This tip is for a great new website in English called CataVino. It has lots of information on Spanish and Portuguese wines. Includes some nice links and tasting notes and lots more.
Since Spain is known for its wine and is now being rediscovered, why not learn something about it before coming?
One of the things that can be enjoyed in Madrid is pinchos and tapas. PINCHOS are normally a slice of bread with something(in the picture tortilla de patata with confited onion,mmmmmmmmmm), salmon and salad, gulas, foie with strawberry jam, iberian ham , duck with avocado........
... and TAPAS is a dish with, for instance, potatoes, octopus, cheese, scamble eggs with asparrags(esparragos trigueros), sepia, stuffed peppers, pimientos de padrón, albondigas(meat balls), croquetas....
Spectacular pinchos in:
Juana la Loca
Pl. Puerta de Moros 4
91 364 05 25
Madrilenos like to go to bed late at night and wake up also late in the morning. They usually start their day with Chocolate 'con churros' (lightly fried fritters) or coffee with 'bollos'(rolls). Eat lunch at three o'clock, go back to work at four till seven or eight, and eat dinner at ten --at home; when they go out they eat dinner at eleven or even later.
You can imagine how difficult that was for us to adapt as our internal clock (hometime) was already 2 hours late. Even if we tryed to eat earlier that was made impossible as restaurants do not open (or serve you) before 1pm for lunches or 9pm for dinners, lol!
It's impressive, but I've never seen so many people in restaurants as in Madrid. Most restaurant have reservations, but some don't (I try 3 times over a restaurant and couldn't get a table!!!). As people here eat late (between 8pm and midnight), most restaurants have 2 shifts: one around 8pm and the other at 11pm. If you don't have a reservation, try going at 7:30pm or by 10pm, although you, like me, won't even have the chance to eat. So do make the reservation. For your own sake. For your hunger...
A typical dish that must be tried Paella is a traditional dish of Spain. Its home is Valencia, but variations exist in the different Spanish provinces. A colorful mixture of saffron-flavored rice and various meats, paella’s name comes from the paellera, the flat, round pan in which it is cooked. Traditionally, the paella is cooked out of doors, over a wood fire. To make a paella, first sauté meats, such as chicken, pork, rabbit, or seafood, such as clams, shrimps, mussels, crayfish, or squid. Use olive oil and season with onions, garlic and herbs. Next, cook rice, tomatoes, and saffron, simmering over a low heat. Finally, mix in the meats and garnished with peas, pimientos, and other vegetables.
Well, if you came to Spain, then you came to the right country, the country with reach gastronimic traditions and endless variety of food to offer....
Talking about Spain, Madrid is the quitessence of everything one can find travelling around, however there are some Musts, one shouldn't miss..... one of them is Jamon, or ham prepared in a very special way.... a special breed of big is fed only by acorns and when the time comes, big is killed, and its legs are got fermented in natural conditions for several years.... depending on length of fermentation, the quality of Jamon is graded from low to a very high...
In Spain children get their Christmas present on the 6th of January. These are given by the Reyes Magos(the three kings who gave presents to the baby Christ). Children leave turron and cava for the Reyes and the camels!!!!!All that day we eat Roscon de Reyes, a cake (see the picture) which has a surprise inside. The typical are withouth cream, but lately there are different styles of the traditional.
It's is typical from Madrid to have chocolate with churros(this is a thing made with flour and fried in olive oil), you can try in every cafe and bar in madrid. in this wonderful shop and cafe: cacao sampaka(C/ Orellana 4), the best chocalete but they don't have churros so you can eat other sweets or salted things with your chocalate!
At the Plaza Mayor, sit in any of the terraces, relax or try a 'barquillo' ... umm delicious ...
I have also seen these men at the Retiro Park.
My first memories about the barquillos are from Bilbao from Parque Maria Luisa, if I was a good girl, I used to get one (so I wonder why I did not had many lol). But when we used to go to Madrid, I always used to get one.
Well, everyone knows about the whole tapas/eating late dinners deal by now. (If you don't, check out almost anyone else's Madrid page) So, I'm going to use this space to clue ya'll in on some of the yummy Spanish food eaten during these times.
-Tortilla Espanola, it's like a quiche made of eggs and potatoe. It's really good, too. I don't know how they eat tapas and then have dinner, though. My mom and I had split a tortilla espanola and weren't too hungry after that.
-Paella, it's a very traditional Spanish meal, down at Costa del Sol, you'll see stands set up by the beach with huge pans of paella being made. Up north (in this case, Madrid) you can order it at a restaurant for two people or more. My mom and I ordered the two people serving. It could have served four!! But, it was absolutely DELICIOUS!! Definitely go for the chicken etc... paella. The seafood one is a little frightening at first for people who like to know exactly what's there. The leave everything in its shell. But, if you're an adventerous eater, go for it. It's good.
-Churros and hot chocolate, make sure you go to an authentic Spanish diner, not like a chain type or Americanized place. Churros cost us about 20 cents each, and a cup of hot chocolate (ie hot chocolate pudding) was about 2 euros. It's the best (fattiest) breakfast!
-Sangria, so so so good, especially when the put soda in it. MMMMMMM... I want to go back to Spain!!
Tapas are the famous Spanish Hor'deuvres that everyone eats. Madrid has them all over the place. They come in small portions or larger portions. So you can order half or fill Racions. The larger order can make a light meal. Many people go to different Tapas Bars trying different Tapas. Examples can be olives, Calamare Frtos (Squid) or Albondingas (Meatballs). One cannot go to Madrid or Spain for that matter without trying Tapas.
Probably most interesting typical custom is "ir de tapas". What does it mean? With friends (better) or alone, you go to a bar and have a drink; may be a "caña" (beer), a cup of wine, a cocktail or a soda. The drink comes with little dishes called "tapas" (olives, ham, peanuts, "tortilla"...) and some places are famous for their dishes, so you must go for one bar to the other!
Probablemente, la costumbre típica más interesante sea "ir de tapas". ¿Qué significa? Con amigos (mejor) o solo, vas a un bar y tomas algo; puede ser una "caña" (cerveza), una copa de vino, un cóctel o un refresco. La bebida viene con unos platitos llamados "tapas" (aceitunas, jamón, maníes, tortilla...) y algunos sitios son famosos por sus platos, por lo que debes ir de un bar a otro!