We all have our favourites when it comes to Spanish cuisine, although many of the dishes are so good that it’s difficult to choose the best.
But that’s exactly what an initiative started by Allianz Global Assistance is trying to do by asking people to vote for their favourite. Voting has just closed, but now the idea is to present the list of the winning dishes to Unesco so that they can be declared an “Intangible Cultural Heritage”, as is the case with Japanese, French or Mexican cuisine.
Here are seven of the best national dishes of Spain as voted for by all those that took part in the survey. How many have you tried, and which are your favourites?
This literally translates as “wrinkled potatoes” and can be described as a humble and simple dish. Small potatoes are boiled in their skin in salty water and then served with two sauces: one green, with the main ingredient being coriander, and the other red, which is based on red pepper. The potatoes are eaten as a starter or as an accompaniment.
This is a type of cured ham that comes from Spain. Many say it is the best type of ham in the world. There are various types of jamón ibérico and its quality depends on the purity of the breed, the conditions in which it has been kept and the food it has been fed.
Pulpo a la Gallega
This is a great dish if it is prepared well. Octopus Galician style, or ‘pulpo a feira’ as it is also known is cleaned and then boiled for a few hours to soften the meat. Once it has been cooked to perfection, the octopus is cut into slices and served drizzled with olive oil, paprika and course salt.
This is one of the most popular dishes with foreign visitors, presumably because you’ll mainly find it served in tourist destinations along the coast. There are many varieties, but the main ingredients of an authentic Valencian paella are rice, saffron, Ferradura beans, Garrofon beans, chicken, rabbit, olive oil, tomato and paprika.
Tortilla de patata
The Spanish omelette is another humble dish made from potatoes. And there are also a number of different recipes and tips on how to make the perfect one. The classic contains just potatoes, eggs, onion and salt, although many people like to add chorizo, ham or red pepper.
This is a sweet dish from the Cantabria region that originates from Medieval times. Its base is curd made from cow’s milk, and butter, flour, sugar, eggs, cinnamon and lemon zest are added.
This is another sweet dish, much loved by many Spaniards across the country. The dish was created in the region of Murcia and it is very influenced by Arabic cuisine. It consists of leaves from the lemon tree that have been coated in a batter of egg, milk and flour and then deep fried in oil. When they are cooked, they are sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon. They sound delicious!