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Spanish food - not that special?

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Oct 23rd, 2010, 08:42 AM
  #1
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Spanish food - not that special?

I've been to Spain on a number of occasions and took photographs of the food I ate. Compared to other countries, I haven't been too excited about Spanish food. Have I just been unlucky or is Spanish food not that special? To see my photos, have a look at: http://www.jeremytaylor.eu/spanish_food_starters
I hope I'm wrong - please show me something better!
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Oct 23rd, 2010, 08:56 AM
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I don't get the point of this post unless it is to drive up traffic to your blog.

How can someone "show you something better?'

To be blunt, you are eating in the wrong places. Where exactly have you been in Spain?
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Oct 23rd, 2010, 10:00 AM
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To be fair to the OP, I've been to Spain dozens of times, eating high end and low and, on balance, I certainly don't like Spanish food nearly as much as Italian. Frequently blander with poorer ingredients and too much focus on meat. but that's just me.
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Oct 23rd, 2010, 10:06 AM
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There are regional foods that are exceptional and unique to that area. The food has dramatically imporved over the years as the countrry has become wealthier. Yes it is good as French and Italian biut it must stand on its own.


I always stay away from the beef and concentrate on local seafood or whatever the specialty if inland including pork.

As far as the OP is concerned he is flogging his blog and I will not even open it.
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Oct 23rd, 2010, 10:48 AM
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As much as anything I enjoy the bar/tapas scene in Spain. I do agree that potatoes and ham can get a little boring. But it is not an equal comparison to compare a Spanish tapas with French set down restaurant. Different culture.
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Oct 23rd, 2010, 10:50 AM
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Have traveled extensively in europe and find that countries fall into several ategories:

Really great food almost everywhere: Belgium
Almost universally good food: Italy (except Venice)
A lot of places with good food - but you have to be quite selective about restaurants (almost everywhere else)
Some places with good food but quite a few places with bad/awful/strange food (most of the UK - sorry but true)
Those with a lot of sub-par food where you have to plan where to eat (Russia)

We had a lot of really good food in Spain - but also a couple of places where the food was poor (despite the price and reputation) ands some where it was mediocre (when we stopped someplace without a plan).

One of the things I don't get is serving salads full of little bugs - have they never heard of rinsing the salad greens? Also - you need to be careful about other ethnic places. We were sent to a Chines place in Madrid by the hotel - and it was nothing like any chinese food I had ever had (I'm not aware that olives are a major ingredient in China- and I suspect it had been severely modified to match someone's idea of Spanish Chinese food).
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Oct 23rd, 2010, 12:25 PM
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"One of the things I don't get is serving salads full of little bugs" It's nothing but a little free meat.

Olives and olive oil play a role in the Basque cuisine served in Singapore and Hong Kong.

http://www.camemberu.com/2010/04/spa...fc-studio.html

We have our favorite restaurants in France and Spain. The cuisine in one is not better than the other, just different and unique, which makes traveling worthwhile.
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Oct 23rd, 2010, 12:30 PM
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There is plenty of Hispano-Chinese food in New York (chifas is the term used if it is Peruvian Chinese), as you know, but I am not sure that olives figure into the dishes! Then again, they just might.
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Oct 23rd, 2010, 12:43 PM
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I've had some outstanding meals in Spain, particularly in Basque places, but overall Spanish cuisine doesn't do much for me compared to, say, Italian or French or Turkish or Moroccan or any number of Asian cuisines.
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Oct 23rd, 2010, 12:53 PM
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we had very good (and not so good )food in Italy, France and Spain.
What is the point?
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Oct 23rd, 2010, 01:42 PM
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IMO,the Spanish do a great job with seafood and they've a lot of good stuff to work with.

If had to pick one town in Europe in which to eat, day in and day out, I'd go for San Sebastian.

Is confusion and "dissatisfaction" a result of Spanish customs? Small bites, late lunches and dinners, a lot of fried stews,etc?
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Oct 23rd, 2010, 02:27 PM
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I have been to Spain and Italy around 30 times over the past 10 years.

The OP is riddled with so many generalisations, I wouldn't know where to start.

"is Spanish food not that special"

Well Spain is home to some of the most highly rated restaurants in the world. If you are so worried about quality, put your hand in your pocket and go to better quality restaurants in Spain.
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Oct 24th, 2010, 12:33 AM
  #13
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Good to hear that other people have had more success with Spanish food. Perhaps yanumpty is right and I should dig deeper in my pockets on my next visit - Barcelona in January 2011.
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Oct 24th, 2010, 02:22 AM
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You do not need to dig deeper but came and visit and explore rather than stay on the tourist trail.

PS I like the links to your commercial website
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Oct 24th, 2010, 02:43 AM
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I would also agree with riberiasacra. If you see pictures of the food on boards outside : avoid.
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Oct 24th, 2010, 04:44 AM
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Barcelona has wonderful food, so with any luck you will find it.
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Oct 24th, 2010, 05:25 AM
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Jeremy's pictures are really typical. This is exactly the type of food that you get when you eat in 2-star and 3-star hotel restaurants, especially when you have booked half board or full board. You may also get this kind of food in simple restaurants.

In fact, Spanish cuisine has two faces - you find this kind of mediocre food and you can also find superb gourmet cuisine.

Here a few tips how to eat better in Spain:

- Tapas can range from bad to excellent. At most bars, the tapas are on display. From the look of it you can judge how good they are.

- In order to find a good restaurant, the Guide Michelin helps. Just use www.viamichelin.es and click on "restaurants".

- Maribel's guides have excellent recommendations of restaurants. If there is a guide available for your destination, read it. http://maribelsguides.com/
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Oct 24th, 2010, 05:41 AM
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If you spend €8 on a 3 course meal you can expect an awful meal.

I have only been to Barcelona in mainland Spain, but I enjoyed the food. It was fresh, tasty and well presented.
It did cost more than €8 though.

Likewise on La Palma, which has a strong South American influence to the food. Simple, hearty, fresh meals. Go to the tourist restaurants if you just need to fill up and aren't looking for anything special, but there are some really good, small local restaurants around, with excellent food, though not many fish dishes, considering it is an island.
It helps if you like goat on La Palma.
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Oct 24th, 2010, 06:21 AM
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Four Spanish on the top ten list of the prestigious San Pellegrino world's best restaurants ranking.

Two of them in Catalunya and two of them in San Sebastián in the Basque Country. Three US, one Italian and no French among top ten. 10 Spanish among the top hundred (12 US, 12 French, 8 Italian).
http://www.theworlds50best.com/

According to the world's most famous chef at the moment, Ferran Adrià (El Bulli), San Sebastián (pop. 170 000) does not only hold four of the finest restaurants in the world (Arzak, Mugaritz, Martin Berasategui and Akelarre) but is also the best place to eat in the world "in terms of what you can get at any place you happen to walk into".
http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandsty...rink.shopping2

Going for pintxos in San Sebastián is food heaven!
http://www.todopintxos.com/home/home.php?lang=en
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Oct 24th, 2010, 08:59 AM
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Try this place in Barcelona. It's off the radar but the 42 euro tasting menu is out of this world, served by an engaging and enthusiastic chef:

www.restaurantedruida.com/
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