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16 traditional foods to try on your next trip to Madrid

Madrid’s culinary history dates back to the 16th Century and today the capital city is littered with traditional tavernas and eating houses, so is stands to reason that finding traditional food is rarely a problem.  Next time you’re there, look out for these items and you should hopefully be in for an authentic experience. Bacalao rebozado Chunks of cod in a lovely crisp batter. Besugo a la madrileña A traditional dish consisting of baked sea bream. ‘Bocata’ de calamares A sandwich of deep friend squid, served throughout Spain and Latin-American countries, but a speciality in Madrid. Caldo A word meaning ‘broth’ or ‘soup’ – what we might refer to as a consommé. Callos a la madrileña This local variation of an Asturian dish typically consists of the tripe of a calf or lamb, cooked with chorizo, blood sausage, the hoof and snout of a cow, sweet paprika, onion and garlic. Caracoles a la madrileña A traditional tapa consisting of snails cooked in a rich, spicy sauce. Churros con chocolate Sometimes referred to as Spanish doughnuts, churros are a fried dough pastry snack. Try them for breakfast, dipped in hot chocolate. Churros Cocido madrileño This chickpea-based stew from Madrid is a substantial meal served with meat and vegetables. It is popular with the locals during the Winter months but can be found in restaurants throughout the year. Croquetas Croquettes, often made up with the leftover meat from the cocido (see above). Escabeche A mild vinegar and spice pickle, served as an accompaniment to tuna, rabbit and partridge. Gallina en pepitoria This is a delicious casserole made with chicken, saffron, eggs and ground almonds. Morcilla A pig’s blood sausage, stuffed with rice, onions and spices. Patatas bravas Often to be found in tapas bars, patatas bravas is a dish consisting of chunks of white potato fried in olive oil, served warm with a spicy sauce or mayonnaise. Torreznos A common tapa in Spain: crisp, grilled pancetta. Torrijas A classic Madrid dessert: bread slices soaked in egg and milk, fried in olive oil and served with honey and cinnamon. Tortilla de patatas Known in English as a Spanish omelette, this is a classic dish – a thick egg omelette containing chunks of potato, fried in olive oil. Spanish omelette For more on Madrid, see the inspirational Bloggin’ Madrid website.

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Daily Telegraph.

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  1. This is one of the main reasons why I love to travel, simply to eat new foods. I’m a fiend when it comes to food, so it’s good to know which things I should keep an eye out in order to gorge on, ha. I’m eyeing up a Gallina en pepitoria.

  2. Amazing selection of dishes! The paella is also a must, even though it’s more common in Valencia. Thanks for the great post!

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