Spanish food is among the most famous and diverse in the entire world. Ingredients are of outstanding quality. Many foods have basic beginnings and are easy to make. Spanish cuisine has an unrivaled depth of flavor because of the ethnicities who have lived on the Iberian Peninsula throughout the millennia.
Good Spanish wine, cereals, fruits, dishes using pig, beans, potatoes, eggs, and many other components are topics that are frequently discussed. It’s hardly unexpected that the UN designated the Mediterranean diet as part of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity and elevated it to a pedestal. Spanish food is much more than that, though.
¡Delicioso! Top 15 Spanish Foods and Desserts to Savor in Spain
There are literally countless regional variations of traditional Spanish cuisine. The 14 Spanish foods and desserts listed here are the most popular and will please any visitor.
- Pimientos de Padrón
- Jamón Ibérico
- Tortilla Española
- Patatas Bravas
- Gambas al ajillo
- Pulpo a la Gallega
- Zamburinas a la Gallega
The crown jewel of the most delicious Spanish food is paella. This excellent lunch is considered by many Spaniards to be the national cuisine. Paella has a lengthy history. It was first popularized in Valencia before spreading across the nation and, finally, the globe.
If you’re a traveler who is familiar with Spanish food, you’ve probably heard of paella before. However, like with many popular foods, the original dish prepared in the place where the recipe originated is superior.
If you travel to Valencia, you may try the authentic paella, which consists of rice, Spanish saffron, rosemary, and mixed meat on top. Typically, this comprises snails as well as rabbit, sausage, and chicken.
But, as the popularity of paella has increased, so has the variety of Spanish cuisines. Both vegan paella and marisco paella are available. The latter is the dish’s most well-known international variation. This version, which is essentially seafood paella, has gained popularity as a result of the plentiful fresh seafood in the Mediterranean. Muscles, shrimp, fish, and even a few sliced chorizos may be found in addition to the rice.
The greatest Spanish cuisine uses chorizo, which is a staple item that can be found worldwide. However, the origin of the sausage dates to Spain in the sixteenth century. The excellent chorizo is now available in spicy, sweet, smoked, dry-cured, and even vegan forms, thanks to the five centuries that followed.
To return to its origins, however, traditional Spanish chorizo is a fermented, cured, and smoked sausage that is usually made from pork. After that, it is cut up and seasoned to taste with salt, Spanish paprika, garlic, and olive oil.
Across Spain, chorizos are divided into two categories: Picante (spicy) and Dulce (sweet) (sweet). This is the kind of pimenton (Spanish paprika) that is used in the well-known Spanish meal. Regardless of the kind, pimenton gives chorizo its well-known rich rouge color.
The careful curing procedure is largely responsible for the delicious taste of Spanish chorizo. Yet, you may find it in a variety of dishes, including on a bocadillo and in paella, whether it has been smoked or not. You may grill it and serve it with real tomato sauce and red wine on the side, or you can eat it cold-sliced on a tapa.
A cold soup, gazpacho is similar to Salmorejo. Another instance of Spanish food deviating from the norm is this. Yet I doubt that we tourists would choose anything different. Gazpacho is a traditional Spanish meal that uses fresh and local vegetables rather than the typical steaming soup. Make sure you try this delicious meal on your trip to the country, as it is one of the best Spanish foods you will ever taste.
It won’t keep you warm in the winter, but in the summer, it’s just as useful as a cool drink. Without weakening your resolve to endure the summer heat, the flavorful filler will fill you up and recharge your energy.
You might be familiar with the rich, creamy tomato flavor of gazpacho. Yet it had just recently been included in the formula. Though gazpacho was created in the Roman Empire, tomatoes didn’t become widely available until the 1800s.
Pimientos de Padrón
Another one of Spanish top foods that you must try on your trip to the country is Pimientos de Padrón. Based around Padron peppers, which are native to the Padron area in Spain’s northwest, this delicacy has a distinctive depth of flavor and may be prepared in a variety of ways.
It’s a meal that many tourists find fascinating and is adored all around Spain. The alluring form of the peppers is to blame for this. They are narrow and arc downward from the top, varying in breadth as they go.
Despite their strange contortions, the peppers have a distinctive taste. These are mostly relatively mild, but there will be hot spots as well. The fact that each pepper is unique due to various growth techniques emphasizes this. You won’t know how hot your Pimientos de Padron are very often until you try yours!
Churros are another top Spanish dessert that you must try on your trip to Spain. These tasty fried dough strips and twists are popular for breakfast and are sometimes dipped in sweet treats. They include exquisite dulce de leche or caramel, hot chocolate, and champurrado.
Churros are thought to have come to Spain from the nearby country of Portugal. These delectable sweets were brought back from China by the Portuguese. There are several sizes and styles of churros. Some want them straight and short. Some people adore twisted and spiraling churros.
The process of making churros is fascinating to observe. Churros may be made for you by a lot of street sellers at any time of the day. Churros are a wonderfully delicious Spanish treat when dipped in hot chocolate or caramel and are moreish, sweet, and satisfyingly crunchy.
Did you know that Spain is one of the top countries for ham production and consumption? Almost 35 million hams are produced nationwide each year. Once you taste Jamon Iberico, a cured ham meal, you won’t find this number shocking as it is one of the best Spanish foods in the world.
You can find the classic Spanish meal, which is a big part of Spanish culinary heritage, all across the nation, with some of the more well-known variations being found in Madrid.
Around the 1400s, Jamon Iberico first appeared in Spanish cuisine. The wonderful Spanish meal was undoubtedly popular because of its simplicity. The black Iberian pigs used to make the ham are located all throughout the peninsula. Before serving, it is then salted and dried outside for up to 36 months.
a genuine component in Spanish cooking. Spanish tortillas are a favorite food of millions of tourists in Spain. The recipe is straightforward. Sliced onions and cubed or sliced potatoes are sautéed in olive oil till tender.
After being drained, the potato and onion combination is mixed with eggs in a bowl. Next, the mixture is put into a skillet and gently cooked on both sides. According to legend, Tomás de Zumalacárregui, a leader in the Carlist army, created the first Spanish tortilla.
The general devised the dish as a quick and simple way to feed his men when Bilbao was under siege. The versatility of Spanish tortillas is what makes them so appealing. You may serve them hot, cold, as a main course, or even as an appetizer!
In Spanish cooking, simplicity is as much of a motif as the well-known, traditional, spicy tastes. This pattern is continued with patatas bravas, a well-liked tapas dish offered in bars all throughout Spain that you might want to serve the next time you have a gathering.
In contrast to the transcendent position potatoes have now, it required famine and starvation for European countries to start eating potatoes. The introduction of potatoes into Spanish cooking around the 16th century is considered to be the birth of this delicious dish. So, throughout the years, recipes evolved into what we may now enjoy.
Cubed potatoes are cooked in heated olive oil as the basic appetizer. They are then put on a tiny dish with a drizzle of hot sauce, salsa brava, or aioli, and some sundried tomatoes on top. While they are widely available, some of the best patatas bravas are created in Madrid.
If you’ve ever eaten and enjoyed ratatouille, you’ll adore the Spanish adaptation of this well-known meal. Pisto can be found all across Spain, although it is most prevalent in the La Mancha region’s tiny towns and villages south of Madrid. Although pisto is best served as an appetizer or shared plate to warm up before the main course, its vibrant tastes have still won it a spot on our list of the best Spanish foods and desserts.
Courgettes, onions, garlic, tomatoes, and peppers are the basic ingredients of pisto and are slowly sautéed in a bed of olive oil. To allow the taste to meld, you must take your time. Several recipes ask for the inclusion of fried eggs or chopped-up chorizo in addition to the standard components.
Gambas al ajillo
Spain is renowned for its plethora of flavorful tapas eateries. Because there are so many shared small plates with delectable little meals, you’ll often be able to skip the main meal and yet feel full and satisfied.
Gambas al Ajillo is one of the often served meals at the numerous tapas bars all around Spain and one of the best Spanish foods and desserts. When entering, you are greeted by the enticing aroma of frying prawns. You’ll be strongly tempted to choose the simple yet delectable entrée.
Basically, grilled prawns with chile, olive oil, and roasted garlic are what makeup gambas al ajillo. The straightforward tastes come together to produce a masterpiece that retains its flavor as you consume more of it.
Another well-known tapas dish and top Spanish food is croquetas, which are breadcrumb-covered balls, sometimes stuffed with leftovers, a variety of meats or vegetables, and a mouthwatering bechamel sauce. Originally from France, croquetas were introduced to Spain at a royal feast in the early 19th century.
The Spanish version has now become a popular tapas. Your palate will squeal with delight at the dish’s harmonious combination of the crispy surface and the soft, warm inside. The breadcrumb exterior encourages cooks to use their imaginations to the fullest, and you may apply the same spirit of adventure while you’re cooking at home. In addition to ham, Spanish blue cheese, morcilla (Spanish blood sausage), and bacalao, potatoes are a typical element.
While traveling through Spain and you find yourself in haste, follow the locals’ example and get a Bocadillo which is also one of the best Spanish foods you get to try on your trip to the country. This sandwich is a typical midday meal across the country. This Spanish dish is a loaf of bread in the baguette form that is filled with your choice of cheeses, meats, and veggies to create a filling sandwich.
As it was a cuisine that even the poorest people in Spain could buy, bocadillo has been a favorite for ages. As a result of the limitless filling options, which allow you to have a different Bocadillo every day of the week, it quickly acquired popularity across the country.
A Bocadillo often contains cold-cut meats, just like many sandwiches do. They can be thin-cut beef, salami, or ham (of course). You’ll be in lunchtime heaven if you add some renowned Spanish cheese, finely sliced olives, and tomatoes.
Pulpo a la Gallega
Although the octopus is an essential component of Spanish cuisine, we haven’t yet discussed it. Octopus has been a cherished component of regional cuisine for hundreds of years; in fact, it has come to be regarded as a delicacy. If you enjoy seafood, you’ll be happy to learn that the Spanish are among the best cooks of octopus.
The octopus is traditionally cooked in a huge copper pot. The recipe has been improved over time, and the greatest cooks have perfected the boil-down timing. Pulpo a la Gallega is one of the best Spanish foods that you must try.
This is due to the fact that if you boil an octopus for an excessively long time, it immediately becomes overcooked, undercooked, rubbery and difficult to eat. After being cooked to perfection, it is sprinkled with salt, paprika, and a little olive oil. It is then put on a serving platter with some bread and the red wine of your choice.
Tomato soups are a popular choice for staying warm and staying well throughout the coldest months of the year when the sniffles and coughs are contagious in the neighborhood. But, the Spanish have developed a chilled tomato soup as a method to cool down during the hot summer months when the heat is dispersed just as evenly by the old cobblestone streets as by the sun itself.
This soup’s name is salmorejo, and it originated in the picturesque city of Cordoba in southern Spain; it is one of the top Spanish foods and desserts. Although tomatoes had long been a key ingredient in Spanish cooking, this original addition produced one of the nation’s most mouthwatering dishes.
Skinned tomatoes are combined with olive oil, garlic, and soup. The amount of bread added after that will determine how thick the soup is. The result is a very creamy taste profile.
Ham (Iberian if you’re feeling fancy), finely sliced tuna, and slices of hard-boiled eggs are typical ingredients to salmorejo. There are several variations served all around Spain, and it also makes wonderful leftovers for a quick lunch.