One thing I love about international travel is that it helps people gain a new appreciation for other cultures of the world, and a big part of any culture is the cuisine. The food of a region reflects their history, their geographical location, and the available resources. Barcelona is a city on the northeastern coast of Spain on the Balearic Sea with a plethora of delicious food options. The local cuisine is a reflection of the colorful history of Barcelona and its’ centralized location (with respect to northern Africa and all of the Mediterranean). No visit to Barcelona is complete without a trip to the famous La Boquería Market.
Here are some of the unique foods (and a couple of drinks) that all travelers (and foodies) definitely need to indulge in during their next trip to Barcelona:
Sangria: Hardly anyone travels to Barcelona without trying a refreshing glass of Sangria, the perfect beverage on a hot day. Every restaurant has a different take on this traditional Spanish drink, and some restaurants even offer several different varieties on their menus.
Cava: Cava is the sparkling wine Spain is known for. It is usually on the sweeter side, but there are variations, including Brut cava (a drier variety) that tends to taste more like traditional champagne.
There are a couple of traditional meats to Spain that should be on everyone’s list of foods to try.
Iberico Ham: Iberico ham is to Spain what prosciutto is to Italy. This ham has become a famous ingredient known well to world-class chefs as one of the best hams in the world. It can be served on its own or as an ingredient in a dish, and it is cut thicker than prosciutto, so it is not as delicate and a little meatier. When I first tried Iberico Ham in Mallorca, you could actually taste in the meat the acorns the pigs ate!
Chorizo: Chorizo is a spicy sausage served many different ways, including sliced up like salami or used as an ingredient in many dishes.
Manchego – This sheep’s milk cheese pairs wonderfully with Iberico ham. It has a salty, earthy flavor, and it originated in the La Mancha region of Spain (hence the name). It is eaten throughout Spain.
Gazpacho: Gazpacho is a chilled tomato soup that is incredibly satisfying on a hot Spanish summer day. It sometimes comes served with Pa amb tomàquet or with sides of croutons, red peppers, and onion. No matter how it is served, it’s delicious.
Bocadillos: The Spanish version of a sandwich, bocadillos are made on baguettes that are soft and crusty all at the same time. Choose the meat and add multiple sauces and toppings that can include lentils, lettuce, corn, or cucumbers.
Seafood: Barcelona is located on the Balearic Sea, just a stone’s throw from the Mediterranean. This makes Barcelona a central place for fantastic seafood. One of the great dishes to try is the calamari and squid, which are typically served fried or grilled.
Bombas: Bombas are a combination of mashed potatoes and meat rolled in bread crumbs in the shape of a ball and fried. They usually come in two different sizes (like snack and meal size), and they are generally served with one aioli on top and another on the bottom.
Spanish Omelet: Not the breakfast omelet that is probably coming to mind. This omelet is eaten all day and can come in an individual size or larger and served in slices. It is filled with chunks of potatoes and onions and served with some type of aioli.
Pa Amb Tomaquet: is bread that is served with many dishes in Barcelona. It is so popular that if you don’t order it, many servers ask you if you want it. It is a slice of bread topped with a rub of olive oil and tomato and a dash of salt. Everyone puts their own twist on the dish, like some will toast the bread, and others will serve it with more chunks of tomato.
Croquettas: This dish is similar to Bombas. Croquettas are filled with meat (usually chicken or Iberico ham) and cheese and are a long, oval shape.
Spain can be a food lover’s dream. Some fantastic restaurants and cafes line the streets, and all of the best Spanish fares are at a traveler’s fingertips. Food is often served in the small-plate style (tapas), so the portions are perfect for eating all day long. There are different portions sizes including pintxos (like a two-bite snack), perfect for on the go, and a tapas menu that is a bigger serving size meant for sharing between a couple of people.
Hungry yet? For your next food-centric trip to Barcelona, contact Premiere Luxury Travel today!
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