Spanish Food & Drink

Turrón – Spain’s traditional Christmas sweet

This sweet nougat made of almonds, honey sugar and egg white, is one of the most traditional desserts eaten at Christmas in Spain. It is of Arabic origin and was introduced in Spain over 500 years ago by the Moors. It is produced in the town of Jijona, 30 miles to the north of Alicante. The area’s economy is based on the manufacture of turrón and there is even a museum of turrón.
Turrón is produced in this area because the wild flowers on the mountains surrounding Jijona allow mountain bees to produce rich honey, a key ingredient. Along with honey, almonds from local orchards allow the “turroneros” to make this delicious artisan sweet.

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Breakfast in Spain

Desayuno en España

In Spain breakfast (desayuno) is almost the most important meal of the day and they do not hurry over it! Coffee is perhaps the most important part of it. You will find though that their coffee is much smaller than in the UK with the “cortado” (small cup of coffee with a drop of milk) being the most typical. Typical foods include galletas (biscuits), tortilla (potato omelette) and pan tostado (toast).

Here are the most traditional foods and drinks you will find in Spain for breakfast: Continue reading

How to make “Turrón Blando Casero” (Homemade Soft Nougat)

Typical Spanish Christmas sweet

One of the most traditional and delicious foods to eat in Spain at Christmas is “turrón” (nougat). There are many different flavours and varieties but the most typical is probably “turrón blando” also known as “turrón de Jijona” (soft nougat) made from crushed almonds, hazelnuts, honey and sugar. Try out the following recipe by watching the Youtube video and reading the method below (in Spanish and English):

 

 

Vamos a preparar ‘Turrón Blando Casero’.
We are going to prepare ‘Homemade Soft Nougat’.

Los ingredientes que necesitamos son:
(The ingredients that we need are:)

250g almendras cruda pelada250g peeled raw almonds
100g avellanas100g hazelnuts
1 clara de huevo1 egg white
200g miel200g honey
100g azúcar100g sugar
esencia de limónlemon essence
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Mealtime phrases to sound like a native Spanish speaker!

Restaurant scaledIf you are eating out with Spanish relatives or friends, here are some of the common words and expressions related with food, drink and eating in general that you may hear at the dinner table. So if you can memorise some of these to use yourself too, you will no doubt greatly impress your Spanish friends or family!

Ordering your meal:

Estoy dudando entre … y …: I can’t make up my mind between … and …
Me apetece …: I feel like, I quite fancy …
De primero …: For the starter …
De segundo …: For the main course …
De postre …: For dessert …
Estoy en ello.: I’m working on it.
Quiero algo ligero de primero.: I’d like something light as a starter.
Me reservo para el postre.: I’m saving myself for dessert.
Vamos a compartir …: We are going to share …
Voy a probar …: I am going to sample / try … Continue reading

Huevos Rotos con Chorizo / Broken Eggs with Spicy Sausage

This is a quick and easy traditional Spanish recipe, similar to scrambled eggs in English. Practice your listening skills by listening to this Youtube video and read the script in Spanish with the English translation.

 

 

Hoy vamos a preparar huevos rotos con chorizo.
Today we are going to make broken eggs with spicy Spanish sausage.

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Cómo preparar “Mona de Pascua” (How to prepare a traditional Spanish Easter cake)

A traditional Easter sweet pastry typical of Valencia and Catalonia in Spain is the “Mona de Pascua”. The egg in the middle of the cake symbolizes the resurrection of Christ. The “Mona de Pascua” was given out on Easter Sunday but not normally eaten until Easter Monday. These days it is common for this cake to be eaten throughout “Semana Santa” (Holy Week). The cake has become much more elaborate and nowadays is decorated with jellied sweets or chocolate bunnies or even with non-edible features such as feathers and streamers. Watch the video below and listen to the recipe and preparation method in Spanish. The script appears below which has been translated into English:

 

 

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A buñuelo and a pintadito please! (Colombian delicacies)

BunuelosAfter living in Colombia for a few years now I thought it was time to do justice to my dear friend the buñuelo. Too often do empanadas and arepas steal the limlight from the buñuelo but not today!

It is an engrained tradition here in Colombia, particularly in the coffee region where I live to stop at any time of day in one of the many cafeterias in town and order a pintadito or a tinto and a buñuelo and have a good chat about the state of affairs today.

Now a pintadito is the local name for a coffee with plenty of frothy milk, a tinto is not red wine as many people may think when they first cross the border into Colombia, but instead it is a black coffee. A buñuelo is a lovely ball of fried, cheesy corn dough that has been made to a secret recipe: too watery and it explodes, not enough liquid and it will end up like a rock. They are truly delicious and the ritual of watching the world go by over a cup of coffee and a freshly made buñuelo is one of my favourite things about living in this beautiful country.

When you come to visit Colombia, go ahead try the empanadas and the arepas but please don´t forget to have a pintadito and a buñuelo!