i think spain is so overlooked when it comes to cuisine.
very few people appreciate the incredible food that comes from this country,
and if you’ve never been … it’s not what you’d expect! you won’t find south
american or mexican type cuisine in spain. instead you’ll find a wide range of
fresh food often in the form of small bites and plates, allowing you to try as many
different tastes as possible in each meal. madrid offers so many great eateries
(which are all so cheap!) and a food tour through a local neighborhood was
the best way to discover some of them…especially since i was exploring alone
while chase started business school! don’t worry, i ate enough for chase too ;)
i did this madrid food tour through the huertas neighborhood and local markets.
it felt like we were taken around by a local friend who knew all the best stops!
we walked all through the city center into the colorful huertas neighborhood.
it’s known as madrid’s literary quarter because many famous spanish authors
lived here for centuries. it was the prettiest neighborhood to see, plus all of
the best food! i love getting a city tour combined with the best food!
our tour went a little bit like this ^^
i had to take a picture of our food agenda before we started,
because i knew i’d be in a food coma and delirious by the end!
1. first things first: churros con chocolat : one of the best parts about spain.
we had churros and postres (a thicker, sugarless version of a churro).
it was a filling start to the day, but so so yummy. that thick european
hot chocolate is the greatest thing on earth, and when you dip a warm
churro /postre into it … it’s pretty near heaven. great beginning to the day!
2. we continued with the sweets by dropping by one of madrid’s best & local
stores selling homemade spanish honeys and jams, along with the famous
ines rosales tortas de acetite. now they are fancy and sold in whole foods
all over, but they are made right here in spain and so cheap here!
3. we continued our healthy streak by stopping in at the crisps
factory where every tapas bar in spain orders fresh crisps each
morning! this factory actually makes churros for the morning,
and produces crisps for the afternoon. they are smart to make
the most out of all that oil! :) these were insanely good and i’m
a little embarrassed how many i munched on as we walked around!
4. spanish cheese tasting. i only think of manchego cheese coming from spain
(the BEST) but here we got to try some very different kinds from all different
regions. we sampled arzúa, zamorano, radiquero, & cabrales. they were all
pretty strong, but our guide talked us through the places they all come
from and made it so interesting while we ate. we were getting pretty full!
5. next it was off to the mercado for lots of local samplings.
i told our guide that olives were one of my very few food fears,
but my entire group cheered me on to sample them…and let me
just say, these gourmet spanish olives are nothing like the black olives
we get in the US- haha! these were all flavored so differently and
they were truly delectable. i am a little embarrassed that i was
proven wrong in my olive-hating ways! spanish olives are bueno.
6. porchetta in the market — i think this was my favorite thing!
it was so succulent and melted in your mouth. AMAZING!!
7. the famous spanish jamón! they take their dried ham seriously
here, and you will see why the second you try the gourmet varieties.
jamón serrano, jamón ibérico de bellota, & cecino de león…each
one fancier (and tastier) than the next. ¡muy deliciosa!
a few other highlights … sangria is a must in spain
(they made it virgin for me, not sure how they did that, ha!)
spain’s famous chocolate covered fig treat: bomboón de higo ^^
we walked the food off along more beautiful spanish streets!
we passed the home of cervantes and heard lots
of stories, pretty amazing ^^ our guide knew so much!
my selfie to show chase how FULL i was after this day!spain, i love you for many reasons … your incredible food being a big one!