Top Food to Enjoy in Spain
What excites me most during my stay in Madrid is the experience of trying out the typical cuisine of Spain. Some of the dishes are already familiar to me, but the others are new. Even the usual dishes are tasty because the ingredients are so fresh and grown locally. Coming from Canada, I find food cheaper, even with the euro exchange. It is often more healthy and tasty.
My first foray into Spain's gourmet food was lunch at an Asturian restaurant. We hoped to try the "cachofo" which is typical of Asturias. People warned us how substantial this "cachofo" so we only ordered one plate. When it came, it was huge, as you can see in the picture above. It came with a blue cheese dressing which was perfect for the dish.
Coated with flour and crumbs, the beef, smoked meat, and cheese inside blended so well to the taste. We paired it with Sidra, and it was an excellent combination. It was a delight to eat, but it was so huge that the two of us could not even eat half of it, so we asked for a doggie bag.
The next day, we thought of following the Asturian theme, so we went to look for Callos done the Asturian way. We found what we hoped for and when it came, the dish surprised us as it is different from the callos we know of in the Philippines. Our callos there had garbanzos, but here there were none of that. The tripe was also cut into tiny pieces, not the more significant pieces we were used to growing up in the Philippines.
I found out afterward that even the other Spaniards also found the tiny pieces odd. Again, dishes typical to a country are often prepared differently in the various regions. The taste, however, was precious.
The next time we went out for our lunch, we ordered "chipirinos" and "lovina", a kind of fish. The "chipirinos" were tiny squids, cooked to perfection, soft, and not chewy.
I could no longer eat the fish, so we had it wrapped. I ended up giving it away as I was full. I don't usually eat potatoes, but they seem to prepare it here to my taste that I devour it, even the potato chips I'm not fond of regularly. Lovina will have its place on my list next time.
I was looking forward to trying the tapas in Spain, so my friend brought me to Mercado San Miguel. Okay, it's full of tourists, but locals also visit this place. Its advantage is that it offers various Spanish specialties, so you can sample all of the typical Spanish dishes by just coming here.
Know how to insert yourself in the crowd and snatch a place to camp while your other companions get the food you want to try. It's fun.
Here in Mercado San Miguel, we tried several tapas. My favorites were the boquerones, the anchoas, the bacalao, and a bit of jamon. With the Spanish tempranillo, it was enchanting to the palette.
Pulpo is a favorite, so we searched for a Pulperia. We went there the first time, and they told us that they were not serving yet. We asked for their time, but the cook was not there the next day when we returned the next day. We were not going to give up, so we returned the third time and got our pulpo.
They served the pulpo on a bed of potaoes so we ordered mushrooms cooked in garlic. It came first, and it was so tasty that we ate most of it. Earlier, the waiter asked what we wanted on the side, saying potato chips. He went out to the closest grocery to buy some for us. We were impressed that he went out of his way to serve us well. Look at the picture below.
We went to a square in front of a big hospital and enjoyed some churros con chocolate for dessert. When I traveled to Spain each time, I longed to have churros, but I wanted the thick chocolate. I had been disappointed several times that I had stopped ordering it.
This time, I was pleasantly surprised. So, for two, we only paid five euros. It's a tiny pop-up stall in the square, but there's always a line-up. What's interesting is you can see them make it. There are no tables so find yourself a spot in the park.
There's so much more from Spain's pastelerias, charcuterias, fruiterias to entice your appetite. I will share more in the next post.
To cap this delicious experience, we went to Ponzano Street, lined with restaurants, and chose a place where we could enjoy food outside. We started with Zamburinas, little scallops, and ordered a paella as well.
When we finished the zamburinas, the waiter suggested moving inside for the paella, which is common sense. Eating paella in cold, windy alfresco will destroy the experience. So, in we went and we savored our paella.
As usual, we had to bring home some because the portion was too much for us. We eagerly carried home our leftovers, passed by a grocery, and bought a bottle of wine.
Other Places in Spain Worth Visiting:
These other places in Europe will definitely interest you: