Andalucia Rentals logo

Maps of Spain by Data Spain  2006
My status

Authentic Andalucia, Food & Drink

 

Pictures of andalucia food & drink specialities

Variety is the spice of life

The Andalucian diet is one of the most nutritionally healthy in the world; sampling the different varieties of local cuisine will be a fundamental part of your life on the Costa de la Luz. With some of the most important fishing ports in Spain, it is no surprise that the cooking of the coastal regions is distinguished by a huge variety of seafood; the fish market is a great place to get acquainted with the local catch. But the region is also justly famous for other specialities, such as the jamon and sausages made from the local acorn-fed pigs.

Tapas

Tapas are more than just snacks in Andalucia, they are a way of life. The word is thought to have come from the habit of having a few nibbles with a drink and the necessity of placing a saucer or 'tapa' on top of a glass to keep the flies out. In the old days tapas were served free with a drink, unfortunately this is rarely the case today!

Eating one or two tapas with a glass of sherry or wine will enhance the taste experience and also slow down the effect of the alcohol. You can eat tapas at just one bar, but it is more customary and fun to move from bar to bar sampling their various specialities. Each tapa is really no more than a bite, so you can either sample two or three before dinner, or you can make a meal of them by ordering larger portions, called raciones. Tapas are generally eaten standing at the bar rather than sitting at a table and the list is generally displayed on a blackboard.

Although Seville is rightly known as the 'capital of the Tapas', you can sample them throughout Andalucia, as most restaurants, cafes and bars will feature them; they will also, in all likelihood, claim that they were invented in their town or village!

Olive Oil

Andalucia is the world's largest producer of olive oil, so it inevitably forms the basis of most of the region's cooking, starting at breakfast, when toasted bread is drizzled in virgin oil to eat with morning coffee.

The local fried foods are legendary, with "signature" dishes such as pescaito frito; a mixed fish fry with fresh anchovies, rings of squid, tiny sole, small hake and red mullet, all crisply fried in olive oil, you're unlikely to taste better anywhere else. At tapas bars you will also find croquettes and fritters fried in olive oil; even some typical sweets are fried in olive oil, such as roscos, anise-scented rings, and empanadillas, little pasties filled with sweetened and spiced pumpkin.

Although most olive trees produce fruit destined to be crushed for oil, some varieties are favoured for table olives, in particular the manzanilla and gordal. Other varieties are cured in traditional ways and flavoured with garlic, thyme and fennel. Andalucian markets usually have stalls selling a variety of olives, plus pickled vegetables and capers.

Tapas are more than just snacks in Andalucia, they are a way of life.

Markets

Most towns and villages will have a local market, controlled by the local government, selling a variety of goods ranging from food to fabrics. Ayamonte, for example, has a market every day of the week except Sundays. Markets usually operate from 9.00 am until 13.00 pm, although in cities and some towns they occasionally open again on Fridays after siesta time.

Food markets remain the most popular and are the best place to buy the freshest produce, particularly that which is in season. The stalls are typically grouped together according to the types of food they offer. Closest to the entrance you will usually find the butchers, with meat hanging from hooks across the front of the stalls. This region is justly famous for it's pork and, to a lesser extent, lamb so be sure to take advantage of this fact.

Next are the fish merchants, whose wares will vary according to season and what the boats have brought in on any given day. But whatever they are stocking, be it clams, squid, tuna or whatever you can be sure of sampling some of the freshest and finest seafood anywhere in Spain. Beyond the fish stalls are the delicatessens and grocers with jamon, olives, sausages, cheeses and other regional specialities, including many varieties of the salted fish made locally.

And finally there are the vegetable and fruit stalls. Many of them specialise in only a few varieties, for example the big misshapen tomatoes which are sliced and served uncooked with olive oil, chopped garlic and rough salt; others sell everything in season. Spice stalls are an essential part in every Andalucian market, whatever its size; after you have used fresh nutmeg or mace you are unlikely to use anything else again! One thing to look out for are tiny boxes of precious saffron, used here to colour paella, but at prices far below the UK average.

And, if you are not sure exactly where the local market is? That's easy … just follow your nose!

Eating Out

Breakfast is usually had from eight to ten in the morning. Lunch, at restaurants, is served between 13.00 to 15.30 h. Dinner is served from 20.30 to 23.00 h. Many establishments are open continuously throughout the day, especially bars and cafeterias; there you can have "tapas", appetisers, and combo meals.

Night time in Spain has a very special meaning, specially from Thursday to Sunday. Pubs, bars, and nightclubs usually stay open until three or four in the morning. In all major cities you can find places that are open until dawn.

 

About Us | Site Map | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | ©2006 Andalucia Rentals Ltd