COCIDO MADRILEÑO

One of the selection of dishes, that go by names such as cocidos, guisos, estofados, caldos, etc,  that could suffer being counted among ‘tapas’ is Madrid’s signature dish. It’s not paella, it’s not a cold tomato soup, nor is it cured pig meat. Rather it is part of a family of Spanish dishes which is…

SANGRIA

The sunshine brings out the terraces and the terraces bring out the tourists. When foreigners come to Spain to wallow in its culture and food heritage and simmer under its forceful sun, there is one drink they are all primed, all ready, all keen as beans to try: Sangria. I must admit, hands up proffering…

PIMIENTOS DE PADRÓN

One of my first tapas experiences was in an underground bar near the Plaza Mayor in Madrid back in 2009. It was there that I partook in the customary coming together of Spanish friends to share food: Elena, Carlos, Esther, Moises, Maria, Alicia, Fran, Miguel and me, a chubby red-faced Englishman recently arrived. I don’t…

ENSALADILLA RUSA

‘That’s Russian salad! We have that in Spain!’ Commented my friend Elena on visiting me once when I lived in Moscow. ‘Actually, here it’s not Russian salad. This is Olivier salad.’ I responded while filling a couple of glasses of cold vodka. In Russia I ate simply, making homemade borscht, buying local cheeses and baguettes…

ALBÓNDIGAS

The idea of taking an animal and making it meat; taking said meat and making it ball-shaped; taking said ball shape, applying heat and making it cooked, is certainly not unique to Spain. Meatballs are one of those utterly international foodstuffs. The U.S. have their tasty but bastardised version of the Italian meatballs, served with…