I have lived and worked in Spain for quarter of a century now ! And having traveled through most of Europe I can quite honestly tell you that the Spanish cuisine is not only one of the healthiest, it is most definitely one of the tastiest.
Spain didn’t really catch on to the mass marketed processed food until quite recently. And even today if you look in the shopping carts going around a super market you will see much more fresh produce than processed. The restaurants too, seem to focus mainly on fresh produce. I used to say that every “Venta” (roadside country restaurant) had the families’ granny in the kitchen.
So on the whole the Spanish are a healthy eating lot that take fresh produce for granted, and don’t mind spending time preparing fresh meals at home.
Let me introduce you to some of my favourite Spanish delights …
This is the omelette to match all omelettes. Usually 2 – 3 inches thick and a dinner plate of circumference. Made with potatoes, onion & egg. Sometime stuffed, my mum for example used to put red roasted peppers in the middle …. Mouth watering. And quite often served with homemade garlic mayonnaise ….
This is just so delicious … tomato, egg, bread, garlic & olive oil blended down to a thick sauce consistence … It is one of my very favourite things on this planet ….
Habas con Jamon
Baby butter beans that are gently finished in dry sherry and olive oil until cooled to perfection. Jamon Serrano is then mixed through to finish the dish – Outstanding …
I never knew scrambled eggs could be so enticing – until I met this dish. It is literally scrambled eggs with Jamon, vegetables, and prawns too if you want them. But it is cooked in such a way they the individual flavours stand out. The egg is not overpowered, and remains moist … drizzle it with olive oil and you are in egg heaven.
MMmmmm Little red bell peppers stuffed with a potato mash of either fish or meat. It is served in a sauce made of red bell pepper & cream … This dish is not one to miss if you see it on the menu.
A plate of cured cold cuts. Serrano, chorizo (the “Z” is pronounced as a “th” by the way !), salchichon … best eaten with a good Ribera del Duero wine and olives …
(This later photo is from a restaurant in Lanzarote so I best link it ! – http://www.patiocanariolanzarote.com/ I confess to never having been but the website look good !!!)
There is so much to the Spanish cuisines, the above is just a very small taste of what is a highly diverse culture. And as in any country depending on where you are in Spain the specialty will differ. The north for example specialize in Beef. Whereas the south mainly focus on pork.
Not big on deserts though, Flan – Cream Caramel, they do very well, in many different forms. Then its rice pudding or fruit … Obviously the finer restaurants will create “Postres” that will have your moth watering …
They do love their fish … and will literally eat anything they catch in its entirety … But that subject is for a blogger with a stronger stomach then I.
Now that I am suitably hungry ! I will go and get on with my tea …
What’s your favourite Spanish food ?