When someone asks me which is the best Spanish food and what should they eat on a trip to Spain, it’s hard to come up with an answer. In decades of travelling to or living in Spain, I can count on one hand the Spanish food I’ve eaten that I haven’t liked. The rest? I recommend it all.
Traditional Spanish food is heavily influenced by local seafood, and is known for its fresh produce and healthy ingredients. When you eat food in Spain, you’ll find yourself served some of the healthiest food you’ve ever eaten — unbelievable amounts of fresh fruit and vegetables, cheeses, the famous Spanish jamon (ham), fish, seafood, lamb, olives, beans, mushrooms, even rice dishes.
Typical Spanish dishes include the world-famous paella (saffron rice served with different mixes of vegetables, meat, rabbit, chicken, duck, seafood, and beans).
Chorizo, the spicy Spanish sausage is also served at or in many meals, or as an appetizer. Omelettes with various fillings are popular, as are fish dishes, stews, sandwiches, jamon (ham), shellfish served a variety of ways, as well as sheep, lamb, pork and beef dishes. Stews too tend to be served often and, boy, are the Spanish good at making them.
Spanish cuisine is not particularly spicy, except for some specific dishes, and a typical Spanish meal tends to consist of a large salad, meat, fish or chicken, cooked one of many ways, a light dessert and fruit or cheese to finish up. Throw in some incredible, fresh Spanish bread, and you’ve pretty much got a feast for a king.
Spaniards love to take their time when they eat, so don’t expect to be able to rush in and out of a restaurant like you might in the US or England. Food in Spain is made to savor and enjoy, not to gulp down and hardly taste.