Barcelona is a unique and eclectic place. When I was there in 2019, I was overwhelmed by it's beauty and so many options of food. When you go down La Rambla, there are all kinds of restaurants one after another with the option to sit outdoors under the beautiful trees. There is a sense of party in the air all the time. I did take my time to enjoy the sunset at La Plaza, took a few photos, and enjoyed watching a dancer getting her pictures taken as the doves flew around her. It was quite an experience.
International travel allows people to gain a new appreciation for other cultures of the world, and a big part of any culture is the cuisine. The food of a region reflects their history, geographical location, and the resources they have available to them. Barcelona is a city on the northeastern coast of Spain on the Balearic Sea. The food fare that travelers will find there is reflective of the colorful history of Barcelona and its' centralized location (in relation to northern Africa and all of the Mediterranean).
Here are some of the great foods (and a couple of drinks) that all travelers (and foodies) definitely need to indulge in.
Let's kick this list off with a couple of great drinks that anyone traveling to Barcelona will need to try.
Sangria- Everyone knows that you have to try a great glass of Sangria. This is a great refreshment on a hot day. The great thing about Sangria is that every restaurant and Sangria maker has a different take on it, and some places will even offer up to 6 different varieties on their menu.
Cava- This is the sparkling wine of Spain. It usually is a drink that is on the sweeter type, but there is a variation. Brut cava is a cava that is drier, and it tends to taste more like traditional champagne.
There are a couple of traditional meats in Spain, and they should be on everyone's list of foods to try.
Iberico Ham- Iberico ham is to Spain what prosciutto is to Italy. This ham has become a famous ingredient known well to world-class chefs as one of the best hams in the world. This ham can be served on its' own or as an ingredient in a dish. It is cut thicker than prosciutto, so it is not as delicate and a little meatier.
Chorizo- Chorizo is a spicy sausage eaten in many different ways, including sliced up like salami or used as an ingredient in many dishes.
Manchego: This sheep's milk cheese pairs wonderfully with Iberico ham, it has a salty, earthy flavor, and it originated in the La Mancha region of Spain (hence the name). It's eaten throughout Spain with great popularity.
Dishes And Other Fare
Gazpacho: This is a chilled tomato soup that is incredibly satisfying on a hot Spanish summer day. It sometimes comes served with Pa amb tomàquet or with sides of croutons, red peppers, and onion. No matter how it's done, it's delicious.
Bocadillos: This is the Spanish version of a sandwich. They are made on baguettes that are soft and crusty all at the same time. You can choose the meat you want on it, and then they are topped with multiple sauces and toppings that can include lentils, lettuce, corn, or cucumbers.
Seafood: Barcelona is located on the Balearic Sea and is just a stone's throw from the Mediterranean. This makes Barcelona a central place for fantastic seafood. One of the great dishes to try is the calamari and squid, which you can get fried or grilled.
Bombas: Bombas is a combination of mashed potatoes and meat rolled in bread crumbs in the shape of a ball and fried. They usually come in two different sizes (like snack and meal size), and they are generally served with one aioli on top and another on the bottom.
Spanish Omelet: Not the breakfast omelet that is probably coming to your mind right now. This omelet is eaten all day and can come in an individual size or larger and served in slices. It is filled with chunks of potatoes and onions and served with some aioli.
Pa Amb Tomaquet: A bread that is served with many dishes in Barcelona. It is so popular that if you don't order it, many servers ask you if you want it. It is a slice of bread topped with a rub of olive oil and tomato and a dash of salt. Everyone puts their twist on the dish like some will toast the bread, and others will serve it with more chunks of tomato.
Croquettas: This is a dish that is a lot like the Bombas. Croquettas are filled with meat (usually chicken or Iberico ham) and cheese. They are a long, oval shape.
Spain can be a food lover's dream. Some fantastic restaurants and cafes line the streets, and all of the best Spanish fares are at a traveler's fingertips. They love to serve their food in the small-plate style, so the portions are significant for eating all day long. You need to be aware that there are going to be different serving-size options. A pintxos serving is a portion that is like a two-bite snack, perfect for on the go. A tapas menu will be a bigger serving size that is great for sharing amongst a couple of people.
Should you be interested in exploring Barcelona, either by plane or on a cruise, contact me so we can plan your adventure.
About Sheyla Paz
Sheyla was born and raised in Cuba. Moved to the United States 20 years ago after meeting her husband at her beloved island when she was performing with a band at the Riviera Hotel in Havana. She is a Journalist, Actress, Producer, and Photographer with a passion for travel. Sheyla launched the tour agency to Cuba out of her desire to share her culture, music, dance, and the architecture of her homeland with others. Her agency provides travel arrangements to all Latin countries and Caribbean islands. She has several award wining short films and was recognized as a leading media personality in the Latino community in Tennessee with the award “Beacon of Light” in 2019. Sheyla was one of the few Cuban-American journalists selected to travel to Cuba with President Barack Obama in 2016 as part of the White House Press Corp. Sheyla is an ASTA Verified travel advisor, Signature Travel Network Luxury Certified Travel advisor and several destination specialist in the Caribbean and Latin America. She is also certified in Luxury River and Ocean cruises.
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