As I may have previously said, just once or twice, I love Spain. And one of the many things I love about the country is the food. And fresh from my recent break away to the sunny island of Tenerife, I thought it’d only be right to relive the deliciousness that awaited me there.
A light, crinkle cut crisp which I have only ever found in Spain. I’ve tried to find them in the UK, but to no avail. My favourite flavour is the Jamon (ham, but taste more like bacon), but the original flavour (pretty much ready salted) are yummy too. I don’t think I’ve ever been to Spain and not had a bag of ruffles, and my boyfriend knows that the first time we pass a supermarket we’ll be buying a bag.
A Spanish twist on the doughnut, a churro is a straight piece of sweet dough that is then deep fried. Typical toppings will be sugar and/or cinnamon, and more often than not a dessert serving of churros will be accompanied by a pot of melted chocolate to dip in. I have to be in the mood for churros, and I don’t really like them when they’re just all crunch. I’ve also made them myself a few times, which ended excellently the first time and not so the second time. After boiling oil splashed my flatmates foot, I decided it was time to hang up my churro making hat (especially as the plastic churro piper fell in the oil and fused with a monster churro).
My absolute favourite ever Spanish food is tapas. The chance to try lots of different dishes in one meal, it can be tailored to whoever is picking from the menu. Tapas seems to be growing in popularity worldwide, but I love love love having tapas in Spain. I always make sure I’ve got Serrano ham on the list, as well as spanish tortilla. And patatas bravas seems to always make its way onto the table too, along with bread and ali oli.
Popular in Spain and South America, an empanada is the Spanish version of a pasty. A light, thin pastry holds the most delicious filling. I’ve tried to find a recipe to recreate these at home, but I’ve yet to find a recipe that sounds like the heavenly empanadas I’ve previously found. If you are ever in Spain, try the oblong ‘carne’ empanada – personal favourite!
Basically just a potato omelette, it is a staple of my tapas set list. I’ve also recently found that my local supermarket stock them, so I fully expect to eat so much I’ll turn into one! I’ve tried to make these at home, but they just never turn out how the ones in the shop do, so I need to learn the secret to making a decent spanish omelette.
Not something I would generally associate with Spain and would definitely not make my top Spanish food list, but for the sake of my dear boyfriend and our endless quests to find these darn things, they’ve made it! I am very British, and to me a doughnut is a disappointment if it isn’t filled with raspberry jam. I don’t appreciate the custard varieties I was surprised with in Spain (bad translation surprise from myself!) and I definitely don’t like ring doughnuts. Nevertheless, on our last day in Tenerife my boyfriend decided we had to buy some of these doughnuts, which led to an endless trek in the searing heat, before finding a shop that stocked them and buying 12 of the weird, stale things for he and his friend to enjoy.
Yum yum yum! Dried, cured ham that can be found all over the world, my favourite is the Spanish Serrano version. I don’t know what the difference is between all the different types of cured ham, but the stall in La Boqueria was like heaven to me!
Chorizo in Spanish actually means sausage, so I’ll be more specific. If you’re a Brit, it’s the chorizo you can find in Tesco, but for everyone else, I think it’s just called Spanish sausage? It’s definitely a treat due to the epic amounts of fat and oil that come from it, but you can’t have tapas without chorizo, and it’s also pretty yummy in jambalaya!
This can vary quite a bit depending on the region of Spain you are visiting. Mostly, it’s just fried pieces of potato, like wedges or something similar, which are then covered in a sauce. This can be a tomato or spicy tomato sauce, or some kind of mayo or ali oli. The best and worst I’ve ever had were in Barcelona. The best were just delicious with a tomato sauce that wasn’t too spicy but not too plain. The worst were basically chips covered in ketchup, trying to pass off as patatas bravas.
Probably the first Spanish food that comes to mind for most people. I’m not overly keen on the fishy kinds, which I think paella traditionally is. Instead, I love the chicken varieties, and if there’s a bit of chorizo chucked in too, well I won’t be complaining! This is a dish I usually find on half board holidays, where the hotel have a massive paella dish to the side of the show-cooking stations where you can help yourself, and maybe try to avoid the fishy bits.
While my top 10 food items may not be the traditional Spanish dishes that can be made, these are my favourite food items that I miss or crave while in England. Some are more readily available in local supermarkets, while others can be found as bad imitations in restaurants. One things for sure though – if I want the real deal, I can only get it in Spain.