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Old 03-09-2009, 09:47 PM   #1
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SPAIN - any particular dishes I should try?

Hi everyone,

I am going to be in Spain twice over the summer and since I have never been there, I was wondering if anyone had suggestions on dishes that should not be missed? Any feedback would be appreciated.

Thank You,

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Old 03-10-2009, 02:21 AM   #2
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Don't try to drink the coffee "black".
I never use cream and sugar in my coffee, until I went to Spain!!

Most of our meals were routine Spanish and Americam dishes nothing fancy.
We loved the Ice Cream bars.
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:41 AM   #3
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Where are you going in Spain. Knowing that would help. I know by the coastal areas of Spain the sea food is amazing.

While personally my experience with the food in Madrid was not mind blowing I would recommend a few things:

- Try tapas - I enjoyed the bread, queso fresco cheese (my favorite) and garlic gambas (shrimp). The meatballs were good too. I don't eat pork and that's where I had the biggest problem. It is almost in all places. If you enjoy it you may like Jamon which is a local ham that all my collagues were going ga ga over.

- Try cuttlefish. It's like super small calamari fried crunchy. It's like eating fishy french fries but really good

- Try pulpa - Octopus. I had never tried it before but it was actually pretty good. I had the grilled version

You did not ask but I will say that definitely go see a Flaminco dance performance if you can. I went to a place called Casa Patas in Madrid and it's supposedly one of the really authentic places to go catch this performance. I had the privilege of having many of my Spaniard friends guide me and do translations for me so it worked really well.
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Old 03-10-2009, 09:16 AM   #4
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as long as it is fresh and local it will be wonderful.
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Old 03-10-2009, 10:26 AM   #5
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Yes it depends on where you go. I spent 3 years in coastal Andalucia back in the 90's, and some of the fresh seafood are wonderful. I agree with Yakuta, go for tapa hopping and sample all sorts of goodies. Tortillas (not to be confused with mexican flat bread, sort of rich thick omelette!) and various crostatas (toasted crusty bread with various topping) were my favourites. You can try variety of palellas, one of the most noted Spanish dishes but they have many many varieties depending on the region. Also don't forget to sample local olives, olive oils, jamon (ham), cheeses made from sheep milk, and sherry!
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Old 03-10-2009, 12:08 PM   #6
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Paella, paella, paella! It will be different everywhere you order it, but it will always be good. The last time I was in Spain, I never went wrong by ordering "sopa de pescado", which is like a fish stew (a "sopa" is thicker than an ordinary soup). Also always different, always good. Once, I ordered "pollo con ajo", which was roast chicken covered in garlic cloves. One of the most delicious things I've ever eaten. By all means, eat tapas whenever you get the chance. I ate octopus (pulpo) for the first time in Spain and I love it. You'll find wonderful chewy bread (pan) and outrageously good cheese (queso) and olives (aceitunas). Like Urmaniac13 says, don't miss having a Spanish "tortilla". I buy them in the grocery store here as well, and they are usually full of potatoes, cheese, onions and other good things. Have fun!!
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Old 03-10-2009, 12:44 PM   #7
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Did someone say SPAIN?? YUM!

As it has been said, it depends on where you go. Like URMANIAC, I also lived in coastal (SW) Aldalusia for four years in the mid-late 80s. Since we were a fishing town, fresh fish and seafood was widely available.

In central Spain I have had wonderful roast leg of kid (goat), awesome lamb and great braised meats during the winter.

Summer fare tends to be lighter as the season and heat dictate. By all means go out tapa hopping. Check and see what others are having and get some. There are foods there that no matter how hard I've tried and other restaurants have tried, cannot seem to get properly replicated in the U.S., riñones al jérèz (kidneys in sherry)... suffice it to say I'm drooling as I type this.

Have some jamon serrano and queso manchego with a glass of sherry or a beer. The simplest pleasures are available for mere pesetas - well now, Euros.

If you're heading north to the Basque region, let your inhibitions go: eat, eat, EAT! Who cares if you can't pronounce it or don't recognize it?!

Every region in Spain is noted for something. Go with an open mind and an empty stomach.
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Old 03-10-2009, 01:38 PM   #8
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Let me know if you are going to Barcelona. I can direct you to some restaurants that I have been to. Oh try arroz nero. Doesn't look very colourfull as it's all black, but tastes heavenly.
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Old 03-10-2009, 09:02 PM   #9
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Thank you to everyone for your replies. In June I am going to Spain as part of a tour group and we will be in Madrid, Granada, Costa del Sol and Seville, as well as a day in Morocco and a couple of days in Portugal (Lisbon). I will be returning in August with a friend and we will be in Madrid for awhile and we aren't sure where else we will be going. We will be getting together soon to plan what exactly we will be doing and where we will be going.

Thank You,

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Old 03-11-2009, 05:10 AM   #10
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Paella - YUM

and lots of Spanish red wines
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Old 03-11-2009, 03:01 PM   #11
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That sounds like a wonderful trip. Don't miss The Prado in Madrid, and the exquisite cathedral in Seville. We had some wonderful sangria in Seville on a hot summer's day...enjoy your adventures.
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Old 03-12-2009, 09:09 AM   #12
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If you get a chance, in Portugal have some Alcatra. It is the best recipe for beef ever. I make it at home but it isn't nearly as good.
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Old 03-18-2009, 12:01 PM   #13
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Blood sausage is delicious. I'm not sure if I'm spelling it right, but I believe it's called morcilla. The one I had was fried. The beauty of Spain is that if you go to a tapas bar, you can try a ton of different things cheaply in small portions.
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Old 03-23-2009, 01:29 PM   #14
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I have recently tried a pastry called Turron ! It is amazing , delicious ! Don't miss it PLEASE , it is made of honey, sugar, and egg white, with toasted almonds. It is usually shaped into either a rectangular tablet or a round cake.
He you enjoy your trip there !
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Old 03-23-2009, 01:43 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toots View Post
Paella - YUM

and lots of Spanish red wines
In the summertime, I'd go for the paella, but I'd be drinking the fabulous white wines and roses! As another poster mentioned, paella is different in every town, and actually by every cook. No two are alike. And most have no fish, unless you are on the coast!

the ham in Spain is better than any in the world, so unless you don't eat pork for religious reasons, please do try it.

If you look around you in a restaurant, and see something that looks good to you (if unfamiliar) give it a try. That's the best way to eat in any foreign country, imho. Be adventurous. If the locals are eating it, clearly it won't kill you!

and don't forget to try the delicious sparking wine (called Cava).
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Old 03-25-2009, 05:14 AM   #16
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Many thanks to everyone for all the great suggestions. I can't wait to get there!

It's always interesting to check out the foods in different countries and Spain is a place I have never visited before. I'm also going to be in Portugal if anyone has suggestions for when I'm there.

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Old 03-26-2009, 08:55 AM   #17
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My partner was in Lisbon just a few weeks ago. Their #1 specialty is bacalhau, salted cod. The fish is soaked to remove the excess salt and soften, then prepared in various ways, as the saying goes, you can prepare a bacalhau in different dish every day for an entire year. He tried a fried bacalhau smothered in spicy tomato sauce and says it was exquisite, accompanied by the famous Porto wine.

Also not to be missed will be pastry shops which are bursting with rich delicious sweets, he had a blast more than once each day...
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