Traditional Spanish Dishes For Picky Eaters
We all know a picky eater. In fact, you may even be one yourself. There’s no harm in that, but let’s face it, it does limit us somewhat when it comes to world foods. Unless you’re in Spain.
The beauty of Spanish food is its simplicity and it’s perfect for the fussy eater, so rather than have to stick to salads, or gorge on burgers and chips whilst away you can really throw yourself into local cuisine whether you’re holidaying in Benidorm, or enjoying a cultural weekend in Bilbao.
So for all the fussy eaters out there, here are the simplest of Spanish dishes for you to get a real taste of Spain, without the need to heave – or sneakily hide it in your napkin…
So you like chips? You’re a fan of tomato sauce too? Then you really can’t go wrong with patatas bravas. It’s the Spanish equivalent of a bowl of fries and is a staple dish in every bar in the country. It’s one of the simplest dishes involving only fried potatoes and a tomato sauce with a little bit of a kick.
You’ll often find chorizo added to the dish if requested along with prawns, with seafood extremely popular in Spain particularly around Barcelona and along the coast.
Again, another dish which is vaguely familiar to plenty of others. Albondigas is a dish consisting of meatballs generally in a tomato sauce with no hidden ingredients, or anything that would be particularly daunting to a fussy eater.
Usually made from beef or pork, they’re the same as the meatballs as we’d find with pasta or spaghetti, or perhaps even in a sandwich and are found throughout the country.
The name is derived from the Arabic word ‘al-bunduq‘, meaning small round object, and were said to have taken inspiration from the Arab community when Spain was under Muslim rule. It’s a dish you can’t really go wrong with, and isn’t hugely far off the meatballs eaten right across the world.
Paella is Spain’s national dish and has been exported all over the world becoming popular in the UK and further west in the USA. There are a number of variations of paella, so it’s important you order the right one to ensure you’re not spending the majority of your meal picking through the ingredients you don’t want.
The dish originates from Valencia, and in the early days used water vole meat. However today you’ll find rabbit, chicken, duck, and sometimes snails in your paella, however, there are tons of alternatives for the pickier eaters.
Seafood paella generally uses seafood still in its shell as well as prawns, cuttlefish, and shrimp, as well as other varients which also include meat too known as “preparacion barroca”.
Perhaps the most suitable for a fussy eater is vegetable paella which includes garlic, peppers, onions, peas, tomatoes, and spices to add flavour. You’ll find this dish all over Spain, and in many bars you’ll often get a complimentary dish with your drinks.
We said at the beginning of this article that Spanish food is beautifully simple. The brilliance of many little dishes is that you can pick and choose exactly what your taste dictates, and one of our favourite items on the menu is the charcuterie board.
Essentially just slices of meat on a board, accompanied by bread, and often cheese as well as olives and pickles, it’s perfect to just snack away on whilst enjoying a cerveza or two, with the likes of serrano ham and jamon iberico putting the ham sandwiches you eat on lunch to shame.
Cured ham is hugely popular in the country, and walking through Madrid that couldn’t be clearer with a number of locations called Museo del Jamon in the city, all packed out with both Spaniards and tourists alike trying their beautiful produce.
There are lots of hams which can be tried in Spain as well as a range of cheeses including manchego and zamorano.
Of course the best thing you can do is just give a few things a try, that’s the appeal of tapas. It’s sharing food. If you don’t like one aspect, move onto a different dish and somebody else can finish that particular one.
It’s the perfect food to test your taste buds, and you never know, you might find something you like…