Guide to Spanish gastronomy: Asturias, Canary Islands, Cantabria, Galicia and Navarra.

Spanish cuisine guide: part 3. Asturias, Canary Islands, Cantabria, Galicia and Navarra.

Home » Spain » Spanish cuisine guide: part 3. Asturias, Canary Islands, Cantabria, Galicia and Navarra.

For the third and final part of this Spanish cuisine guide, we’re covering these regions: Asturias, Canary Islands, Cantabria, Galicia, and Navarra. Remember to check the first part here and the second part here.

 

Asturias

What you should know

It has a Celtic origin. Since Asturias is near the sea, seafood is important in its cuisine. The cheese of this region is popular all across Spain.

Staple dish

Spanish gastronomy guide
Since fabada is served hot and it’s a heavy dish, it’s mostly eaten during winter.
Fabada (Asturian bean stew). It’s made with white beans, sausages like chorizo and morcilla, and pork.

Other dishes you should try

Fish dishes: beans with clams, prawn fabada, octopus fabada, potaje de vigilia (usually served during Good Friday with cod)

Meat dishes: hare fabada, partridge fabada,  Asturian stew (with white beans, potatoes, cabbage, sausages, and bacon), carne gobernada (roasted veal meat), cachopo (veal steak with ham and cheese).

Pork dishes: chosco (Asturian-style tripe), and bollos preñaos (bread bums stuffed with chorizo)

Drinks: local cider made of Asturian apples

Cheese: Cabrales cheese, Gamonéu, Afuega’l pitu, and ahumado de Pría.

Desserts: frisuelos (similar to crêpes), rice pudding (with milk, lemon zest, and sugar), and carbayones (similar to eclairs but filled with almond mash, covered with sugar glaze).

 

Basque country

What you should know

Basque cuisine is one of the reasons people visit the Basque country. This cuisine has a wide range of ingredients and preparations but you have to try seafood. Basque country is home of the famous chef Juan Mari Arzak, creator of the New Basque Cuisine and owner of Arzak, one of the first three-star Michelin Guide restaurants in Spain.

Staple dish

Spanish gastronomy guide
Marmitako was eaten on tuna fishing boats in the Cantabrian Sea.
Marmitako. It’s a tuna fish stew with potatoes, onions, peppers, and tomatoes.  There are also versions of this dish with salmon instead of tuna. If you want to try the real deal, go for tuna.

Fun fact: Marmitako in Basque language means from the pot.

Other dishes you should try

Comfort food: piperrada (prepared with onion, green peppers, tomatoes, and red Espelette pepper, may also be served with egg or meat), talo (similar to tortillas but made only of corn, water, and salt).

Fish dishes: bacalao al pil pil (cod in a sauce made of the cod itself with oil, garlic, and chili pepper), bacalao a la Vizcaína (cod with onion, garlic, chili peppers, tomato, flour, and oil), and anchovies

Meat dishes: beef steaks, pork loin with milk, fig leaf quail, marinated goose, chistorra, jambon de Bayonne (cured ham), and tripotx (sausage made of lamb blood from Biriatou)

Desserts: cuajada (milk curd), etxeko biskotxa (cake of the house filled with black cherry jam or pastry cream),

Cheeses: Idiazabal, Roncal, and Ossau-Iraty

Drinks: Basque cider, Izarra liqueur, kalimotxo (wine with cola), and finally Txakoli wine

 

Canary Islands

What you should know

The Canary Islands have a unique location. Since they were part of the trading routes to America, its cuisine has many culinary traditions. Of course, fish is basic in Canarian cuisine, but also potatoes, cheese, fruits, and pork. Many dishes have a sauce called mojo that varies depending on the dish it’s served with. Gofio, flour made of sweet corn, is another ingredient that many dishes include.

Staple dish

Guide on Spanish gastronomy: dishes, regions, and origins.
The translation of “papas arrugadas” is wrinkled potatoes.
Papas arrugadas. This dish is made of small potatoes without skin, boiled in water with salt, and served with mojo.

Other dishes you should try

Soups: potajes (vegetables with potatoes, there are many variations depending on the vegetables available), caldo de Pescado (fish soup), rancho canario (chickpeas, lard, noodles, potatoes, and meat).

Fish dishes: sancocho canario (boiled fish with potatoes, gofio, mojo, and sweet potatoes), also, pescado seco (dry fish)

Meat dishes:  first of all, conejo en salmorejo (rabbit stew with coriander sauce), Carne fiesta (pork), costillas con piña (ribs with pineapple), puchero canario (chicken, beef and pork meat with potatoes, chickpeas, corn, sweet potatoes, and available vegetables), and ropa vieja (chicken and beef with potatoes and chickpeas)

Fun fact: ropa vieja is the precursor of Cuban ropa vieja

Desserts: truchas (pastries with sweet potato or pumpkin), roasted gofio (a dough made of roasted sweetcorn with nuts and honey), and Príncipe Alberto (mousse with almonds, coffee, and chocolate)

 

Cantabria

What you should know

The geography of Cantabria allows its cuisine to include seafood (both from the Cantabrian Sea and the basins of the rivers); vegetables and dairy products form the valleys; and veal, deer, rabbits, hares, and boars from the mountains.

Staple dish

Guide on Spanish gastronomy: regions, dishes, and origins.
Translated as highlander stew, its origin is in the 17th century, when it was cooked to fight against the wet and cold weather of the mountains.
Cocido montañés, a stew made with pork, cabbage, and beans.

Other dishes you should try

Fish dishes: first of all, marmita or sorropotún, maganos encebollados (squid with onions and squid ink), clam casserole

Pastries: sobaos (cake with lemon zest), quesadas pasiegas (dense pudding with lemon zest), rice pudding, natillas (custard), and also leche frita (made with flour with milk)

Cheeses: picón Bejes-Tresviso, quesucos de Liébana (mix of cow and sheep milk)

Drinks: Orujo (Cantabrian pomace brandy), cider, and chacoli wine

 

Galicia

What you should know

Due to the fact that Galician grasses and shrubs are green all year long, they’re excellent for grazing. Meat from cows, sheep, and pigs is popular and people consume it a lot. Potatoes are the staple of this cuisine and seafood is also pretty common.

Staple dish

Guide on Spanish cuisine
Caldo galego is served as a starter or for dinner
Caldo Galego (or caldo Gallego in Spanish) is a broth. It uses cabbage, collard greens, sweet turnip greens, potatoes, white beans, and lard for its preparation. It also contains pork, chorizo, ham, or bacon.

Other dishes you should try

Soups: caldo de castañas (chestnut broth)

Meat dishes: lacón con grelos (pork shoulder with chorizo and vegetables), carne ao caldeiro (veal with potatoes, bell pepper, lard, and oil), botelo or butelo (meat-stuffed pork intestine)

Fish dishes: Galician empanada, polbo á feira (octopus)

Cheeses: queixo de tetilla

Sausages: androlla

Desserts: tarta de Santiago (almond cake), filloas (pancakes)

Drinks: ribeiro and albariño wine, orujo

 

Navarre

What you should know

Navarre cuisine is deeply connected to the agricultural practices in the region. This region has an amazing produce every season. The preservation of indigenous products is very important to people in Navarre, as well as the conservation of traditional methods to prepare dishes.

Staple dish

Caldereta. Prepared with lamb or rabbit, potato and vegetables. If you go to a social gathering, you may be able to eat it there.

Other dishes you should try

Guide on Spanish gastronomy
Porrusalda, a typical Navarran soup
Soups: porrusalda (broth with chopped leek and potato), estellesa soup (with lard, rice, and milk), ox stew, and lamb stew

Comfort food: migas de Ujué (sheep fat, garlic, water, salt, and old bread)

Meat dishes: roasted suckling pig, grilled steak

Sausages: chorizo de Pamplona, txistorra (cured sausage)

Cheeses: Roncal cheese, also, Irdiazabal cheese

Desserts: curd with walnuts and honey, txantxigorri cakes (with pork and sugar), pies from Aoiz, chandríos (donuts), and finally leche frita (milk, flour, and sugar all fried)

Drinks: claret, pacharán (produced by soaking sloe berries in aniseed)

 

Now that you know everything about Spanish cuisine, what are you waiting to visit this amazing country?

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