Fiesta Then Siesta: 7 Spanish Dishes Worth Celebrating

Even if you’ve never tried Spanish food, chances are you’ve felt the influence of their culinary history. The long-running Spanish tapas style of dining has permeated American cuisine, popping up in classy restaurants and inventive bars throughout the country. Luckily for those looking to try out more Spanish food, the country has some of the most flavorful dishes on the planet. Here are a few worth celebrating.

Paella

Without a doubt one of the most famous dishes to come out of Spain, paella has its roots in the Valencia region of eastern Spain. Since its creation in the mid-1800’s, paella has gained a lot of different variants, but the classic combination of white rice, green beans, chicken, and fresh herbs has never gone out of style. Importantly, the cooking method for traditional paella has never changed; the dish is always cooked over an open fire to add an extra layer of smokiness.

Gazpacho

Although gazpacho comes from Southern Spain, you can find the dish throughout the country. Essentially a cold soup that is made of raw blended vegetables, gazpacho is a sophisticated way to cool down your customers on hot days. Tomato based red gazpachos are the most common, but we’ve seen chefs use cucumbers, avocados, and even watermelon to create modern versions!

Churros

Even though churros are often associated with Latin American cuisine, they’re actually traditionally from Spain! In their home country, churros are kicked up a notch by being dipped in chocolate or dulce de leche sauces. If that’s not your cup of tea, try working with both thick and thin churros!

Patatas Bravas

One of the ultimate tapas dishes, patatas bravas are fried potatoes that are covered in a spicy bravas sauce. Interestingly enough, this dish was first created following a famine in the 16th century and it has been filling the bellies of hungry patrons ever since. The trick here is to season the sauce with the sweet and spicy pimenton, otherwise known as smoked paprika. 

Tortilla Española

If you’re looking for a Spanish inspired breakfast item to include on your menu, this is the one. Translated as potato omelette, this dish uses the simple combination of potatoes, eggs, and onions to create a soothing dish that’s pleasantly filling. For chefs who want to go a non-traditional route, we’d recommend adding some spicy piquillo peppers to the mix. 

Jamón ibérico

Don’t go anywhere near a Spanish charcuterie board without this bad boy. Jamón ibérico, also known as Iberian ham, is a tapas staple and is often served alongside a mixture of local cheeses. Jamón ibérico is unique because it comes from a specific type of pig in southwestern Spain, which is renown for offering a complex flavor profile. Seriously, don’t be surprised to pick up sweet, floral, nutty, and earthy flavors with each bite. 

Pan Tomate

Ever wonder where avocado toast got its mojo from? At its core, pan tomate consists of toasted bread with an olive oil/tomato spread, but chefs throughout Spain have been creating new variants since the dish was invented in the 15th century. For a double dose of Spanish goodness, try topping with slices of Jamón ibérico or pairing with a Spanish cheese.