RABO DE TORO (Bull’s tail stew)

If you say oxtail to a British person they are likely to think of a tin of soup bought for 49p from a local store. Not sexy food. If you say oxtail, or more precisely, rabo de toro, to a Spanish person, you are likely to witness salivation on a Niagran scale. Bull’s tail stew…

CASQUERÍA (OFFAL)

The entrails and internal organs of an animal used as food.        ‘eating pieces of braised offal turned his stomach’ 1.1 Waste Material.         ‘the packing plant dumped its offal into the stream’ 1.2 Decomposing animal flesh.          ‘gulls pecking at piles of offal from the narwhal…

ACEITUNAS (olives)

Perhaps no foodstuff is as ubiquitous in Spain as the humble olive. Aceitunas are served in almost every bar in the country. And given that there are about 132 bars per person in this country, that is a lot of olives. They say that there are upwards of 260 varieties; some for eating, some for…

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…

PATATAS BRAVAS

A potato by any other name would still taste as good. Sometimes I really can’t be bothered to think about what I want to eat when I’m in a tapas bar. Or sometimes I just find myself in a tapas bar and think ‘I should eat something.’ Sometimes I just want to stuff my face…

PESCADO FRITO

There are few greater pleasures and gastronomically correct senses of place in Spain than sitting by the quietly lapping shoreline of the Mediterranean whilst nibbling on plates of freshly fried fish, sprinkled with some tart drops of lemon juice, and served with a superbly chilled bottle of white wine or manzanilla. Pescado frito translates literally…