Category: City

Food in Spain – Why Spain is a Top Foodie Destination

I first discovered Spanish food at a tapas bar in New York City and fell in love instantly, since then I had wanted to travel to Spain and experience the real thing.

I finally had the chance to visit Barcelona, the main goal of the trip was to experience the many tapas bars and excellent food and culture. I was not disappointed and intend to visit again in the coming years for the same reason – the food!

I greatly enjoyed the country, its people and lifestyle and can see myself living there, shopping in the markets and cooking with the most amazing ingredients – specifically fresh seafood and pork products.

Spain has many different personalities and flavor profiles from Andalucia to Galicia to Catalonia and everything in between – every part of Spain has its own food specialties and traditions. I prefer the more traditional Spanish dishes and way of eating for example roast baby pig and pintxos/tapas mainly because you can taste the history, culture and soul of the country. Tapas is a very social way of eating with no ‘rules’ that you must first have your salad then entree then dessert in that order – you can enjoy whatever you like and as much as you like, you’re not limited to only one or two things which keeps the eater from becoming bored and allows one to easily try new things. In my experience, Spanish cuisine in general whether traditional or modern is always prepared with passion and a sense of pride and respect for both the country and the ingredients – Spanish cooks don’t just want to feed your hunger but they want to touch your soul and seduce your mind! In Spain, eating is not just something one does out of a need to survive, it is an experience and a way to connect and relate to those who prepare the food and those you are sharing your meal with.

I believe the culture of food in Spain is something that many Americans are just starting to understand and appreciate. In the US, people sometimes have a negative or non-existent view of food. Because so many people in the US have health and weight problems, food is often seen as something bad that you need to avoid and not take pleasure in. Many people are raised in environments where little or no emphasis is placed on food – its merely a form of sustenance lacking flavor and creativity. I feel that people are starting to rebel against these ways of thinking about food and are beginning to recognize that food can be something positive. When travelers return from experiencing food in Spain, they can’t help but talk about their eating adventures – the buzz is growing and anyone who is seriously interested in exploring new foods can’t help but add Spain to their list.

Another reason why people are starting to embrace Spanish food is because the American food culture has been very dull. People quickly grab a bite to eat in between errands, they gulp down re-heated take-out while watching TV and many people want to add more flavor and excitement to their meals but don’t have access to unordinary ingredients or restaurants in their area – these people are ready and willing to experience something different and exciting. Because Spain is so welcoming and has a great deal to offer visitors in addition to excellent cuisine, it is the perfect foodie destination.

Also, there is a growing segment of the population that has discovered a passion for food especially that of different cultures and is seeking that which they cannot have – the tapas bar hopping experience, the delicious cava and my personal favorite – jamon, something you can’t get easily in the US. You can order your cured pork and aged Manchego online, you can sit at an American interpretation of a Spanish bar but its an empty experience – nothing compares to the real thing.

 

Spain – Culture and Adventure Everywhere

Maybe when you think of international travel, you think of the hassle and stress of all the preparation including getting or changing your passport. Getting a new passport or adding pages to your passport can be done quickly and easily with online services available. You can spend your time deciding where to go and what to pack but preparing for a trip, even if you will be traveling internationally, has been made stress free with services offered on the internet.

If I have convinced you to lose your fear of international travel, please consider Spain to be your destination. Fine food and Spain seem to be inseparable and the Spanish city of Barcelona is known around the world for serving the finest cuisine available. Speaking of eating delight, Tapas are a Spanish tradition enjoyed at restaurants, sidewalk cafes and even taverns throughout Spain. Tapas are a sort of appetizer that has become a tradition to the Spanish modern culture and can consist of a variety of meats, Spanish Cheeses, or even pastries but always irresistible.

The colorful character of Spain can be easily enjoyed by strolling among the streets of Barcelona. It is not uncommon to find street performers along your travels through this incredible city as well as artwork, architecture and sculptures that can take your breath away. If you are an architecture buff, you probably know the work of Gaudi and Barcelona is considered the home of his famous architecture. He is known for his unique style which, while produced during the Art Nouveau period, must be classified as uniquely his own. It is imperative to have a current passport to enjoy this experience and expedited passport renewal makes it quick and easy to get your passport in hand.

You may find yourself enjoying be beaches of Costa del Sol but only two hours away, you will find some of the finest skiing in the world in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Imagine, vacationing in a country where the experiences of relaxing on the beach and skiing snow covered mountains have only two hours between them.

You can’t mention Spain and forget the Running of the Bulls along the streets of San Fermin. This event occurs during the summer so go online and find when it is scheduled and plan your trip accordingly if you happen to be a thrill seeking traveler. Remember, while anyone is welcomed to run, you run at your own risk.

 

Tips to Visit Valencia, a Lovely City of Spain

Valencia is the third city of Spain, by number of inhabitants. It is located to the east of the Iberian Peninsula, next to the Mediterranean Sea.
If you plan to visit this lovely city, read this tips:

Which is the best time of the year to visit Valencia?

Valencia has a warm climate so you can visit us all the year.

If your objective is to enjoy our beaches, I recommend you to visit us from June to September.

If you want to know the fallas, you’ll have to come between the 15 and the 19 of March.

For the rest of activities: visits to monuments, the city of the arts and sciences, routes, etc, any day is good.

How many days should I stay in Valencia?

I recommend you to stay 3 days:

The first day dedicated to know the city and its monuments. In the morning, visit la plaza de la Reina, the Cathedral, the Miguelete, the palace of the Generalitat, the central market, the city council, the towers of Serranos and Quart. Go to eat to the beach of the Malvarrosa, and in the evening, walk by the marine stroll and reach the port to contemplate the preparations of the America’s Cup, that will be disputed in Valencia in the 2007.

The second day, leave the city and go to the beach of the Saler and the dehesa, narrow piece of land that separates the sea of the Albufera (Lagoon), populated with dunes and pines. Go to the town of the Palmar to eat and, in the evening, take a stroll in boat by the natural park of the Albufera and contemplate the sunset on the lake.

The third day, dedicated to know the city of the arts and sciences. Visit L’umbracle, the oceanographic museum, eat in his restaurant surrounded by aquariums, and in the evening, visit the museum of sciences, and L’Hemisferic.

Where can I eat the real valencian paella?

The Valencian paella is a dish universally well-known, but also prepared of so many different forms that paella is called to almost any dish that contains rice.

The authentic Valencian paella can defraud if you expect to find seafood, or ribs, or blood sausages, or other exotic ingredients that are used in some places of Spain (olives, potatoes, etc.). You’ll only find vegetables and meat (of chicken and rabbit), in addition to the rice, of course.

Consider that this dish arose in the Valencian rural atmosphere, and the agriculturist used the ingredients he had by hand: the vegetables of the familiar orchard, and the animals of corral (duck, chicken and rabbit). In spite of its simplicity, you’ll find it exquisite.

If you like the seafood, ask for a “paella de marisco” (seafood paella), or a “arroz a banda”. Also you can request the “mixed paella”, of seafood and meat, although I do not recommend it.

In almost any restaurant of Valencia, you’ll find great variety of rice plates. I advise you to visit the restaurants of the Malvarrosa beach, where you’ll be able to eat good paellas (although noncheap) and later you can walk by the promenade at seaside.

Also I recommend you a visit to the Palmar, a town of fishermen. Almost an island surrounded by waters of the Lagoon. There you will find also good surroundings to enjoy a paella and, later take a boat by the Lagoon.

What is the arts and sciences city (“ciudad de las artes y las ciencias”)?

It is a complex of buildings dedicated to the culture and built by several architects of reputation, among them Santiago Calatrava and Felix Candle. It began to be constructed in 1998 and is made up of 5 buildings.

Due to his futurist architecture, the visitor feels in a space of different leisure, that allows him to alternate different atmospheres in “a reduced” space. We can submerge in the marine depths in L’Oceanografic and right away following we can enjoy a three-dimensional film in the L’Hemisferic or can take a walk by a mediterranean forest in L’Umbracle and continue with a exhibition on the Milky Way.

 

 

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