International travel allows people to 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 is a reflection of their history and their geographical location and the resources that they have available to them. Barcelona is a city on the northeastern coast of Spain on the Balearic Sea. The food fare that travelers will find there is definitely reflective of the colorful history of Barcelona and its’ centralized location (in relation to northern Africa and all of the Mediterranean).
Here are some of the great foods (and a couple of drinks) that all travelers (and foodies) definitely need to indulge in.
Let’s kick this list off with a couple of great beverages that anyone who is traveling to Barcelona will need to try.
Sangria- Everyone knows that you have to try a great glass of Sangria. This is a great refreshment on a hot day. The great thing about Sangria is that every restaurant and Sangria maker has a different take on it and some places will even offer up to 6 different varieties on their menu.
Cava- This is the sparkling wine of Spain. It is normally a drink that is on the sweeter type but there is a variation. Brut Cava is a cava that is drier, and it tends to taste more like traditional champagne.
There are a couple of meats that are traditional to Spain and they should be any 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. This ham can be served on its’ own or as an ingredient in a dish. It is cut thicker than prosciutto, so it is not as delicate and a little meatier.
Chorizo- Chorizo is spicy sausage that is eaten in many different ways including sliced up like salami or used as an ingredient in many dishes.
Manchego- This sheep’s milk cheese pairs great with wonderful Iberico ham. It has a salty, earthy flavor to it and it originated in the La Mancha region of Spain (hence the name). It is eaten all throughout Spain with great popularity.
Dishes And Other Fare
Gazpacho- This is a chilled tomato soup that is really satisfying on a hot Spanish summer day. It sometimes comes served with Pa amb tomaquet or with sides of croutons, red peppers, and onion. No matter how it is served, it’s delicious.
Bocadillos- This is the Spanish version of a sandwich. They are made on baguettes that are soft and crusty all at the same time. You can choose the meat that you want on it and then they are topped with multiple sauces and toppings that can include lentils, lettuce, corn, or cucumbers.
Seafood- Barcelona is located right on the Balearic Sea and just a stone's throw from the Mediterranean. This makes Barcelona a central place for amazing seafood. One of the great dishes to try is the calamari and squid, which you can get either fried or grilled.
Bombas- Bombas are a combination of mashed potatoes and meat that are 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 usually served with one aioli on top and another on the bottom.
Spanish Omelet- This is not the breakfast omelet that is probably coming to your mind right now. This is an omelet that 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- This is a bread that is served with many dishes in Barcelona. It is so popular that if you don’t order it specifically, many servers with 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 is a dish that is a lot like the Bombas. Croquettas are filled with meat (usually chicken or Iberico ham) and cheese. They are a long, oval shape.
Spain can really be a food lovers dream. There are amazing restaurants and cafes that line the streets and all of the best Spanish fares is at a traveler’s fingertips. They love to serve their food in the small-plate style, so the portions are great for eating all day long. One thing that you need to be aware of is that there are going to be different serving size options. A pintxos serving is a portion that is like a two-bite snack and that is perfect for on the go. A tapas menu is going to be a bigger serving size that is meant for sharing amongst a couple of people.
Are you ready to start planning your next trip (whether to Barcelona or somewhere else) to explore being a foodie? Or would you rather visit Barcelona with a group of your friends who are also foodies? I can do the hard work of planning all the details for you or your group. Just give me a call or drop me an email. I hope to hear from you soon.