Culinary Tour of Spain - any reco's?

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Apr 18th, 2002, 08:39 AM
  #1
gina
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Culinary Tour of Spain - any reco's?

My fiance and his father are getting ready to embark on a culinary tour of Spain - they are both food and wine lovers and the point of the trip will be to experience the best of these in Spain.

I'm not sure of their exact itinerary, but they are landing in Seville and traveling to Arcos (sp?) then back to Milan - basically wandering around looking for good things to eat and drink.

Can anyone pass along any don't-miss destinations - whether they are entire villages, local restaurants, wineries, etc.? I know they'd love to find the non-touristy places and experience the real Spain. Thanks so much in advance!
 
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Apr 18th, 2002, 09:20 AM
  #2
cooter
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Galicia, basque country and Catalunya are generally considered to have the best cuisine in Spain. Basque in particular is outstanding.
 
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Apr 18th, 2002, 10:23 AM
  #3
Rex
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Sounds like a great nucleus for a Fodorites trip if they were to have any interest in the formation of a small group trip.

What month?

And forgive me if this suggestion is unwelcome.

Best wishes,

Rex

 
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Apr 18th, 2002, 10:28 AM
  #4
Julie
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I think San Sebastian has the most Michelin starred restaurants in Spain. We ate at Arzak which is a small but pleasant restaurant with 3 Michelin stars. It's a father/daughter operation where the long-standing outstanding chef is now being outpaced by the daughter he raised and taught and who is bringing new and exciting ideas to the kitchen. Highly recommended. If they are really wine afficianados and have the cash to go with their tastes, they must share a bottle of Vega Sicilia Unico Reserva. Generally regarded by many as the finest wine of Spain (from Ribera Del Duero region) and possibly the world. We paid $150 for a bottle in a restaurant in Toledo (not knowing of its pedigree and thinking we were paying $15) and it was worth every penny. Have seen it in restaurants in the US for anywhere from $200 to 500. This is a once in a lifetime treat.
 
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Apr 18th, 2002, 12:16 PM
  #5
gina
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Rex, glad you like the sounds of the trip and I'm sure fiance and his dad would be flattered by the interest!

However, this is their official dad-son bonding trip before our September wedding, so I'm guessing they'd prefer to keep it a bit more intimate.

(If you read between the lines you might suspect me of if-I-can't-go-then-you-can't-go-ism. And you'd be right!!) Sadly I wasn't invited but I console myself with a lifetime of trips in my future.
 
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Apr 18th, 2002, 12:21 PM
  #6
Grasshopper
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Gina, You might want to check out www.menusandmusic.com. I received the Italy book and CD for a gift and it occured to me that it would be a great trip to Italy; visiting the restaurants that are represented in the book. There is also a Spain one which I just ordered but haven't seen yet. It might be a good gift for your fiance and his dad and afterwards you can keep it for the recipes!
 
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Apr 18th, 2002, 01:42 PM
  #7
Rex
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Gina - - shall I plan a trip for you and me to go spy on them?

Of course, then someone would have to send an expedition to spy on you and me! double wink!

Just kidding. Hope they have a great trip.

My wife and I hope to get a trip planned to Spain sometime in the next year or two, so I would be eager to hear about their discoveries.
 
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Apr 18th, 2002, 01:54 PM
  #8
gina
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Rex, I'll encourage Paul and his dad to take great notes and post a trip report. They will be out there the first and second week of May, so keep your eyes open mid-May for details.

Julie, thanks for some great suggestions, also. Paul's father is indeed an afficianado... I'm sure he'd be eager for an excuse to indulge in a wonderful bottle of wine in the name of bonding with his son!

Maybe they'll pick up a few bottles for us as a wedding gift?! Ah, a girl can hope.

By the way, I just checked my post and realized I said they were going to Milan - clearly typing faster than I was thinking. Milan is NOT in the itinerary!! I always was poor at geography...
 
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Apr 18th, 2002, 06:43 PM
  #9
Rex
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Thanks, Gina.
 
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Apr 19th, 2002, 05:17 AM
  #10
topping
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Apr 19th, 2002, 05:25 AM
  #11
mpprh
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Hi

The best Spanish food is magnificent.

You can spend long afternoons sampling tapas and wine for a very reasonable price. The best Tapas I've found was in San Sebastion near the cathedral.

Other things to try are -

suckling pig or lamb
Squid
Sea Bass cooked in salt
Fresh sardines
Pata Negra ham
Tomato toasts (better than it sounds)
Sea food generally (try the dry sherry with it)

To finish try Malaga

Peter



 
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Apr 19th, 2002, 12:53 PM
  #12
CathyM
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Gina-
There's a great restaurant in Arcos, El Convento, right in the center of the old town. It is in a beautiful setting and the food is wonderful. There is a hotel of the same name owned by the same people and it's an ideal place to stay if they haven't booked hotel reservations.
 
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Apr 19th, 2002, 02:39 PM
  #13
x
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A culinary tour of Spain strikes me as a bad idea. Rick Steves was right when said "Spaniards eat to live, not live to eat." They simply aren't a food focussed people. It's generally prepared very simply with a minimum of preparation. The food is fine, but going to Spain looking for great food and wine is a mistake.
 
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Apr 19th, 2002, 03:19 PM
  #14
ricksteves
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Hey X, Rick Steves knows as much about Spain as he does about sharp dresing or trendy hairstyles. It just ain't his thing.

The cuisine in much of Spain is truly spectacular, from the elaborate preparations of the Basques to the earthy roasts of Castile. My personal favorite is Basque, but it's mostly all good. San Sebastian, La Coruna, and Barcelona are the meccas of fine dining, although excellent regional cusines from all over Spain are well-represented in Madrid. Much finer than French or that wretched Italian food, in my opinion.

As for wine, ribera del duero is the best, but riojas from 94-96 were truly spectacular. Great whites from galicia.
 
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Apr 19th, 2002, 04:12 PM
  #15
Maira
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Rex, I am glad to hear Spain is in your future travel plans!! What region are you are leaning towards?
 
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Apr 19th, 2002, 04:57 PM
  #16
Rex
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I am so open about this Maira. I would like to see the northwest (and maybe northern Portugal), but I would also like to see Bretagne - - that's why the Galicia to Bretagne idea. but my wife has never bveen to spain at all, and has suddenly reversed herself and says she wants to go there. I have never been to Madrid. And fewer than fifteen days in Spain in toto, spread over three trips in the past.

So, I am not focused on an itinerary. I would like to do it as a next Fodorites trip. For personal reasons I don't foresee any trips before late September at the earliest. If a Fodorites' trip could evolve for April or May, then my wife and I might do a "scouting trip" in October or November. But ideally, not as frantic as some of our scouting trips in the past. (Actually I have only ever done one scouting trip with her; the others I'm thinking about were solo explorer trips - - and not linked to any group trips at all - - and they were frenetic as a pinball).

So, do you want to plan something with me? Be the "lead dog" traveler? Anyone else interested? See the post from Mari from San Diego about this too.

http://www.fodors.com/forums/pgMessages.jsp?fid=2&tid=1336953

 
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Apr 19th, 2002, 06:21 PM
  #17
I'd like to know more about
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<<generally considered to have the best cuisine in Spain. Basque in particular is outstanding.>>

Can someone tell more about this?

 
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Apr 19th, 2002, 08:38 PM
  #18
topper
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topping
 
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Apr 20th, 2002, 06:23 AM
  #19
one more time
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for Maira
 
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Apr 22nd, 2002, 12:44 AM
  #20
Terry
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I read rave reviews on Rick Steeves website about a British Tour Guide in Madrid. People especially liked his evening Tapas Tour. The website is: www.wellsoc.org

 
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