If you’re studying abroad or spending some time in Spain, it’d be pretty hard to not come across these classic Spanish dishes. You can find them in the majority of local restaurants, and your host family will definitely have these prepared for you. Enjoy them while you can! And if your host family asks for help during dinner prep, take them up on it. You’re going to want to know how to makes these dishes when you get home. Southern Spain food is amazing.
Here are the 5 must-have foods in Southern Spain:
This is possibly my favorite food from my time in Spain. There are different signature ingredients in croquetas like ham, black sausage, or just plain cheese, and they are all mouth-watering. Tears run down my cheeks as I write this, what I would do for croquetas. If you don’t love them, then you need to find a better tapas bar.
2. Patatas Bravas
You will never look at cheesy fries the same. The sauce that accompanies the potato cubes varies, but expect something between mayonnaise, ketchup, and hot sauce—only much better.
3. Jamón Ibérico
You will inevitably see the large chunks of cured ham hanging from the ceilings of bars and markets. Some restaurants will delicately cut thin slices of Jamón in front of you, and all you have to do is let it melt in your mouth.
4. Tortilla Española
I know I said I love croquetas the most, but Tortilla Española might be tied for first. It’s a very simple dish—just potatoes, eggs, onions, and of course olive oil. Like an omelet, but oh, so much tastier. It’s thick and crunchy while also soft and hearty. Have it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or all three. Throw it in a bocadillo. You can’t escape Tortilla Española in southern Spain.
Like a Spanish Ratatouille, but better. For all you vegetarians out there, afraid you can’t study abroad in Spain? Think again. My host mom had pisto ready to eat for dinner almost every day, and I never tired of the vegetables. It was filled with tomatoes, peppers, olive oil, and zucchini, to name a few. Sometimes there’s a fried egg on top, and that makes it even better.
You haven’t really visited southern Spain if you haven’t experienced southern Spain food, right?