Spanish Gastronomy in Madrid

  • Gastronomía española en Madrid
    gastronomia_espanola_en_madrid.jpg

Madrid has its own gastronomy, with its typical recipes, including stew in three stages, tripe, snails or tapas. However, Madrid also allows you to savour the culinary specialities from all over Spain. All of the autonomous communities have “gastro” delegations in the city, so it is not difficult to try the best Asturian beans, the best sucking piglet from Segovia, the best calçots from Catalonia or the best Galician octopus, to name just a few examples. Below, we have listed some of the typical dishes of Spanish gastronomy for you to savour during your tourist break in Madrid.

Paella

Typical of the Valencian Community, it is one of the icons of Spanish gastronomy. It is based on rice but has many variants: seafood paella (with fish and seafood), mixed paella (with meat and seafood) and mountain paella (with ribs, rabbit and chicken). Some renowned chefs date to experiment with more exotic ingredients, such as Rodrigo de la Calle, who has gained much success with his oyster paella. You can try this contemporary version of this unique dish at the emblematic San Miguel Market, located alongside Plaza Mayor. Do you prefer a more classic paella? Go to La Paella de la Reina, alongside the la Gran Vía. Don’t forget to have a look at our article on the leading rice restaurants in the city.  

Roast Suckling Pig

Segovia and Arévalo boast the most renowned restaurants but there are also establishments in Madrid where you can try this delicious hundred year old recipe.  The roast is usually cooked in an earthenware dish in a wood-fired oven and the suckling pig’s skin should be toasted and crunchy. It is said that the best roast suckling pigs in Madrid can be savoured at Coque, Botín, Casa Pedro and Los Galayos. It is worth mentioning that Castile and Leon is home to lambs and suckling pigs, one of the most typical dishes of Castilian cuisine and extremely popular in celebrations all over Spain.  

Galician Octopus

In Aristotles’ classical Greece,  the camouflage of the octopus was referred to. What we do not know is whether it was ever used as food. If not, a delight the people from Galicia know how to prepare like nobody else was lost. All it needs is a dash of paprika, salt and oil.  In Madrid there are also many Galician restaurants where it can be savoured: La Gran Pulpería, O’Pulpo, Lúa (restaurant with one Michelin Star), Los Montes de Galicia or Villa de Foz.

Pulpo a la gallega

Bean Stew

This is the tastiest and most traditional dish of the rich Asturian cuisine. Prepared with fabes (white Asturian beans), spicy sausage, lard, Asturian black pudding and bacon, it is one of the typical recipes of Spanish gastronomy. It is a dish that is prepared slowly and, according to popular legend, it tastes betters a day after being cooked.  In Madrid, it can be savoured at many establishments although we recommend Casa Hortensia, Asturianos, El Oso and La Hoja.

Fried Fish

Typical of Andalusia, fried fish is an absolute delight as long as it is well prepared. It is usually served in a dish containing red snapper, sardines, anchovies, cuttlefish, etc. The secret lies in the product and, above all, the frying point. It is not easy, but you can try it in Madrid and you will end up licking your fingers because it is better to eat it with your fingers.  Good restaurants? La Giralda, Bodega La Andaluza, Taberna del Puerto or Taberna Don Paco. At El Albero restaurant, located in Paracuellos del Jarama, they serve “Jarama” anchovies which get rid of the hiccups.

Marmitako

This is the dish par excellence of Basque cuisine. Marmitako is a hot tuna stew, accompanied by potatoes, onion, green peppers, red peppers and tomato. It is a culinary delight that is never missing on tables in the Basque Country. In spite of being a calorific stew, it is eaten more in summer because this is when long finned tuna is caught. In Madrid, you can try it in many Basque restaurants, such as Dantxari, Carlos Oyarbide, Olive Gastro, Jai Alai or Taberna Gaztelupe

Marmitako

Calçots

They are a tender and bulbous variety of onion, which are commonly found in inland Catalonia.  It is one of the typical dishes of Catalonian gastronomy and is eaten at the end of winter or early spring with a romesco sauce or salvitxada. They are the main feature of the calçotades, which is a festival when they served roasted on shoots. In Madrid, they can be savoured at Casa Jorge, Paradís Madrid, Can Punyetes or La Cuina.

Oxtail

This traditional stew from Cordoba consists of an oxtail casserole which is cooked slowly in a sauce made up of onion, tomato, carrot, wine, olive oil, garlic and a few peppercorns. This recipe appears to date back to the Roman times, as there are references to it in the book, “De re coquinaria” (On the Subject of Cooking) by Apicius. The best oxtail in Madrid can be savoured at El Fogón de Trifón or at Casa Toribio.

Canarian Wrinkled Potatoes

It is a typical dish of the Canary Islands which is prepared with very special small potatoes, served with a sauce known as “mojo”, which can be spicy or green. If you want to try them in Madrid, go no further than Épa Bar Café, La Cecilia de Allende, Taberna Los GallosPicón Madrid or Gofio by Cicero Canary, the new Canarian restaurant which has been awarded a Michelin Star 2020.

Papas arrugadas

Torreznos (Pork Crackling)

Torrezno is a piece of pork rind fried or sautéed on a grill. It is an affordable delight and typically Spanish, as well as energetic. In reality, it is eaten in most of the country, normally as a tapa or aperitif, although there are variations in each region.  To taste the best ones in Madrid, go to Neotaberna de Santerra, La Raquetista, Treze, Taberna Arzábal, Lakasa or Taberna Los Delgado.

Potato Omelette

This is the national dish par excellence. It is eaten and found in all of the bars and restaurants in Spain. It is made with finely diced potatoes, oil, eggs, salt and onion, although this last ingredient has led to much debate.  In Madrid, Casa Dani, Hevia, Taberna Pedraza, Pez Tortilla or Las Tortillas de Gabino are quite rightly well known for their omelettes.

Migas (Breadcrumbs) from Extremadura and La Mancha

In different parts of Span, there are variations on this popular traditional dish. Extremadura and La Mancha stand out, where they are also called shepherd’s breadcrumbs, fried breadcrumbs or oxen breadcrumbs. According to tradition and preferences, the recipe can vary but the basic ingredients are bread, olive oil and garlic. As it is a characteristic dish of the harvest, it is often accompanied by grapes. You can try it at restaurants like La Vera, specialised in cuisine from Extremadura, Casa de Castilla La Mancha en Madrid or Hogar Extremeño de Madrid.

 

Gastronomía española - Migas

Gazpacho and Salmorejo

Two essential dishes in Spanish gastronomy which are popular in summer as they are served chilled. The difference between them is that gazpacho, often called Andalusian gazpacho, is a cold soup of vegetables seasoned with oil and vinegar whereas salmorejo is an emulsion. The former has a fine texture which enables it to be drunk from a glass or bowl, but the latter is thicker, like a cream, similar to mayonnaise. Both varieties are served at La Cocina de San Antón whereby its salmorejo is served with diced 100% Iberian acorn-fed ham, Lambuzo and Espacio 33 which offers green gazpacho, prepared with Mexican tomatoes.   

Iberian Ham and Cold Meats 

Among the most popular food in Spanish gastronomy are cold meats, which mainly come from pigs. Popular varieties include chorizo spicy sausage, which is well cured and aired based on minced meat marinated with paprika and garlic.  Black pudding, which does not contain meat and has many varieties, characterised by the use of pig’s blood, seasoned with onion, garlic and spices. Chistorra or longaniza, a typical product from Navarra prepared with freshly minced pork and fat, garlic, salt and paprika and parsley, can be eaten fried or roasted. Pork loin or cured pork loin which is eaten raw, in fine slices with a piece of bread, and pepperoni and fuet, which are both very similar to pork loin, are differentiated by their thickness, whereby fuet is the thinnest. 

An emblem of Spanish gastronomy is cured ham. It can be included in the category of Serrano or Iberian ham which is prepared like bacon or boiled ham, using pork shanks. Serrano ham uses the rear legs of the pig, which are seasoned and cured in the fresh air. The front legs can be prepared in the same way, but they are called shoulders.

 

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