Spain has the right idea across the board. Beautiful beaches? Check. World class museums? Check. Strongly encouraged siestas? Check. A deep fried doughnut with national significance? Check. It is an absolute wonder we all haven’t moved there by now. Here are five great reasons to put your Barcelona beach ready body on hold just for a moment.
1. Churros. I’m just going to throw it out there first and get it over with because, churros. Deep fried and delicious, these delightful Spanish doughnuts are a staple of any foodie tour in Espagne. Add to that the steaming cup of hot chocolate- literally chocolate that is melted for dipping, not drinking, and you’ve got yourself covered in the dessert department for about a year. Our favorite stop in Madrid for these tasty treats was Valor, a chocolateria famous since 1881 and rightly so. We settled in for a tea time snack around 4pm and let me tell you- the tourist to local ratio was about even.
2. Tapas. All of them.
3. Jamón Ibérico. Ham is literally every where you look in Spain. From the pig’s legs on the counters of restaurants to the “meat cones,” (a term we affectionately dubbed all those chunks of meat held together by paper in each and every butcher shop window), it’s a subject not taken lightly. Iberian ham is the crème de la crème of ham, making it the most expensive but also, the most delicious. Curing takes years, acorns are involved and eventually you realize it just ruined all future charcuterie forever. Sorry.
4. Paella. All things delicious rolled into one large pan and cooked over an open fire, flavored with saffron and available every where in Spain. Servings for one can easily feed two, making it a backpackers dream. The varieties are endless so if you don’t find what you’re looking for at one place, walk next door and try again.
5. Gazpacho. Bless you. It’s fun to say even if the thought of cold soup leaves you well, cold. This chilled version of tomato soup chalk full of raw vegetables, is found everywhere during the summer months in Spain. If you’re lucky, it might even come free as an amuse-bouche.