Upon sharing the information that the hubs and I were moving to Spain for a year, one of the first questions many people asked was "What is the food like there?" Spain has some delicious food. And then some, well, very strange menu items (in my humble opinion). The pictures below are all of different foods we've eaten so far.
This first picture is a very traditional Spanish meal that was cooked for us by the Johnson family, who we stayed with when we first arrived. In the top left we have pan, which is the Spanish word for bread. Spaniards rarely ever eat a meal without pan on the table. They cut up or tear off pieces from a long, fresh loaf and eat it plain and dry.
In the top right picture we have ensalada (salad), with white asparagus. Spaniards are typically pretty healthy when it comes to their salads, in comparison to Americans. Occasionally when you're out to eat you can order a salad with honey mustard or caesar dressing, but they usually just eat it with a mixture of olive oil, vinegar and salt. Tasty and good for you.
In the bottom left you see an assortment of meats and cheese: jamón serrano (dry-cured ham), pavo (turkey) and two different types of queso (cheese), cheddar and manchego. When grocery shopping in Spain, you will see every type of cheese imaginable.
And lastly for this meal, the bottom right is tortilla de patatas (potato omelet). This is one of our faves. It's thicker and less eggy than the breakfast omelets you're probably thinking of. So good. And one of Spain's most traditional foods.
Before I continue, let me tell you about tapas. If you've ever heard about Spanish food, then I'm sure you've heard this word. Tapas are basically like small appetizers. Many places serve free tapas when you order a drink. It's also not unusual for a group to go out to eat and order drinks with several tapas to share as their meal.
Next item on the list is a tapa - croquetas (croquettes) - These are breaded and fried and usually filled with some type of cheese and meat. The particular ones above were filled with ham and cheese. J and I liked these alright, but they weren't our favorite. They were just so rich tasting that we only had a couple bites each.
One of my very favorite tapas is patatas bravas. Those of you who know me know that potatoes are my favorite food. These are topped with a spicy, tomatoey sauce and are deeelicious.
Pictured here is a mixture of chorizo, potatoes and fried eggs. Chorizo is a very popular meat here in Spain. This dish was brought out still sizzling in the greasy skillet. Yum.
If I had to choose the single most "traditional" Spanish food, it would probably have to be paella. It's a mixture of rice, meat and veggies. Seafood, or mixed paella is very popular, but we decided to go with chicken only because the seafood here usually still has heads or eyeballs or legs, which I don't do too well with. ;) But I'm definitely a fan of this yummy dish!
This next meal is a little fancier one, you might say, of pork kabobs, served on an adorable mini grill while still cooking, and some of the best tasting shiitake mushrooms I've ever had. One Friday evening after leaving class, the weather felt perfect and J and I were trying to find a place to eat at outside. All the restaurants were completely full, but after walking around for several minutes we found a table open at this restaurant so we went for it. And even though it was on the pricier side, it was so worth it.
And...okay, okay, yes we've had cravings for greasy, awful-for-you American foods a few times, alright? So, thankfully in these moments we have a few options.
One option is Foster's Hollywood. This restaurant has my all-time favorite food: CHEESE FRIES
And a second option, which we were surprised about, is TGI Fridays, where we ordered this delicious combination of nachos.
So, now who wants to come visit us and try out some of these delicious Spanish dishes?
Linking up with: Chelsea