Food Guide: Spain
This dish is most common in the Valencia region, but is also served up on Spain’s southern coast. If you’re looking for traditional Spanish food while enjoying your villa holiday, it really doesn’t get much better than this. Tuck into sticky, smoky Calasparra or bomba rice with chorizo sausage, chicken, seafood, butter beans and green beans. Saffron is included in the paella sauce to give the dish an overall fragrant richness, making it one of the best foods to try in Spain.
A staple in Spanish cuisine – this is much more than just a tomato-style soup. Only the sweetest vine-ripened tomatoes are used, along with peppers, cucumber, garlic and seasoning, which are blended together before being chilled. Drizzle over some olive oil and get ready to plunge some home-made bread into this bowl of refreshing healthy goodness. In the Andalucía region of southern Spain, gazpacho is a common dish in summer and there is often a jug or menu offering it in tapas bars up and down the coast. A thicker version of gazpacho is called salmorejo, and is served topped with chunks of Ibérico ham as a garnish.
Gambas al ajillo
Tapas dishes and getting the whole family (or a large group of friends) around the table sharing multiple small plates is an integral part of Spanish social culture. Gambas al ajillo translates to ‘garlic shrimp’, and is a common staple in tapas bars. Savour large juicy prawns with a garlic-based olive oil sauce. It’s delicious served with fresh crusty bread. This is a common tapas dish, served in a small earthenware pot in restaurants. To make it back at your Villa Mi Sueno before dining on your outdoor terrace, fry up some local prawns in sliced garlic and olive oil before tossing in some sliced green chillis. Serve with bread from your local bakery.
Despite the name ‘tortilla’, this is actually an egg-based famous Spanish food that divides many in how it is made. Potatoes and onions are slowly fried in olive oil, before being mixed with beaten eggs. You can add anything you like as the omelette begins to take shape, although there are some purists who claim that adding onion is a culinary crime! Popular toppings are mushrooms, ham, chorizo, and courgettes. If you’re looking for a quick and easy brunch to make in the kitchen of your Villa Cortijo Viejo before spending the day relaxing in your private pool, this is an ideal choice.
Perhaps the most common dish on the tapas menu (and the most popular), patatas bravas is a must-try when it comes to Spanish cuisine. Essentially, the dish involves frying potato and then adding a sweet and smoky tomato sauce and herbs. In Spain’s capital of Madrid, the sauce is created using Spanish paprika (pimentón), flour, olive oil and chicken stock – but no tomatoes. Recipes vary, and some Spaniards insist on adding red wine or fino sherry to round out the flavour. While there doesn’t seem to be one exact way of making patatas bravas, many locals keep their methods and ingredients strictly to themselves.
This is essentially a Spanish version of the French dish, ratatouille. You’ll find that it is most common in the La Mancha region of Spain, and in countryside towns and villages in central Spain. You’ll need plenty of time if you’re going to make this dish the Spanish way. Peppers, onions, garlic, tomatoes and courgettes are slowly fried in olive oil on a low heat. Although traditionally served as a starter or side dish, you can serve it as a main meal with the addition of chorizo sausage or eggs – a perfect pairing with red wine and crusty bread.
Discover some of the best traditional Spanish food on a memorable villa holiday to Andalucia, the Costa Blanca or Costa Del Sol. Browse our selection of premium properties in Spain.