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Spanish Food Facts

Part 2


La Cocina Española


1.  La horchata is a traditional Spanish drink made from a blend of ground tiger nuts (las chufas), sugar (el azúcar) and water (el agua).  A person who sells la horchata is called un horchatero.

La horchata is served cold and has a milky white appearance.  It is often accompanied by a sponge finger called un fartón.  The shape of el fartón is perfect for dunking into the drink.


horchata con farton.jpg

2.  In Spain, the bars serve small plates of food to accompany a drink.  This small dish is called una tapa. The word una tapa actually means 'a lid'.  Originally, workers would go to a tavern after a hard day's work.   Their glasses of wine or beer would be covered with a slice of food (just like a lid) to keep the flies and dust away from the drink underneath.

Nowadays, una tapa is food served on a plate beside the drink.  It is no longer used as a lid on top of the glass!


3.   El cocido is a traditional Spanish stew, cooked in a large saucepan (una olla).  The ingredients are chickpeas (garbanzos), various vegetables (verduras) and meat (carne).  The stew is very nutritious and provides three separate courses called vuelcos

Vuelco 1. La sopa - the liquid in which the stew is cooked is served like a soup.  

Vuelco 2.  La carne - the meat.
Vuelco 3.  Los garbanzos y las verduras - the chickpeas and the vegetables.  


4.  La sangría is a traditional Spanish drink for the summer and it is made from a mixture of:
Vino tinto - red wine
Frutas - fruits, such as slices and pieces of lemon, orange, lime, grapes, peaches, berries, pineapple, pear and apple, etc......
Zumo de fruta - fruit juice
Especias - spices, for example: canela - cinnamon
Refrescos - drinks such as lemonade
Hielo - ice


La sangría. is served in a jug - una jarra.

It is red in colour and is said to resemble 'blood'.  The Spanish word for 'blood' is sangre and it is from this word that the drink sangría takes its name.

5.  Las migas means 'the crumbs' and it is the name of a traditional Spanish dish made from breadcrumbs.
Bread that is slightly stale is crumbled then fried with olive oil and garlic in a large frying pan called una sartén.  Depending upon the area of Spain, other ingredients might be thrown in, for example, el chorizo and el pimentón - paprika.  Just like la paella, it is very filling and provides a full meal.
Photo below of las migas, by Pedro Serafín


6.  El churro is a traditional Spanish fritter.  It is like a long, thin doughnut and it is eaten at breakfast-time or as a snack.  It is common to eat los churros by dunking them into a cup of hot chocolate.  Los churros belong to a category of Spanish goodies known as frutas de sartén (fruits of the frying pan).