Ok, so we all know that Joey might not share food but you will be doing yourself a huge disservice in Spain if you don’t embrace the food sharing culture. Tapas, small savoury dishes, are served in most bars and restaurants across the region. The term tapas pretty much covers all types of food as long as the portion is small. However, if you really want to eat like a local we suggest ordering some typically Spanish dishes: patatas bravas (potatoes smothered in aioli and a spicy tomato sauce), pulpo (octopus) some gambos pil pil (sizzling prawns in garlic, chilli and oil) and a couple of portions of pisto with cracked eggs (a stew of aubergine, peppers and courgettes).
If your go-to on the wine list is the “cheapest red wine that you have” then you’re in for a treat in Spain. As one of the largest producers of wine in the world, there’s no such thing as a bad wine.
Great wine is accessible to everyone and for as little as two euros a glass you can be enjoying some of the finest tinto in town. Pro tip: drink like a local. Enjoy wine from the region you are staying in and immerse yourself in some of their vino traditions.
Staying in the North? Sample some aromatic Riojas or indulge in a full-bodied Tempranillo. If you find yourself in Barcelona, why not try drinking from the porró – a jug where you pour wine from a spout into your mouth. It’s a tricky one to master! If you’re venturing down South, why not try some of their regional varieties like a savoury Syrah, a peppery Cabernet Sauvignon or a fruity Merlot.
If you’re not a fan of red wine, there are plenty of alternatives on offers. Cava, the sparkling wine of Spain, can be enjoyed with a late breakfast or as an early afternoon aperitif. Or perhaps a sherry from Andalusia is the one that will tick the box? As the region that produces almost all of the sherry that is shipped to the rest of the world, you can be sure you’re drinking some of the finest that they have to offer. Grandma would be so proud!
Pintxos and tapas are often confused, but they are deliciously different. Pintxos, served in the Basque area, get their name from the Spanish verb ‘pinchar’, which means ‘to pierce’. While tapas are usually just a smaller version of a larger meal, pintxos are small snacks served on a stick and can be eaten standing up in one of the many packed pintxos bars in the Basque region.
Tapas are pretty much available anywhere in the world, but pintxos have remained local to the area. If you find yourself in San Sebastian, we highly recommend joining one of the famous pintxos tours, where you will enjoy a culinary and cultural journey through the winding streets of the parte vieja (old town).
Don’t despair if wine, cava or sherry doesn’t tickle your taste buds. The hills of the Basque and Asturias regions are peppered with small cideries, each serving up a variation of the sour, dry and slightly acidic cider that makes up the characteristics of Spanish sidra.
You can’t swing a leg of ham in Spain without hitting another leg of ham. Hanging from the ceiling, piled high on countertops – it’s delicious and it’s everywhere. Who knew that dry cured meat could taste so good? Do yourself a favour, pick a spot in the old town (every part of Spain has an old town), order a glass of vino tinto, indulge in some jamon y queso and relax in a gluttonous glow.