Spanish Food Specialties

October 21, 2011 33 Comments »


Are you hungry? If not you will be after this post!

Instead of photos of grand landscapes,  today I tempt your taste-buds…with delectable Spanish food. I was in Spain for 3 weeks this summer and had the opportunity to eat at high end and rustic places. I even learned how to cook Spanish food for myself.  Spain is full of regional food specialties, however on this trip I was only in Valencia and Barcelona, but both were packed with food options. So, pull up a chair, tuck the napkin into your collar, pick up a fork, and join me for this photo feast!


Valencia is known for it’s paella.  A traditional rice dish normally made with meat, vegetables, or seafood is made in a special paella pan.  A very, very big pan.

Seafood Paella

Dishing up meat paella


Tapas are part of the Spanish way of life. Whenever you go to a bar and buy a drink, you’ll be served small portions of food – anything from a few nuts or a bowl of olives to a mini gourmet meal. I went on a Tapas tour of Barcelona provided by Viator Tours  and learned a bit about the tapas culture in Barcelona…not to mention was able to taste a few too! The word tapa means ‘lid’ or ‘covering’ and according to tradition the first tapas were slices of ham placed over a glass to keep the flies out. Now they’ve turned into a artistic presentation of a variety of foods that you nibble with your glass of wine to hold you over until dinner time.

Pinchos are small bites served with toothpicks (pincho). At the end the server counts the pinchos on your plate and charges you accordingly!

High end tapas in Valencia at Sucursal Restaraunt – a feast for the belly and the eyes!

Tapas lined up for your choosing in Barcelona – no, not the men…the food!

Spanish Food Specialties

Pork from the Iberian Pig

I fell in love with the cured pork called Jamón ibérico, (cured ham leg from the black Iberian pig).  I ate it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

It might not look appetizing…but it’s like butter…pure bliss

The Spanish love pork…and what’s not to love?


Gazpacho – a cold tomato soup.  Mmmmm – so fresh!

Gazpacho with smoked cheese

Salted Cod

The flavor is magnificent!  You soak the cod and remove the salt before serving, leaving a flavorful fish feast!

Salted cod sold at the market


And of course you have to have something to wash all of that yummy food down with.

Horchata (orxata de xufa) is the Spanish drink made from made from tigernuts, water, and sugar.  In the summer it’s served with ice and a little pastry for dipping!

Horchata poured for me at a Horchataria in Valencia

Or if you are looking for alcohol, then you must have a Mojito while in Spain!


Bottom’s up and bon appetit!

What’s your favorite Spanish food?  Please share in the comments!

Disclosure:  Oh Barcelona Apartments is hosting my accommodation in Barcelona. My trip to Valencia and surrounding areas was provided by Tour Spain and Valencia Tourism. However, all of the opinions expressed here though are my own – as you know how I love to speak my mind!

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