The reasons why I fell in love with Spain
I will immediately talk about 10 traditional dishes that you must taste in Spain in 2020 or when you will be able to get there, but let me first say a few words about this country and the reasons why I fell in love with it.
In 2019 I spent a dream holiday in Spain. I fell in love with this country as I got off the plane. It was just a matter of luck, simply because I found the cheapest flights to this place. I chose Malaga as my holiday destination. No other place on earth I think could have made me happier.
It was May. The weather was warm. Almost every day it was 27-28 degrees Celsius. The trees were in bloom. Malaga was dressed in purple. Yes, the trees in this city have beautiful, purple flowers. People were tanned and very happy. They seemed to have no worries, problems, or pain. Everyone was smiling. People were eager to help you with advice and directions.
Malaga is a very clean city
Even before the pandemic, the authorities washed the marble-paved streets of the old center every night. There were extremely interesting tourist attractions in every step. In Malaga, you can’t get bored. I felt from the first moment that I would like the city, but I did not expect to fall totally and definitively in love with traditional Spanish food.
I tasted everything that got in my way. Moreover, I enjoyed each assortment of food separately. Now I’m sorry I didn’t take pictures of everything I ate. There were so many tasty dishes. It didn’t even matter if I went to eat at luxury restaurants or bodegas in the old town. Traditional Spanish food is just as appetizing wherever you eat it. Spanish cuisine is amazing.
About the dishes I will present below
My husband knows a little Spanish, but not enough to discuss recipes with chefs. We generally spoke English in Spain, but neither we nor the Spaniards knew enough to talk about traditional food. I will ask you to take my word for it that their food is extraordinarily good. It looks very good and is very tasty. The prices are low and the portions very generous.
But let’s move on to the subject of this article. We usually eat traditional food whenever we go on holidays through other countries. That’s the only way you can know and understand people, right? Here are 10 traditional dishes that you must taste in Spain if you manage to go on holiday in 2020. If not, I am sure that the food will be just as good in 2021, 2022, and all the following years.
10 traditional dishes that you must taste in Spain
1.Paella de marisco
Although internationally famous, where it is considered to be the traditional Spanish food, this dish is, in fact, traditional only in the Valencia region. Did you know that paella means frying pan in Spanish? Paella is cooked with round grain rice, rabbit or chicken, saffron and green beans. Seafood paella (paella de marisco) replaces meat with seafood. Also, there are no green beans in this kind of paella.
Tapas means a small appetizer, a small portion of a dish, usually served on a slice of bread. There are cold tapas and hot tapas. Both dishes are just as tasty and good-looking. Tapas, this famous dish of Spanish cuisine, has been brought to the rank of art in certain places on earth. In some restaurants it can even be eaten as a main course, because customers are served a lot of small tapas.
The Spanish tortilla is actually an omelette with potatoes and sometimes with onions in the composition. The tortilla was served cut into a triangle. I received a fresh and very good-looking salad, as you can see in the photo. I also received slices of tomato and a slice of bread lightly fried in oil and sprinkled with spices. It is commonly known in Spanish-speaking countries as tortilla de patatas, tortilla de papas or tortilla española.
These small fish are in great demand on the beaches of Spain. Next to each terrace and restaurant on the beach, there is a barbecue where chefs constantly cook fish of all sizes and shapes. Their aroma attracts you from afar. Anchovies go very well with beer.
I can’t remember the name of this fish. But I can tell you he was alive before I walked into the restaurant. Next to the kitchen there is a pool where many fish of different species swam. The waiter urged me to choose the fish I want to eat. I felt sorry for him, but he was the fattest and most beautiful. I offered him a good thought while I ate it, especially since it was very tasty.
6. Roast pork leg
This is a dish that we also cook in Romania, but I have never eaten something as tasty as this spanish roast pork leg. The cook cooked it for almost 24 hours in the oven, over a very low heat, sprinkling oil and spices on it from time to time. The pork melted in your mouth and tasted great. I think it’s an old traditional dish of Spanish cuisine. The old people were mainly the ones who stopped to admire and even buy a portion. You could see on their faces how much they had missed this food.
7. Russian salad
Although Russian salad is not a dish in Spanish cuisine, I chose to post it on the blog because it was the right food at the right time. We walked a lot on the seafront in Malaga. It was very hot outside, so at one point we felt we could no longer walk. I walked into a bar and saw the salad. It was cold and tasty. Exactly what we needed at the time. In fact, I’m not even sure if that was Russian. It looks like a Russian salad. It is refreshing and fits perfectly on the beach.
8. Churros and hot chocolate
This is the traditional sweet of Spain. They don’t go apart. You can only find them together. I searched through Malaga and found nowhere. But I was lucky in the end. We made a day trip to Ronda, the city built on the rocks, and there, on the main street, they had churros and hot chocolate on every terrace, restaurant and cafe. They were, in fact, a kind of donuts with a different shape. Tasty, but they didn’t impress me enough.
9. Cheese cake
Cheese cake is a cake made in several layers. The bottom usually has biscuits. The next layer is usually the thickest. It is made from ricotta, eggs and sugar. I received a cold glass. Above was currant jam and a mint leaf for decoration. Exactly what you need in Spain, where the weather is so hot.
10. Fresh salad
If you go on holiday to Spain, you have to taste fresh salads. No two are alike. The chefs take care to prepare good-looking plates, in as many colors as possible. The taste is always very good. You will enjoy them especially if you come from the UK, where the weather is colder, so you are not used to the heat of Spain.
Tips and tricks
You can go to eat at five-star restaurants. You can try the most famous and expensive restaurants. But you should know that the food in the old center of Malaga, although much cheaper, is just as tasty.
The Spaniards are very generous. At most restaurants you will notice that you ask for a portion and you receive a huge plate for two people. Always ask if the portion is for one person or two.
Don’t leave Spain until you taste their tomatoes. They have huge tomatoes with an extraordinary taste. You can find a similar assortment at Tesco, but they do not have the same taste. Ask the restaurant for the tomato salad with garlic. It’s something of a dream.
In Malaga, somewhere near the marina, on one of the main streets, you will find crepes. You have to taste them. They are huge (I found something similar in Edinburgh) and very fragrant. I chose crepes with nutella and bananas. Excellent.
The article was about 10 traditional dishes that you must taste in Spain, but here I went and gave you a few extra tips.