spain

The spectacularly beautiful European country of Spain serves up more than breathtaking views and romance. When you travel in the magnificent cities of Spain like Competa, Madrid, or Las Palmas the food is a big part of the experience. The cuisine is something you’ll likely fall in love with at the very first bite. Spanish cuisine is full-flavored and is as vibrant as the Spanish culture and heritage all around it. Here are some of the most sublime foods of Spain.

Tapas

Tapas bars and restaurants have become increasingly popular in the states and it’s easy to see why. Tapas refers to the small plate size of the dish, not the food that comes on it. So tapas come in endless varieties. In Spain, many places will serve complimentary tapas when you buy a drink, but in other places you’ll need to buy them. What’s nice about tapas is that you can order many different dishes and get a sampling of a variety of flavors instead of just having one large dish.

Gazpacho

This cold soup made from tomatoes, vinegar, olive oil, onions, cucumbers, garlic and carrots is amazingly refreshing during the hotter months though. Because each region prepares it differently, trying it everywhere you go will lend a new flavor and perspective to this simple soup.

Patatas Bravas

For the French fry lover in you, you simply must try this dish of fried potato chunks swimming in red bravas sauce (based from tomatoes and cayenne). It’s just spicy enough to be the perfect pair with your favorite libations.

Pulpo a la gallega

Seafood lovers shouldn’t miss out on this famous Spanish dish. Cooked octopus is sliced into small pieces and drizzled with olive oil, then sprinkled with cayenne pepper. It’s quite simple but the flavorful and textural elements of this dish are explosive.

Chorizo

Nothing has more pizzazz and spice than the pork sausages known as chorizo. They’re red and plump, and biting into them results in a juicy but delicious mess.

Jamón Ibérico

This famous cured ham from the Iberian region is like no other ham you’ve ever tasted. The pigs it is made from are fed a very special diet. The result is ham so amazing you’ve got to taste it to believe it.

Paella

And finally, one of the most quintessential dishes of all Spanish cuisine is paella. Not all paella is created equal though. You’ll be wise to avoid eating it in a touristy place. Instead, go where the Spaniards go to eat paella and you’ll be beyond impressed. Valencia is the place it originated from and while there are many notable versions of it with each chef imparting their own flair, one of the best is the seafood variety bursting with saffron and filled with prawns, mussels and vegetables.