‘Tis the season for all things apple! Take a stroll to your local marketplace and you will see that strawberries & cherries have been replaced with pumpkins & apples. We couldn’t be happier!
DISCOVER GREAT RECIPES, TIPS & IDEAS!
October 21, the National Apple Day, is just around the corner and it is the best of days to enjoy all sorts of sweet treats made with apples – pies, crisps, cakes, cookies, puddings, pancakes… These delights are a perfect warm-up for Halloween and Thanksgiving feasting!
However, apples are exclusive to sweet recipes. Have you ever tried incorporating these season-appropriate fruits into your meat dishes? Besides a sweet note, they also bring a considerable amount of healthiness. Apples are rich in antioxidants, fiber, and flavonoids which help reduce the risk of developing cancer, hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease.
Savory Apple Recipes
Apple-Sausage Stuffed Chicken
We like to call this recipe a Thanksgiving dress rehearsal. In reality, it is a perfect excuse for those that can’t wait for Thanksgiving in order to enjoy great food! You can make this pork sausage and apple-stuffed roast chicken instead of the traditional turkey any time of the year.
Shredded Potato and Apple Cakes
These tasty cakes are a delicious change from traditional hash-brown potatoes or cottage fries. Make them for a special breakfast and serve them along with poached egg, ham, bacon, and/or tzatziki sauce!
Apple Chutney Chicken
Ready for an exotic infusion? A sweet-and-sour chutney made with fresh apples, onions, and raisins (golden or dark) is the perfect topping for your ordinary chicken. We usually choose Gala for this recipe – sweet, aromatic and crisp apples with light-red color.
Apple & Onion Pizzatas
Sautéed apples and caramelized onion create a delicious topping for these cute little pizzas. They’re perfect as party appetizers, after-school snacks for your little ones, or a lunch you can pack and take to work. To enhance the natural sweetness of this topping, add something salty like ham, bacon or even cheese.
Pork, Apple & Sage Pies
Everyone knows that apples and pork pair beautifully, especially when baked inside a buttery crust. For these pies, we prefer using Granny Smith apples because of their tartness and crispiness. Fresh parsley and sage are added to round out the flavors. However, if you are out of fresh herbs, feel free to add them in their dried form. If you aren’t busy with counting calories, add some cheese to the mixture as well (Cheddar or Swiss work best).
Pork and Apple Stew
This recipe is yet another proof that the combination of apples and pork is unmatched. However, if you are not a big fan of pork, feel free to replace it with lamb and to make an Irish-style stew. An ideal treat for the upcoming cold days!
Sweet Apple Recipe
Caramel Apple Pie
There are certain ingredients that make ideal pairs with apples. One of them is, of course, cinnamon. Then there are nuts, vanilla, and of course, caramel. When it comes to pies, we opt for Braeburn apples, reddish-orange apples with greenish streaks and a unique tart-n-sweet taste. However, if you prefer a sweeter flavor, choose Golden Delicious or Cortland apples.
Oaty Apple Crisp
Jonathan or Rome Beauty apples work best for this dessert recipe. The beauty of this apple crisp is that you can use the leftovers as an instant breakfast – just top with some heavy cream or sweetened sour cream.
Angelic Apple Cake
This light cake ﬁlled with crunchy almonds and topped with apples truly lives up to its name for it will take you exactly where the angels live – to heaven! It can be served with whipped cream, custard, or ice cream in summer. In case you were wondering which ice cream flavor pairs best with this apple cake, the answer is vanilla, softened and flavored with some cinnamon and/or cardamom.
Chocolate Candy Apples
These sweet treats are sure to please kids of all ages but are no less favored by grown-ups. In addition, they’re perfect for parties. If you want to change their appearance, dip the apples in a mixture made of melted white chocolate and garnish with crushed cookies or macadamia nuts.
Sugared Pecan Baked Apples
Baked Apples are a classic but our version is a richer take on the traditional recipe – dressed up baked apples with a sour cream sauce and a topping of crunchy sugared pecans. A quick and easy fall dessert for the whole family.
By now, you must be aware of our love for international cuisines & unusual culinary fusions. If you are, this recipe won’t come as a surprise. These Mexican-inspired treats are our version of apple turnovers, only instead of pastry we used tortillas. As a bonus, this dessert is low in calories as well! Another thing we love about these apple quesadillas is that you can shorten the preparation time by replacing fresh apples with a can of apple pie ﬁlling without compromising the taste. All you need to do is warm the ﬁlling before spooning it on the tortillas.
DISCOVER GREAT RECIPES, TIPS & IDEAS!
Cinnamon Apple Bread
This sweet bread with a delicious apple and cinnamon ﬁlling will fill your house with a wonderful aroma so, expect the neighbors at your door right after you pop it in the oven! It is perfect for breakfast along with a cup of warm tea, coffee, or milk. To change the filling, you can replace the apple with a chopped pear and top it with a glaze made from confectioners’ sugar mixed with a tablespoon milk or water.
Is London cuisine a reflection of “the worst food in the world”, as the food historian Panikos Panayi refers to British cuisine? The answer is affirmative. The cuisine of London offers all the traditional British dishes like the Yorkshire pudding, Cornish pastry, shortbread, fish & chips, roast beef, and kidney pudding. Let’s not forget about signature items like the full English breakfast, tea with scones, pies, and steaks.
DISCOVER GREAT RECIPES, TIPS & IDEAS!
However, this is just one side of London’s food scene. The global reach of London has elevated the city to the status of a leading center of international cuisine.
Crunchy Fish and Chips
Roast Beef and Eggplant Pie
Berry Lemonade Scones
The earliest foreign culinary influences can be traced back to the 13th century when Britain started accepting Roman foods like sausages. King Edward I used to import large quantities of spices such as cinnamon, ginger, and pepper. In fact, food experts claim that even the most stereotypical English foods have foreign origin – the Yorkshire pudding comes from Burgundy, whereas the iconic fish & chips are a combination of Jewish and French influences.
However, the largest foreign influence comes from the Indian cuisine. “There are about the same number of recipes from India as from Wales, Scotland and Ireland together.” The Anglo-Indian cuisine has indeed been part of the national diet since the arrival of the British in India in the 17th century. One of the first dishes that the British adapted was curry and it soon became very popular. The process of adapting Indian foods continued for centuries resulting in the development of Anglo-Indian cuisine. Indian food was served in coffee houses from the early 19th century, appeared in popular cookbooks, and was prepared at home. London is the home of the “Veeraswamy”, the oldest Indian restaurant which operates since 1926.
Other influential cuisines are Chinese and Italian. The former became popular in the 1970’s and was followed by other Asian cuisines like Thai. The latter began its rise after World War 2 with the establishment of Italian coffee bars which also started selling foods like pizza and spaghetti Bolognese. French cuisine was very popular during the 19th century, whereas today it is mostly limited to upscale restaurants.
Today, London offers a wide range of culinary experiences, with a large number of ethnic cuisines. To be more precise, due to the capital’s multicultural population, there are more than 60 different national cuisines from Italian, French and Spanish to Japanese and Thai. Indian food remains very popular and many people eat regularly at their local ‘curry houses’.
In east London, the most popular cuisines are Chinese, American, and traditional English. In north London, Greek and Middle Eastern lead the way, whereas in west London, Italian and French are the most popular. In the southern parts of the city, Indian cuisine is number one. Central London favors Japanese, Middle Eastern, and French.
Creamy Chicken Curry
French Dressed Chicken
London Eating Habits
Londoners usually have three meals a day – breakfast, light lunch and a heavy dinner. Some people tend to stick to a more traditional meal structure with lunch being the largest meal of the day followed by an evening tea and a lighter snack in the evening.
A traditional breakfast in London consists of eggs, sausage, bacon, baked beans, mushrooms, and bread but nowadays, it is more common for people to eat toast, cereal, or porridge in the morning.
During lunchtime, most people are at work so they usually bring a packed meal consisting of a sandwich, bag of potato chips, and a piece of fruit.
Dinner is a family meal consisting of roasted meat, potatoes, and vegetables accompanied by a gravy.
The firmly established British tradition of having tea at five o’clock would not have existed if Britain hadn’t expanded its empire. Besides tea, the country also imported staples like potatoes, sugar, and coffee from its colonies.
Sadly, this tradition is declining in popularity – since the 1970’s, the consumption of tea has decreased by more than 60%.
Coffee, on the other hand, is constantly growing in popularity. It has been consumed in London since the 17th century when coffee houses were hotbeds of political discussions and debate. Nowadays, however, American-style bars like Starbucks are conquering the city.
Research has shown that Londoners are eating out more than ever before (four times a week!) which has resulted in a rapidly growing number of new restaurants.
If takeaways and home deliveries are included in the estimate, only half of the meals (lunch and dinner) are prepared at home.
According to statistics, an average meal in a London restaurant costs £37.35 per person. Even though there is a slight decrease compared to two years ago, England’s capital remains the most expensive place in the world to eat out, followed by New York, where the average cost is £31.
The results suggest young Londoners are inclined towards the so-called “New York style” or where most meals are eaten in restaurants, diners, cafes, or bars. Family people, on the other hand, opt for more classical options and the most ordered meal in this demographics is curry.
Roast beef, the favorite Sunday dinner item of Londoners until recently is now being replaced by chicken dishes. This might have something to do with the prices – since 2007 the price of beef has risen by 55%, while the price of poultry has increased by only 20%.
Home Delivery and Takeaway
To modern Londoners speed and convenience is everything. As the number of employed women grew, the sales of ready-made foods grew as well (by more than 370%).
Even though the industry of home delivery & takeaways is on the rise (it grew 10 times faster than dining out last year), people in London remain skeptical. The main reason for the rare usage of these services is the perception that their food is generally unhealthy. Younger people are more prone to ordering a home delivery or takeaway
The favorite takeaway item is pizza which shows an increase of 575% in a period of 40 years, as opposed to take away fish items (including fish & chips) which have decreased by 60%.
Third-party delivery services and apps have also helped to expand the range of cuisines on offer (even pubs became a part of the home-delivery revolution) and make this way of eating even more convenient. Having in mind the high health awareness in Britain, this is very important to change the image of delivery/takeaway as unhealthy food.
As far as prices are concerned, the average bill for delivered food is just £1 lower than for a meal eaten in a restaurant. The difference is bigger for some operators for certain restaurants like local Indian, Chinese, Thai, Japanese, Mexican, Italian or Greek, at £6.90 for delivery as opposed to £12 for a meal on the spot.
Ultimate Stuffed Pizza
Chinese Noodle Soup
Pad Thai Shrimp Burgers
Mexican Rice Cornbread
Greek Pie with Olives
The top three street food items in London are pizza, chicken, and beer.
Street vendors in London sell food from all over the world, but the accent is still on Italian classics (pasta & pizza) accompanied by good wine and beer.
Shopping for Food
The rising awareness for healthy, clean produce is reflected in the way Londoners shop for ingredients.
The list of most popular supermarkets, grocery stores, and markets includes the Whole Foods Market, an eco-minded chain with organic grocery items, Waitrose, a supermarket chain for fresh British produce, groceries, and baked goods, and Planet Organic which sells health foods, fancy smoothies and treats, as well as organic skincare and vitamin selection at a slightly higher prices. Venn Street Market is an outdoor market offering vegetables, fruits, meat, seafood, and dairy from small, independent producers, whereas the People’s supermarket is an ethical grocery store selling healthy, responsibly sourced, seasonal local foods.
The most popular market is Borough Market, one of the oldest and largest London. Ethnic markets have increased in popularity, especially New Loon Moon, a Chinatown supermarket offering fresh, frozen and dried items from East Asia.
Favorite Foods and Ingredients
The rise of skinny foods
From the research that covered the favorite ingredients in London from the 1970’s until now, it’s clear that the habits are switching towards healthier options.
The consumption of butter and white bread has decreased by more than 70% – Londoners are more inclined towards brown bread and low-fat spreads. They have also replaced full-fat milk and skimmed milk now. The sales of skimmed milk have soared by more than 20.000% since the 1970’s!
On the other hand, the consumption of protein-based (shakes & powders) foods that facilitate weight loss has increased by a whopping 1200%!
The decline of the staples
Some of the favorite British staples are falling out of favor as well – beans on toast have shown a decrease in sales by 17%. Bacon shows an even sharper fall, with sales decreasing by more than 46%.
Fruits and veggies
According to statistics, fruit sales have increased by almost 50% since the 1970’s thanks to the wider range of available items. On the other hand, the consumption of veggies has fallen due to their increased cost.
Favorite veggies have changed as well. Forty years ago, cabbage was number one, whereas modern Londoners favor carrots.
The increase in prices has no impact on the Londoners’ love for junk food though! On the contrary, crisps, chocolates, and sodas are consumed more than ever before. However, well-loved items like biscuits and cakes have fallen out of favor.
Hot New London Food Trends
These are the 10 trending ingredients in London right now, along with recipes that will inspire you to incorporate some of them into your daily menu:
Vegetables as carbs
As far as foods are concerned, here is what people in London eat most:
Vegetables on grill
Black color foods
Hip Indian. While Indian food is a tradition in London, the millennials are re-discovering it by trying new, authentic foods other than curry.
Mexican. Another international cuisine that is booming in London is Mexican, with tacos, burritos, and nachos leading the way.
Cocktails but those that include no alcohol or contain it in small amounts are taking the center stage.
Instagram-able foods. Just like in the other cosmopolitan towns, young people will try anything that is edible and looks good.
DISCOVER GREAT RECIPES, TIPS & IDEAS!
Vegetarian and vegan. The UK is the home of modern western vegetarianism but it is safe to say that plant-based nutrition is experiencing a renaissance. In 2003 there were between more than 3 million vegetarians in the UK, while more than 7 million people claimed to eat no red meat. By 2015, a large number of restaurant chains had introduced vegan items on their menus. The number of exclusively vegan restaurants is growing rapidly and veganism is no longer regarded as a dietary option that offers tasteless foods. The love for plant-based foods has reached its peak, with veggies being used as meat substitutes but also entering desserts and cocktails.
Minimizing food waste. There is a number of associations and charities that set up channels for leftover food to reach people in need, as well as food events to help raise awareness and combat hunger.
Who said salads are only for the summer? Salads can be light & nutritious side dishes or hearty meals on their own. Whatever type of salad you’re looking for, you can rest assured that it is healthy and packed with immunity boosters. (Hurry and stock up your freezer with seasonal produce before they disappear!)
DISCOVER GREAT RECIPES, TIPS & IDEAS!
So, if you’re looking for ways to prevent winter colds and the flu, start by visiting the grocery store. From the classics like Waldorf to some more creative mixtures, we offer the best salad recipes to enjoy and stay healthy in cold days ahead!
#1 Green Goddess Salad
This salad gets its name from the dressing invented in the 1920s in San Francisco, in honor of an actor from the play “Green Goddess.” The dressing is so rich that it can also work as a vegetable dip.
Immunity booster: Garlic. Besides a special zing to various recipes, this smelly veggie also has immune-boosting properties that come from the concentration of sulfur-containing compounds like allicin.
#2 Sesame Chicken Salad
Sesame-coated chicken and cucumbers dressed in honey and orange juice make a great light dinner.
Immunity booster: Chicken. Who hasn’t opted for chicken soup when sick? Well, it is more than just a comforting food that warms you up. Chicken (and poultry meat in general) is rich in vitamin B6, which aids the formation of red blood cells. Note: Make sure the meat is fresh and unprocessed.
#3 Pepperoni and Vegetable Toss
The dressing used in this salad is really versatile; you can use it for a number of salads and marinades. If you omit the sugar and add a teaspoon of Dijon mustard, you’ll get a delicious vinaigrette.
Immunity booster: Bell peppers. Did you know that bell peppers contain more vitamin C than citrus fruits? Besides boosting your immune system, vitamin C also helps keep the skin healthy skin.
#4 Classic Waldorf Salad
The classic Waldorf Salad is very flexible – you can make it lighter by replacing the mayonnaise with whole-milk plain yogurt or add a sweet twist by introducing grapes and leaving out the salt. Also, you can replace the pecans with sunflower seeds.
Immunity booster: Lemon juice. Our bodies don’t produce or store vitamin C, that’s why we need to ensure regular intake. Citrus fruits (oranges, tangerines, limes, grapefruit) are a great source of this vitamin. Vitamin C is known to increase the production of white blood cells which are crucial for fighting infections.
#5 Broccoli Slaw
Crisp broccoli is accented with red bell pepper, crunchy noodles and a toasted sesame dressing in this fast and easy salad. For an intriguing ﬂavor combo and a colorful presentation, cut a cantaloupe or honeydew melon into slices. Cut out the seeds in the middle of each slice and place each slice on a serving plate. Place a scoop of broccoli slaw at the center of each slice.
Immunity booster: Broccoli. One of the healthiest vegetables on the planet is supercharged with vitamins A, C, and E, minerals, as well as many other antioxidants and fiber. The key to keeping its power intact is to cook it as little as possible — or better yet, not at all.
#6 Cranberry Spinach Salad
This salad is a delightful contrast in tastes and textures—crisp spinach, crunchy walnuts, and dried cranberries, all with a zesty, sweet, and sour dressing.
Immunity booster: Spinach. Spinach is rich in vitamin C but also packed with numerous beta-carotene and antioxidants, which may increase the infection-fighting ability of the immune system. Similar to broccoli, spinach is healthiest when cooked as little as possible.
#7 Turkey, Rice & Fruit Salad
Save this recipe for Thanksgiving because there’s no better way to use up your turkey leftovers! Fluffy rice gives the best texture in this salad (we find long-grain white rice to be the best option). Don’t forget to use a fork to fluff it after it is cooked.
Immunity booster: Almonds. When it comes to fighting and preventing colds, vitamin E goes hand in hand with vitamin C. Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin, which means it needs fats in order to be absorbed in the body. Almonds and other nuts are the best source of good fats. A cup of raw almonds provides almost 100% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin E.
#8 Fresh Sweet Potato Salad
The reason we love this salad (besides its healthiness) is its versatility. For instance, you can substitute the sweet potatoes with jicamas (Mexican potatoes). In that case, add a 1/4 cup dried cherries as well. This salad is best if served the day it’s made but if you keep it in the fridge, don’t forget to drain the liquid that accumulates in the bowl before serving. In that case, you can replace part of the sweet potatoes with grated carrots because carrots produce less liquid.
Immunity booster: Sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin A. Vitamin A deficiency can lead to weakened immune system and increased sensitivity to infections. And since too much vitamin A in supplements can result in adverse side effects, the best way is to meet your daily vitamin A requirements through a healthy diet.
#9 BLT Salad
Bacon and tomatoes are tossed with shredded sharp Cheddar cheese and accented with red onion and a Dijon mustard vinaigrette in this fulfilling salad recipe. For a ﬂavorful variation, substitute crumbled blue cheese for the shredded Cheddar. You can also add light ranch dressing.
Immunity booster: Ginger. Ginger decreases inflammatory illnesses and helps a sore throat. It is also very effective in reducing chronic pains.
#10 Tropical Fruit Salad
Lime zest and toasted coconut add a twist to the whipped cream atop this beautiful salad but, for a healthier snack, we recommend omitting the cream. Instead, top your salad with some honey. If you have tall, clear glass parfait dishes, this salad would make stunning individual servings, too.
DISCOVER GREAT RECIPES, TIPS & IDEAS!
Immunity booster: Kiwi and papaya. These two tropical fruits are loaded with vitamin C and other essential nutrients – papayas also have a digestive enzyme called papain that has anti-inflammatory effects, as well as vitamins B and potassium, whereas kiwis provide folate and vitamin K, all of which are beneficial to your overall health.
When someone mentions German food, we immediately think of bratwurst sausages combined with German beer. Some of us maybe remember the fact that hamburgers originated in the German city of Hamburg. Other than that, our knowledge of German food is scarce.
DISCOVER GREAT RECIPES, TIPS & IDEAS!
Did you know that German restaurants are the world’s second-most decorated after France with Michelin stars? German cuisine is so much more than sausages and beer. Being a vast country, each region has its own specialties and traditional cuisine. What all authentic German foods have in common is richness, heartiness, and deliciousness.
What impresses us about German foods is that they are quite quick and easy to make. And since winter is coming, we figured the following comfort foods would be a perfect addition to your weekly meals.
Potato Dishes (Kartoffeln)
If you study German foods, you’ll find that Germans love potatoes (kartoffeln). Potatoes find their way into a number of dishes including:
- Warm salads to accompany meat dishes;
- Potato pancakes (Kartoffelpuffer) which can be either served savory as a side dish or sweet with applesauce & cinnamon;
- Bratkartoffeln, a side dish made of boiled potatoes fried with bacon and onion; and
- Potato dumplings (Kartoffelknödel), which are also served savory or sweet – filled with meats or fruits – or added to soups.
German Potato Salad
German Potato Balls
Cabbage Dishes (Sauerkraut)
Another food Germans love is the German fermented cabbage known as sauerkraut. Sauerkraut frequently appears in the form of salads or side dishes, especially during winter. This is great because the fermentation process not only helps preserve the cabbage but also contributes probiotic power, along with vitamins A, C and K, protein, dietary fiber, and iron. Note: for a quicker cabbage dish try braised red cabbage known as Rotkohl.
Sauerkraut with Bacon
German Red Cabbage
Germany produces over 1,500 types of wurst sausages. The most popular varieties are Bratwurst (fried sausage) made of ground pork and spices, Berlin’s Currywurst, pork sausage covered in a mix of ketchup and curry powder, Wiener (Viennese sausage), smoked and then boiled, as well as Blutwurst and Schwarzwurst, both blood sausages, and many more!
Bratwurst and Mash Casserole
Beer-Basted German Sausages with Quick Pickled Peppers and Onions
At the beginning of this article we mentioned that German foods were quick and easy to make. Well, rouladen is not one of those foods. This typical German food is composed of thinly sliced meat (usually beef but also pork and veal), rolled around a filling of pork belly, bacon or ham, pickles, onions, and mustard. The roulade is then simmered in a broth or placed directly into the oven to cook in a sauce for a few hours. Rouladen is a time-consuming dish but it is definitely worth the while. Serve it with potato dumplings, red cabbage, or gravy.
German Noodles (Spätzle)
Spätzle are the German counterpart of pasta. Translated as ‘little sparrows’, these soft noodles are made of eggs, water, and wheat flour and are especially popular in Southern Germany. They are usually served topped with cheese (just like our mac and cheese) but also as a side dish to meat dishes along with sauces or in stews. There are also sweet versions of spätzle in which the dough contains ingredients such as apples or cherries.
Schnitzel is a thin, boneless cut of meat, coated in breadcrumbs and fried. Schnitzel is actually an Austrian national dish but it was adopted into Germany long ago. Today it is considered one of the most popular dishes in the country, appearing in many different varieties like Wiener Schnitzel (Viennese schnitzel) which is made of veal or Hamburg-style schnitzel, served with a fried egg on top. Serve your schnitzel with mashed potatoes and tzatziki sauce.
Classic Wiener Schnitzel
Goulash, like schnitzel, is not a German invention but it is nevertheless well-loved by German people, who have adjusted the original recipe to their taste. They usually make it with meat (usually beef), slow-cooked in a red wine sauce until tender and juicy. This hearty German food can be eaten as is, in its liquid form, or combined with spätzle.
Mouth-watering Sweet German Foods
You may have encountered the German pancake under different names like Dutch baby or pfannkuchen. It is actually one large sweet puff, made with flour, eggs, milk, and sugar, and often seasoned with cinnamon & vanilla. The pancake is baked in a metal or cast iron pan to produce crusty edges and an incredibly soft center. It is usually served for breakfast, along with butter, powdered sugar, fruit toppings, or syrup.
Peaches and Cream German Puff Pancake
Black Forest Cherry Cake (Schwartzwalder Kirschtorte)
The Schwartzwalder is definitely the most famous German cake. It is named after the liqueur distilled from tangy cherries, which is mandated in the recipe by law! The cake is composed of layers of spongy chocolate base, whipped cream, maraschino cherries, and chocolate shavings. Authentic Black Forest cakes are decorated with black cherries on top!
Black Forest Cherry Roll
German Tree Cake
The characteristic rings that appear when this cake is sliced resemble tree rings. Thus, its German name ‘Baumkuchen’ translates to tree cake. This rich, dense cake is made of 20-30 layers of almond, chocolate & jam, and covered in almond paste or marzipan. Include the kids in the preparation of this cake on rainy fall mornings.
German Tree Cake
DISCOVER GREAT RECIPES, TIPS & IDEAS!
Bread (Brot) is a very important food in German cuisine. German bakeries produce over 600 types of bread and more than 1000 different types of sweet and savory rolls and pastries. You can find white, gray, dark brown, and black bread. When it comes to the type of flour used, bread types range from rye, wheat, barley, oat, spelt, millet, corn, and rice. Bread is usually served for breakfast or used to make sandwiches. Sometimes it is served as a side dish to meats and soups.
Summer is officially over and we already miss it.
In this post, we’re taking a stroll down memory lane to honor our favorite season by remembering the most delicious Spanish foods.
Our love for Spanish food goes back to 2012 when we first visited Spain. The early encounters with Spanish food were modest – we went out for a beer and tapas. Soon, we discovered that this Mediterranean cuisine is so much more than tapas! Juicy empanadas on the way to the beach, light paellas for dinner by the sea, shopping for chorizo every single day, exploring seafood at the fish market… This summer we went back to Spain and discovered even more delicious foods & drinks we’d like to share with you.
DISCOVER GREAT RECIPES, TIPS & IDEAS!
Note: The time we spent in Spain taught us that, when it comes to food, Spanish people like quick and easy meals (so that they have enough time for the afternoon siesta, we assume :)). No Spanish housewife will spend hours in the kitchen cooking heavy, meat-based meals, especially during the summer. They’re more into vegetables, rice, potatoes, pasta, and seafood. Most of the meals on the list reflect that ease and lightness.
Top Quick and Easy Spanish Foods
If you are invited to a Spanish home, the chances are your hosts will treat you to a paella.
This rice-based dish is considered Spain’s national dish. It originated in Valencia, the city steel deemed to make the best paellas.
The traditional version is made in special pan (see pic), by combining rice (ideally the calasaparra or bomba varieties, known for absorbing flavors very well), chicken or rabbit meat (or both, usually sold as a ‘paella mix’ in the supermarkets), beans and other vegetables, as well as saffron. Seafood is also commonly used (mussels, calamari, clams, scampi, prawns, or even fish).
Less usual varieties are made with duck or eel. Arroz negro (black rice) uses black octopus ink to color the rice, whereas fiduea replaces rice with small pasta.
Easy Paella Recipe
This tangy, refreshing tomato soup is usually served as an appetizer and sometimes drunk straight from a cup or bowl! The authentic recipe is made the reddest, ripe, full-flavored tomatoes, combined with peppers, cucumber, olive oil, onions, garlic, and herbs, all blended until smooth, and chilled before serving. Gazpacho is served with bread, cheese, ham, or egg slices on top, depending on the region.
Empanadas are edible dough envelopes filled with…well, whatever you like. In Mallorca, we found a great bakery that sold empanadas and bought three different types – two savory (tuna & onion, beef & potatoes; these two were quite flavored and required plenty of water afterward, just so you know J), and one sweet (banana & chocolate).
Most of you must have tried Mexican tortilla, a thin flatbread made from finely ground maize and wrapped around a filling to form a taco or burrito. Well, the Spanish version is something completely different. It is actually a potato omelet.
There are many flavors and preparation techniques but one thing is for sure – tortilla is one of the top Spanish foods. The basic recipe is made with onions and potato sautéed in olive oil, after which beaten eggs are added. The mixture rises into a thick cake-like meal.
Note: add ham, chorizo, spinach, or anything else you like to additionally enrich this quick meal. Or squeeze the omelet between two bread slices to obtain a bocadillo sandwich!
Spanish Tortilla (Spanish Omelet)
Tostas de tomate y jamón – Tomato and ham toasts
This Spanish food is so simple and tasty you’ll probably think “Why didn’t I come up with this?” after you try it.
Jamón is one of the famous cured meats of Spain, together with chorizo. The popular Iberico version is made from black pigs fed with acorns to give the special marbled ham with nutty flavor.
To make the simple tostas, start by rubbing the toast pieces with tomato (garlic rub is optional, along with the tomato). Then, pour some olive oil, top with jamón and serve for breakfast or as a snack. You can also include jamón in various salad recipes like this one:
Fig, Melon, and Spinach Jamón Salad with Basil
Pan con tomate
This is basically bread with tomato (or Pa amb tomàquet in Catalan). It is very simple but tastes amazing, just like the best pizza crust with a hint of tomato. In Catalonia, especially in Barcelona, you’ll often see it as a base for tapas. However, pan con tomate also pairs beautifully with other Spanish foods such as tortilla and jamón.
Pan Con Tomate
Amazing Spanish Desserts
This is another Spanish food which has a familiar Mexican counterpart. Churros are donut-type pastries which appears in two main varieties in Spain – knotted & thin or long & thick (also known as porras).
The Spanish say you haven’t really been in Spain until you’ve had churros for breakfast (they do have a thing for sweet breakfasts). Dip them in hot chocolate or champurrado (chocolate-based atole). The porras pair beautifully with hot coffee, dulce de leche, or café con leche. Don’t forget to sprinkle with sugar on top and forget about counting calories!
Cinnamon Churros with Chocolate Dulce le Leche
The name of these rich and crumbly cookie comes from the word ‘polvo’, which means ‘dust’. This is connected to their delicate structure; if you don’t handle them carefully, they may turn into dust! Polvorones are so soft, they literally melt in your mouth. They are especially popular during the Christmas period but we got lucky; our host made them for us in the middle of June!
Top Spanish Drinks
The first time we went to Spain we stayed in Mallorca. The humidity and temperatures were impossible to bear. And while we were drinking gallons of water, our hosts opted for cerveza, a light, low-alcohol beer flavored with lemon. As you can imagine, it didn’t take us too long to get accustomed to sipping cold cerveza all day long!
DISCOVER GREAT RECIPES, TIPS & IDEAS!
The Spanish have a habit of drinking at every meal, be it beer or wine. Those who don’t drink during meals, usually drink after meals, choosing coffee or brandy. Coffee is also a must in the morning (usually combined with churros or other sweet treats).
When it comes to wine-based drinks, there are two favorites – tinto de verano or ‘summer wine’ (red wine and lemon soda) and rebujito or white sangria (white wine with lemonade and fresh mint on top).