Spain on my plate
Experiencing Spanish cuisine in a country deeply rooted in food culture.
Written by Katie Keever
Spain is best known for its music, dancing, futbol, rich culture, and most of all, FOOD!
I traveled to Spain in March of this year and had hopes of finding some of the best food in the world. Suggestions on where to eat and what to eat were thrown at me left and right. From breakfast to late-night foods, there is an endless amount of different foods to explore.
I was so eager to have my first food experience in Spain. I walked around the streets of Barcelona letting the aroma of food take me from street to street. Our first dish was pizza. While not typically what you would expect of a Spanish meal, pizza can be delicious no matter where you go. And the glass of sangria enhanced the meal greatly.
Tapas (small plates of various types of meats, seafood, and snacks) are very popular in Spain. We had about three different plates for our first try, including shrimp, calamari, and papas. Oh, and of course we indulged in the sangria again to wash it all down.
Breakfast was a great meal because of the delicious salty chorizo that was always an option on the menu. The dark pink chorizo exploded with salty, rich flavor in every bite and with an egg on top, we were in heaven.
We made room for dessert throughout the day. It was pretty hard not to stop at all of the colorful ice cream shops that were on nearly every corner. The gelato was creamy and thick and a wide array of flavors ranging from mango to chocolate-peanut-butter cheesecake were offered too.
Before leaving for Spain we were advised by all of our friends who spent time in San Sebastian that we had to spend our Thursday night bar hopping to get pintxo pote. These traditional Basque snacks are usually eaten at bars and come in many varieties. The most common style is a piece of bread skewered with a toothpick holding meat and cheese on top. The ones we encountered ranged from small slices of pizza to deep-fried mashed potatoes. The options were endless and served as a great snack while at the bars.
Late-night foods were a must after walking around exploring the nightlife. Locals directed us to Donner Kebab and exclaimed these were the “best kebabs in San Sebastian.” They told us we had to order a durum and share it because it was so big there’s no way you could finish one yourself. The durum was one of the best foods we had the whole trip. It was so simple but yet so delicious. It is a burrito-style kebab filled with some sort of spicy sauce, cheese, lettuce, and chicken that was shaved off a shawarma rotisserie.
We saved the most traditional meal for the last night: paella. We resisted every time we saw it so that we could enjoy it for our last meal. Paella is a traditional Spanish rice dish made with seafood or meat. It was served in a skillet embedded in rice and topped with shrimp, mussels, and clams.
Paella is usually a dish that you share so they provide you with a big spoon to obtain a heaping portion as a self-serving meal. The mixture of flavors burst in your mouth with a buttery, herb spice, seafood mixture. By the end of the meal, no one had a single bite left. Saving this flavorful, traditional meal for last was the best way to end an amazing food-filled trip.