5 Dishes And Ingredients From Spain You Have Probably Not Heard Of Yet

Spain is a country in Western Europe that has always been a part of many travel bucket lists. This country is known for its delectable food, Flamenco music and dance, bullfights, Moorish heritage, siesta, Mediterranean beaches, wines, football, and more. The most popular activities tourists worldwide can take part in when they are in Spain include seeing beautiful artworks in Madrid, watching a Flamenco show, traveling back in time in Toledo, and visiting Spain resorts, especially during the summer season, among many others.

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Food In Spain Amidst Changing Times

There are several things to do and attractions in Spain worth trying. But perhaps one of the best activities you should not dare to miss when you are in this European nation is trying out Spanish food. You may be familiar with and recognize some of these Spanish dishes, like the paella or tapas.

But the COVID-19 pandemic, like how it has affected several sectors of the society, has also immensely changed the way tourists from around the world try out these foods from Spain. Before this global pandemic, Spain received more visitors than its actual population each year. Moreover, most of these tourists spend their holidays at resorts or hotels, which usually serve “global recipes” or adaptations, and do not serve authentic local gastronomy.

It is for this reason we crafted this article. We want to take you on a gastronomic journey exploring different foods in Spain that you perhaps have not yet even heard of. Let’s get to it. Prepare your palates for something unique and extraordinary.

Various Spanish Dishes And Ingredients You Probably May Have Not Heard Of Yet

1. Horchata

Horchata is a drink that originates from Valencia – the home of the paella – that has also reached the shores of South America, such as Mexico, a country that was colonized by Spain several years ago. This drink is very refreshing during the summer and almost unheard of outside Spain.

It is made with white rice soaked in water, flavored with cinnamon, and sweetened with granulated sugar. Every ingredient is minced together in a blender, perhaps, and then later strained to remove the solid parts. There are versions of horchata that are dairy-free. At the same time, others contain milk, and other versions have nuts, vanilla or coconut.

Among the recipes you can make using horchata are: the Traditional Mexican Horchata and Dirty Horchata.

2. Calçot

Calçot, otherwise known as the Catalan green onion, is abundant during Lent. Calçots look like oversize scallions with a very long white stalk. These are grown traditionally from whole sweet white onions, which are then harvested and replanted during the late summer. In these days, special bulbs of calçots are available for planting.

Moreover, calçots are found chiefly in markets in Barcelona and are available directly from Catalunya farmers. Some of the recipes you can try making using calçots are: Calçots with Romesco Sauce, Salsa de Calçots, and Grilled Calçots, among many other recipes.

3. Mojo Picón

The third ingredient from Spain that you may not have heard of yet on this list is mojo picón. Mojo picón refers to the staple red pepper sauce that comes from the Canary Islands. It is made with fiery red peppers, vinegar, oil, and seasonings. It is often served with various appetizers and the papas arrugadas dish. Take note here that its pepper component has a green and red version. Everybody in Canady Island loves them.

Mojo picón is the sauce of choice in the Canary Islands. Many love the red version, which is a bit spicy and smokey, perfect for serving with the small and wrinkly Canarian potatoes. There is no need to worry when you cannot find papas arrugadas where you are. This sauce blends perfectly with barbecued meats too.

Recipes you can make with this ingredient include: Canarian Mojo Picón, Mojo Picón Rojo, and more.

4. Marmitako

Translating to “from the pot,” marmitako is a fish dish from northern Spain’s Basque country and is the ultimate favorite among the locals. It is a kind of Basque fish stew that rose in popularity when the dish was served on fishing vessels off the coasts of Spain and France.

This authentic Spanish dish is usually prepared in a Dutch oven or large kettle. It generally contains tomatoes, green pepper, potatoes, and spices. Chefs and those who prepare this dish typically add freshly-caught tuna to the recipe. Sometimes, they substitute it with salmon.

5. Lampreda

Lampreda, a Spanish term that translates to lamprey, is a parasitic fish that is native to the northern and western Atlantic Ocean, with Spain included where they are found. If you are a fan of unusual seafood dishes, this ingredient is turned into various seafood recipes.

Aside from its presence in Spain, lampreda is also a delicacy in Western France, touted as a menace or risk to the American Great Lakes but almost unknown in Italy. But despite this, it is quite common in the Arno, and this component in various recipes is consumed in Cercenasco, Piedmonte.

Often considered rare, but if caught while they are young, the lampreda is fried as part of fritto misto, an Italian dish with meat, vegetables, and seafood dipped in batter and fried using olive oil.

The list does not end here. There are actually many other Spain dishes and ingredients that are less popular but deserve to be tasted. These include salmorejo, migas, fabes, morteruelo, and so much more.

Dig Into Spanish Cuisine Right Now 

Why should you dig yourself into Spanish cuisine? For plenty of reasons. One of these is that, Spanish food is very special and unique from other recipes across the globe.

Spanish cuisine consists of various kinds of dishes that reflect the different geographies, cultures, and climates in this Western European country. The nation’s cuisine is heavily influenced by a wide range of seafood from the waters surrounding this country. When you indulge yourself in Spanish recipes, you do not only get a taste of their dishes, but you also can immerse yourself into the Spanish culture.

So anytime you think about visiting Spain or heading to Spanish-themed restaurants in your respective countries, refer to this list to remind you that there are several types of Spanish food worth trying beyond the usual dishes from this beautiful Western European country.