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5 Spanish dishes you should taste - By Marta López
15 November 2013 @ 19:50

Bio: Marta López is a Spanish travel writer based in London.  She loves quality food, Spanish wine and travelling. She is currently working on her first novel.

Article: Spanish cuisine consists of a variety of dishes and they ´re not necessarily only paella or the popular Spanish omelette. From the rainy North to the arid and mysterious South, this country is an open menu. Behind each regional cuisine there are hundreds of stories and of course an endless list of recipes. And that was only one reason the Spanish Public Television decided to film a TV show called Un país para comérselo, ("A Country good to eat"). It shows the adventures of two famous Spanish actors who travel around Spain and meet locals, who show them the best of their gastronomy. Because I love traveling and I love good food, here are my 5 very easy to cook dishes from all around my country.

1.Basque Country: Bacalao a la Vizcaína

It´s typical from Vizcaya, an area located in the North of Spain close to the French border. In this region the cod is served with potatoes, peppers and paprika. This fish has always been famous for being a bit dry but thanks to the rest of the ingredients, it will turn into something juicy. Remember it is also a very popular dish in Christmas time, when some families prepare it for the 24th December dinner. 

How to eat: Make sure you have in the fridge a very cold white wine.

2. Catalonia: Pan tumaca

Pan tumaca is a traditional Catalan recipe that whoever visits Cataluña will find it at any tasca or restaurant menu. It´s literally bread, tomato, salt and olive oil -and it tastes like heaven! There are people in Spain that even prepare this recipe for breakfast. If you prefer to wait until lunch time, have the pan tumaca as a starter. 

How to eat: Take a slice of bread with tomato and add some Serrano ham to make it even more irresistible!

3. Galicia: Vieiras rellenas a la gallega

It´s without any doubt the most popular starter in Galicia, a green area based in North West Spain. The scallops have always been part of the Galician cuisine, which is mostly about seafood and fish. The way these people prepare the Vieira is famous all across the country. You only need little slices of ham, tomato, parsley and breadcrumbs to prepare the scallops.

How to eat: This is a delicious starter that goes with an Albariño wine.

4.Valencia: Fideuá

It's very similar to paella but instead of rice it comes with fideua, a sort of noodles that as well as the paella rice, they become slightly yellow because of the saffron. Although there are different variations of it, Fideuá is usually made with fish and seafood. The history says that this recipe popped up occasionally one day when some sailors wanted to cook a paella but because they knew the Capitan would eat most of it, they tried the recipe with noodles instead. Apparently, they failed and the Capitan loved the dish! Today fideua is loved by locals and tourists.

How to eat: Add some oli-oli in your plate and don't forget the bread!

5. Andalusia: Salmorejo

It´s probably one of the best summer dishes in the South of Spain. This sort of "cold tomato soup" is made of tomatoes, vinegar, a bit of garlic and of course, olive oil -the Spaniards never forget this ingredient! Although people from Andalucía have different versions about this recipe´s origin, Salmorejo is typically from (Córdoba) 

How to eat: Decorate the salmorejo with slices of Serrano ham, bread, chopped boiled egg and it will be ready to eat! 

The best way to get familiar with any cuisine is travelling to the country where it is from. In this case, it would be amazing to visit all of the cities across Spain but it would take you ages, as the list is endless! So why not visit Madrid? The capital of Spain is today home to people from different corners of the country, so it's a good way to taste Basque, Galician, Catalan and many other unknown kitchens.If you need accommodation check out (hotels in Madrid with Expedia) near Malasaña, one of the most cosmopolitan areas in the city with bars and restaurants that open until late. For metropolitan transport information, visit the metro website. Remember this is the easiest way to move around the city and if you are thinking to stay there for few days, get the 10 rides pass.

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Txako said:
16 November 2013 @ 15:31

Bacalao is a weekly dish. At Christmas, it tends to be Besugo, or else "Merluza".

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