Eat in Spain as the Spaniards do and you won’t go far wrong. The Spanish are passionate about their food and are some of the world’s best grazers – after all Spain is home to tapas and most Spaniards eat regularly throughout the day and do so with style!
There are many travel blogs giving Spanish recipes and foodie travel tips. Most traditional dishes are small, light and sociable – the key to any good tapas (and good grazing!). Most have heard of ‘tapas’ but are not really sure what it is. Tapas is today known as a selection of small appetizer sized dishes similar to ‘meze’ in Turkey, cooked in all manner of ways, ideally eaten with a glass or two of local wine in the company of good friends.
The term ‘tapa’ when translated means ‘lid’ or ‘cover’ and, if we look back as to the origins of tapas, it refers to small pieces of food like meat or cheese placed over your drink then served. ‘Tapas’ doesn’t actually refer to food as many assume, it’s actually a way of eating it. Pretty much any small portion of food can constitute tapas. Popular Spanish favourites include paella, meat and cheese toasts, vegetable croquettes, fish and crudités but literally anything can be tapas as long as it’s served small and alongside drinks. Traditionally, if invited for tapas, don’t expect to visit just one restaurant. True Spaniards and tapas connoisseurs order a drink and tapas dish in one bar, then the same in the next and so on until you have had your fill and seen a few bars and restaurants in the process … think along the lines of an eating, drinking bar crawl! Today most bars in Spain have tapas on the menu and you won’t struggle for choice as to what to eat. Doing tapas the real Spanish way is a great excuse to get to know your destination, and a joy to the taste buds in the process!
So, where to go if tapas doesn’t tickle your fancy. Of course Spain offers all manner of other tasty options. Fine dining can be found in most towns and cities and many well renowned chefs have restaurants in the more popular areas, a simple Google search will point you in the right direction. For those on a modest budget simply wanting a good fill of food you can never go wrong if you follow the locals. The seafood on the coast is fresh, served simply and a great healthy treat. Paella originates from Spain and no trip would be complete without sampling this famous rice and seafood dish cooked to perfection in one of the many restaurants and there are many glorious regional meat and chicken dishes served with local sauces in most areas. For those wanting some home cooking, the resorts have no end of restaurants serving foreign favourites and the fast food giants can all be found dotted though out the town centres and commercial resorts.