Spanish food has made its way to the United States with mixed reviews. Some people love the tasty tapas—tiny morsels that melt in your mouth. However, other people detest the idea of paying top dollar for what are, essentially, a series of appetizers. My father once told the waiter at a Spanish restaurant, “When’s the meal coming?” Many Americans would agree.
I’m a big fan of Spanish food, so I have to chime in. Let me suggest an approach…
That’s your starting point. A nice jug of Sangria with assorted chucks of fruit. That’s the perfect way to start off your meal, and it’s mandatory for any Spanish restaurant worth that its salt. Nothing cools the palate like that first gulp of cold Sangria.
I recommend the Jamón ibérico. Note that there should be a Jamonero (a woden device that holds the ham) on the counter – this is mandatory. The waiter will shave pieces from it, providing you with a gateway into the swine’s paradise. Remember that Jamon is not just a Spanish food; it’s a national obsession.
Go with the garlic octopus. Now most Americans are weary of octopus; truth be told, they’d rather chew on a rubber band for half an hour. But that’s because they’ve never experienced a well-cooked octopus: tender, moist, melting in your mouth. Placed atop a bed of rice, and you have a work of perfection. Be sure to wash it down with the Sangria, which is now melting down perfectly in the glass.
Save room. I recommend a flan that’s been chilled in the cooler and doused with caramel sauce. Remember that you want to experience all parts of your Spanish meal, so this is no time to count calories! Let yourself enjoy the flan and worry about it later.
So there you go…a small introduction to Spanish food. I am on my way to lunch as we speak, and it will be Spanish food. So today I’m putting my money where my mouth is—literally.