No Plain in Spain: A Hot Food Tour - Page 2
Spain's signature dish is the world-known signature dish, paella; the best comes from the city of Valencia. Paella (its named after the pan it is cooked in) was originally a peasant rice dish that has dressed up and moved to the city. There are now seafood paellas with prawns, squid, and various fish and mountain paellas containing rabbit, duck, and pork. If you want to start a fierce argument in a Spanish bar, you need only ask how to make a paella. Everyone will have an opinion, you can be sure. A slightly chilled local rosado made from grapes grown in the mountains west of Valencia is delicious with paella or fish from the Mediterranean.
North on the Mediterranean coast from Valencia is Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia. Catalan cuisine is highly regarded in Spain for its creativity and complexity. The best Spanish olive oils come from Catalonia as well as cava, the delicious sparkling wine of Spain. To get an idea of the culinary riches of the region, visit the main public market, the Mercat de Sant Josep. A famous dish of the region is Black Rice or Arozz Negro, a cousin to paella made with squid and squid ink. Red and white wines from the Penedés are among the best in Spain.
No culinary tour of Spain would be complete without a few days in San Sebastian on the Atlantic coast. Here, deep in the heart of Basque Spain, there is marvelous seafood, like Marmitako, a fishermans stew made with tuna and potatoes, or Sopa de Mariscos, a very different kettle of fish than the Mediterranean seafood stews, made with clams, mussels, and prawns in a fish stock. If Seville is the best city in Spain for tapas, San Sebastian runs a close second. The old quarter is filled with tapas bars. A favorite is a small dish of mussels stuffed with red pepper onions and garlic and deep fried served with a glass of chacoli, the delicious and slightly fizzy white wine of the region.