When you think of gastronomic delights and culinary masterpieces, you’d be forgiven for thinking of Pan-Asian fusion dishes, the classic French kitchens and incredible heady scents of ethnic cuisine. Few people expect Spain to pop up on any global gastronomic tour of the world. Sure, they have tapas, but this doesn’t constitute world class eating, does it? Spain shouldn't be overlooked as a destination should you wish to tantalize your taste buds and intoxicate your senses. Take a look at the regions, the flavors and the gourmet delights of Spain that should be on your hit list of things to partake in. Viva España!
Three Michelin Stars
If you love nothing more than sitting down to food that will literally take your breath away, then you need to visit one of the many three Michelin star restaurants in Spain. Since 1989, the tiny town of San Sebastian has basked in the glory of having Arzak as its culinary powerhouse. This quaint restaurant serves up traditional Basque fayre but with a modern and unique twist. Holding the highest of accolades, chef Juan Mari Arzak has created a kitchen capable of producing world class cuisine. The food arrives at your table looking like works of art, the flavor combinations are unheard of, and you will leave thinking about your culinary experience for weeks. Arzak isn’t the only three Michelin star restaurant in Spain, but it’s probably the best.
If you are less into the pomp of a Michelin star eatery and you’d rather follow the locals and eat where they eat, then you can’t go wrong in sampling the nation’s gazpacho. This delicious cold tomato, garlic, and red pepper soup is a staple at any tapas restaurant. Some regions even place succulent morsels of Iberico ham on top to create a more filling dish. When eating out at bars and cafes that are a little off the tourist trail, it’s a good idea to learn a bit of the lingo. You can find out more about taking an online language course to get you up to conversational standard before you even set foot on the plane.
Everyone loves potatoes right? The nations favorite potato dish is patatas bravas. These little nuggets of golden potato are a staple tapas dish served with nearly every meal. With a dollop of Spanish paprika and garlic mayonnaise on top, the finest coastal resorts understand the tourists need for all potato based food and enjoy exploiting a culinary want. You could travel from Costa Brava to Costa del Sol and from Bilbao to Barcelona, and discover that each region puts its own little twist on the recipe. You might find a bistro does their patatas bravas with a splash of Spanish sherry and another may forego the garlic mayo for a chili inspired sauce.
Heading to Spain needn’t be a typical tourist jaunt to a Balearic to enjoy sun, sea, and sand. Instead, take a look at all the gastronomic delights that you can sample in Spain and build your itinerary around a unique Spanish gourmet adventure.