There is no doubt that Spanish cuisine is some of the world’s best-loved food. We have a wide variety of quality products with deep-rooted tradition and the most skilled hands to cook them. In fact, food tourism is one of the country’s major drawcards and all visitors are won over by our wonderful cuisine. When we add this to fantastic wines, we really have it all. From all the traditional and modern food offerings to be found in Spain, these are the most popular dishes requested by travellers visiting us.
This post also includes the wines we recommend should be paired with each dish. However, this is only a recommendation! Depending on your taste and preferences, they can be enjoyed with any Grupo Faustino wine.
Paella is a classic and one of the standard-bearers of our cuisine. Spaniards traditionally picture Sundays when dad cooks and makes his special paella as the highlight of an enjoyable day for the family.
There are many ways of preparing the rice and different rice dishes that are ultimately known as paella, but distinction is given to the rice dishes prepared in the styles of Valencia and Alicante. A spring afternoon by the sea in the company of friends and with a bottle of Campillo Blanco Fermentado en Barrica.
2.- COCIDO MADRILEÑO.
While there are many versions of cocido stew – all containing meat, chickpeas and vegetables – Madrid-style cocido is the most international of all. This dish, with its evident influence from Arab cuisine, has legions of fans, and it’s easy to see why. It’s a complete, nutritious, delicious and hearty dish. Traditionally, the broth from the stew is served first, followed by the chickpeas and their accompaniments, typically beef shin, bacon, cabbage, potatoes and chorizo. Optionally, the chickpeas can be served with a tomato and cumin sauce. Even more delicious when paired with a Faustino I Gran Reserva.
3.- SPANISH OMELETTE. A NATIONWIDE FAVOURITE.
Another of the classics and an essential part of the taste of Spain. This potato omelette is so simple and delicious that it’s hard to beat. There are lots of ways to make it, and every family has their own special trick. Whether to add onion or not is a bone of contention among enthusiasts. And whether the centre should be more or less runny is an affair of state. But to each their own; there’s a version to suit every taste. Northern Spain, particularly in Galicia and Asturias, is where the most traditional recipes can be found. The omelette made in Betanzos, Galicia, is one of the most famous, and it’s perfect to accompany a bottle of Fortius Chardonnay.
Gazpacho, a cold, uncooked vegetable soup, was invented by Andalusian farm labourers. In order to help them withstand the high summer temperatures as they worked and for energy, they blended ripe tomatoes with bread, cucumber, green pepper, onion, garlic, oil and vinegar. We have them to thank for this dish that is never missing from Spanish homes on summer days. Packed with vitamins, this most refreshing dish comes in a chunky and smooth style. Its flavour is enhanced with a glass of Portia Verdejo.
5.- BACALAO AL PIL PIL
This salt cod dish is one of the stars of Basque cuisine. The natives of Bilbao are said to have a special talent for making it. Delicious, smooth and big on flavour, it’s the perfect excuse to wipe your plate clean with your bread. This fantastic dish includes oil, garlic and chilli pepper, while the name pil pil is actually the sound the oil makes in the pan as it’s turned into a sauce. We recommend having a bottle of Faustino V white on hand for the cook, and another for the friends waiting around the table.
6.- BULL’S TAIL STEW.
While salmorejo is considered by many Cordoba’s claim to fame, bull’s tail stew comes a close second. It takes plenty of time and patience to make this stew, but when it’s done and on your plate, the many hours that went into its making will have been well worthwhile. As the tail meat falls apart, it imparts the sauce with a texture and intensity unlike those produced by any other cuts. Carrots, onion and lashings of red wine are all your need to add for a perfect dish. A bottle of Condesa de Leganza Tempranillo is the perfect accompaniment.
7.- FABADA ASTURIANA
Few things feel so comforting on these cold and foggy days as this Asturian-style bean stew. Its origin isn’t clear, although there are theories that connect it with the cassoulet of southern France. Asturian faba beans are a type of legume with a very delicate flavour and texture. There are several essential ingredients required to make a delicious fabada, and if you can get them, then it’s really hard to go wrong. First you need good faba beans, and while fresh beans are best, they’re difficult to find. Another key is the compango, the meat accompaniments, particularly beef shin and smoked Asturian chorizo, which imparts a special flavour. It should always be followed by rice pudding for dessert, as the starch in the rice makes the beans easier to digest. It also helps to have a few bottles of Campillo Raro on hand.
Spanish-style béchamel croquettes are the best use you can make of leftovers. They can be made using anything it might occur to you to add. They’re typically made from the leftover meat from a cocido, chicken stew or a cured ham, among others. You can also turn raise their level of sophistication by making them with mushrooms and truffle, nettle greens, foie gras, squid in its ink… The possibilities are endless, and they’re all delicious. Getting the béchamel sauce right is the trick to this delicate treat. The croquettes made by Spanish mothers are considered the best, and they’re also best accompanied by a bottle of Cava Faustino Brut Reserva.
9.- ROAST SUCKLING PIG
Suckling pigs were already being roasted and savoured in Roman times. Which is why it comes as no surprise that Segovia, with its impressive Roman aqueduct, is one of the meccas for roast suckling pig. According to legend, the dish as we know it originated during medieval feasts, to distinguish true Christians from false converts. To make authentic Segovia-style roast suckling pig, you need a suckling pig weighing between three and five kilograms. It is roasted whole with salt and water, and the skill of the cook is what makes the skin crispy and golden, and the meat tender and moist. Accompanying the dish with a bottle of Portia Prima is a guarantee of bliss.
Marmitako is a bonito dish (bonito is a fish very similar to tuna) that was invented on Basque fishing boats. This simple stew would be cooked on board for the fishermen working on them, using potatoes, onion, peppers and tomato, and high-quality bonito or tuna, naturally. Before the arrival of the potato, it would be made with turnips or chestnuts. It’s a dish to be savoured by the sea, even better if you’re high on a cliff watching the waves break against the rocks. A bottle of Faustino V Rosé can become an essential part of the experience.