One of the best things about Spain is that the country lacks a specific ‚Äúthing‚ÄĚ that defines it as a whole. Its development over the centuries has led to an incredibly diverse wealth of regional traditions, dialects, music‚Ä¶ and food!
Ask for Spain‚Äôs finest dish and the proud Madrile√Īos are sure to boast about their classic cocido. Repeat the question further north, in Asturias, and locals will go on for ages about the region‚Äôs fabada. Head to the Mediterranean, and the Valencianos cannot say enough about their world-famous paella.
But how does one decide which dish is best? With the help of Paradores‚Äô luxury and historic hotels, of course! Thanks to their great locations in every corner of the country, making your holiday in Spain a gastronomic expedition is an easy feat!
Cocido madrile√Īo and fabada asturiana
Madrid‚Äôs most famous dish is cocido madrile√Īo, a traditional chickpea-based stew prepared with meat and vegetables. Cocido is always served separately, with the meal‚Äôs three servings dished out from a great pot. The first serving is the soup, with stock as the main element. Later, the chickpeas and vegetables are served. Finally, the tender meat ‚Äďpork belly, chorizo, black pudding and chicken‚Äď is dished out. Despite the hearty content, cocido is a dish enjoyed year round. Head to Parador Alcal√° de Henares to sample this delectable classic.
Restaurant Hoster√≠a del Estudiante at Parador Alcal√° de Henares
Parador Cangas de On√≠s, meanwhile, is the perfect northern spot from which to enjoy some Asturian fabada. This rich bean stew will keep you warm and in great spirits as you enjoy it with some local cider or red wine. Dried white beans after being soaked overnight, bacon or pork shoulder, black pudding, chorizo and saffron are the basic elements that make up the traditional dish, beloved throughout the country.
Fabada at Parador Cangas de On√≠s
Paella, that universal favourite
Spain‚Äôs most famous international dish is undoubtedly paella. While foreigners will refer to it as a ‚ÄúSpanish dish‚ÄĚ, Valencianos will be quick to point out that it is very much their regional standard. A trip to Parador El Saler will clear any doubt you have about this matter, as it is located in the birthplace of paella: try out some authentic Valencian paella ‚Äďmade with rabbit, chicken, duck and land snails‚Äď while you‚Äôre here.
Paella at Parador El Saler