Spanish food III: Gastronomy in Galicia, the Basque Country, the Canary Islands, the Balearic Islands 1

Two weeks ago, we showed you the gastronomy of some regions of Spain in this post. Today you are going to discover the rest! Are you ready?

The northen Part of Spain

Food in Galicia

If you remember our previous post, Galicia is in the north west of Spain, meaning that its cuisine is not really considered as Mediterranean. One of the most famous dishes here is caldo gallego (the Galician broth).

There is a name for dishes "a la gallega", such as the famous pulpo a la gallega (Chopped boiled octopus with potatoes, olive oil and paprika). The use of fish in the cuisine is a big tradition and seafood is also mandatory as they have an abundant variety. It is also important to mention the Galician empanadas (type of pie)with various fillings (usually tuna or mince)

Among the local wines, usually white, we highlight the Ribeiro and Albariño.

pulpo a la gallega

Pulpo a la gallega

Food in the Basque Country

The cuisine of the Basque Country consists of a very wide and varied range of ingredients and means of preparation. This land is also very known because some of the best cooks in the world come from this part of the country, so numerous people from the rest of Spain go there just to enjoy the magnificent food. Among the customs is the offer in bars and restaurants of what are popularly known as “pinchos”. This is a Basque tradition equivalent to the tapas of other regions of Spain.

In the Basque Country, meats and grilled fish are the rule. Among the fish, the cod has a great tradition and with a broad diversity of preparations: from pil pil (a yellow sauce made with garlic and chiles), to the vizcaína (a red sauce made with dried red peppers and onions), fried, et cetera. Althoguh the most commonly used fish is hake, meats are also very famous, emphasizing the beef steaks in particular.

In terms of vegetables, the Tolosa beans are very well known, accompanied by the so-called sacraments (cabbage, bacon, sausage and Ibarra chilli). Regarding wines, we highlight txakolí or Chacolí.

bacalao al pil pil

Bacalao al pil pil

Food in Asturias and Cantabria

The food in this part has a strong connection to the culinary traditions of Normandy, Brittany, Ireland and obviously Galicia. One of the best known dishes is the Asturian fabada, which is a traditional stew made with white beans (in Asturian fabes), sausages such as chorizo and black pudding, and pork. Livestock has a long tradition, so they consume plenty of meat and dairy products.

Among the desserts, it is important to mention the frixuelos, rice with milk (very popular in other parts of the country) and carbayones and, in terms of drinks, cider is typical.

fabada asturiana

Fabada asturiana

Food in La Rioja

The Basque, Aragonese and Castilian cuisine influenced the gastronomy in La Rioja. It is distinguished by the use of meats such as pork, as well as its meats and sausages made after the traditional slaughters. Lamb is perhaps the second most popular meat product in this region and finally the veal, common in mountain areas. A personal way of cooking of La Rioja gives name to certain dishes under the denomination “ a la riojana” ("in the riojana style").

And of course, we cannot forget its magnificent wines, famous everywhere.

  Jamón_Ibérico_de_Bellota_higuereño Jamón ibérico

Food in Navarra and Aragón

The cuisine of these regions is very simple, most famous being the pork dishes and types of lamb, such as the well known lamb ternasco (accompanied only with garlic, salt and bacon fat)

We must also mention the pastoral migas (crumbled bread from the day before with chopped ingredients) - well known in the rest of Spain - and the use of pulses, borage and thistles. Among the vegetables the best known product is the asparagus of Navarre, but also the Tudela buds (with anchovies, salmon or a simple vinaigrette), piquillo peppers (usually stuffed).



Food in the Islands

The Canary Islands

The Canarian cuisine is an adaptation of the peninsular influence (Andalusian in the first instance), although it is also worth noting the influence of North African cuisine, and Caribbean cuisine to some degree (that of Cuba and Venezuela, especially). The consumption of food is based on gofio (used as a substitute for bread), a food of the Guanches (the previous habitants of the islands), which turns out to be a flour of different roasted cereals. With some varieties, one of the most common is called escaldado (scalding flour).

Among the most typical fruits are bananas and other tropical fruits such as yams, mangoes, medlars, avocados and so on. The fish dishes occupy a privileged place and are usually accompanied by sauces called mojos (such as mojo picón made with garlic and paprika or green mojo made with coriander). There are several stews, such as the so-called Canarian stew or sancocho. The most famous dish are papas arrugadas or wrinkled potatoes (potatoes cooked on their skin in a brine) served with mojo.


Papas arrugadas

Papas arrugadas con mojo picón


Food in the Balearic Islands

The cuisine of the Balearic Islands has many points of contact with Catalan and Valencian. It is worth mentioning soups, sobrasada (mince cooked pork). the Mahón cheese with smoked flavor and the famous sauce that carries the name of the city of Mahón: the mahonesa. Among the most typical ingredients are pork and its by-products (like sobrasada) with all local desserts prepared with the grease of the animal (ensaimadas).




Food in Murcia

Murcian cuisine has been influenced by the cuisine of La Mancha, and is also rich in vegetables, meaning that some dishes with the name "Murcia" have a big variety of them: the tortilla being made with pieces of various vegetables or zarangollo (egg scrambled with vegetables).

Among the meat products, we highlight the Murcia sausages or the Murcian cake, made with minced meat. Among the fish and shellfish are sea bream, Mar Menor prawns and baked octopus. Rice dishes, as in the rest of the Mediterranean region, are common



Food in Extremadura

The food of this part of Spain is very similar to Castilian cuisine and highly abundant in everything related to pork, being said that the best pigs of Spain are raised in this area thanks to the many acorns that proliferate in their fields: the Iberian pig. As in other regions, Spanish omelette is typical. In fact, it has been recently discovered that Villanueva de la Serena was the cradle of this traditional dish.

The food is also characterized by bushmeat and river fish. Among the Extremadura wines, the pitarra is outstanding. It has a Denomination of Origin of Cava. In terms of desserts, fried milk, perrunillas, pestiños and cherries of the Valley of the Jerte deserve a mention.


Tortilla de patatas


Did you enjoy learning the food of the different Spanish regions? Have you tried some of them? Share your experiences!

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