The liquid that results from boiling vegetables, meat, fish or seafood in water. Salt is added to the liquid, as well as other ingredients, depending on the nature of the broth: white wine, brandy, vinegar, bay leaf, pepper, etc. This broth is the base of the soup that accompanies cocidos (chickpea stews) and may be served either before or after the main course. It may also be eaten mixed with the same ingredients with which it was prepared, as in caldo gallego (Galician broth), made with beans, turnip greens -a native Galician vegetable- potatoes and pork. Chicken broth may be a first course in itself -frequently served with a drop of sherry- or a hearty appetiser. During the winter, many Spanish bars serve broth as a tapa, as a warm replacement for wine or beer.
A typical Spanish dish that uses calf’s stomach lining (although it may also be beef or lamb), cut into small pieces. The tripe is sold clean and cut, but requires extended cooking (approximately four hours, or an hour in a pressure cooker) in water, with an onion, garlic cloves, a bay leaf, peppercorns and a glass of white wine. When the tripe is soft, a fried mixture (sofrito), the ingredients of which vary according to the region, is added, and it is cooked for another 30 minutes. In Madrid (callos a la Madrileña), the tripe is usually cooked with a bit of snout and trotter; the sauce is made with finely chopped onion and garlic, slices of morcilla (black sausage) and chorizo, ham, pimentón (a type of Spanish paprika) and a little flour.
Traditional to the Valls area in the Tarragona province (Catalonia), calçots are the long (approx. 25 cm / 10in), new shoots produced by a mature onion replanted especially for this purpose. The onion shoots are roasted over flames until their outer layers burn. The tender, white, edible interior is then pulled out, dipped in a romesco-like sauce (made with pepper, roasted garlic, roasted tomatoes, almonds, hazelnuts, day old bread, oil and vinegar) and eaten fresh off the grill. Calçots are covered by PDO Calçot de Valls.
Town in the region of Madrid (approx 40 km / 25 mi south-east of the capital) renowned for its table olives. Campo Real olives are of the Manzanilla de Campo Real and Cacereña de Extremadura varieties, which are green to brownish green in color, large in size, with a firm pulp and a thin skin. They are easily recognizable because of the traditional dressing in which they are served, which features thyme, oregano, garlic and fennel, as well as- optionally- bay leaves, cumin and marjoram.
Name given to olives of the Manzanilla variety in Extremadura, and used both as a table olive and for oil. Another variety, known as Carrasqueña de Córdoba, is a close cousin of the Picudo olive, and is primarily a table olive.
Casas de comida are small family-owned-and-run restaurants located in cities and towns throughout Spain that serve traditional, home-made food. Their main characteristic is that they offer time-honored Spanish cuisine based on quality ingredients but without bothering too much about creativity. Customers can either choose à la carte or take the menu of the day.
Isolated countryside house, normally a farmhouse. Especially typical of northern Spain, particularly the Basque Country.
Cured, lightly salted beef, smoked using oak or holm and then air-dried. It is then cut into thin slices and eaten raw, like ham - the perfect appetizer. Cecina from León is particularly well known (PGI Cecina de León).
Chacina generally refers to all types of dried or cured sausages and cold meats, such as chorizo, salchichón, cured loin...
Wine, served in a wide, low, flat-bottomed glass. Traditionally ordered in bars, a "chato de vino" might be the wine equivalent of a "caña" of beer.
Cephalopod similar to the squid, but with more delicate meat and much smaller in size. It is usually fished on hooks and is very popular in Basque cuisine. A typical northern recipe consists of little cuttlefish in their own ink: first the cuttlefish is cleaned, setting aside the ink bags; then they are stuffed with their tentacles and fried with a little onion, adding the ink dissolved in broth, and cooked for about twenty minutes. In other areas they are prepared with onion (and cooked in white wine) and may even be lightly sautéed and eaten in salads.
Typical sausage-type meat in Navarre, it is long, thin and red, due to the addition of pimentón (a type of Spanish paprika). Its name comes from the Basque word 'txistor', which means 'longaniza' (another type of sausage), and so is known in the Basque Country and Navarre as txistorra. Its appearance is similar to chorizo, but with a softer consistency. It is made basically from pork (49%), bacon and lard (49%), salt, pimentón and garlic. It is generally eaten fried or may also be lightly cooked in a small amount of cider. The chistorra made in the Sakana Valley (Navarre) is particularly well known; Alsasua, the principal town in the area, is home to an association of lovers of this product.
Sausage made of fresh intestine of varying lengths, filled with pork, pork fat, pimentón (a type of Spanish paprika), garlic, salt and other spices. There are many varieties of chorizo to be found throughout Spain, and which can be eaten raw, fried or boiled, depending on the type.
Native Spanish sheep breed with particularly high milk production, but also greatly valued for meat. The Churra breed is the third most numerous in Spain after the Merina and Rasa Aragonesa. This breed is primarily concentrated in the region of the Duero River basin (Castile-León), an area famous for its roasts.
Traditional breakfast food, made by frying a "loop" of batter in hot olive oil until crunchy, which is then generally sprinkled with sugar and served with hot chocolate or coffee. Churrerías, or churros shops, are a common sight all over Spain, where they open as early as bakeries to supply the local bars and early birds with both freshly made churros and chocolate. It is also popular for afternoon breakfast (meriendas) and fiestas.
Flat bread served with different sweet or savory toppings, typical of the Balearic Islands and Catalonia. The topping can be vegetables- such as coca de trampó (topped with roast green and red peppers and onion) in Mallorca-, fish -such as coca de San Juan (topped with tuna)- or even meat- such as coca de Lleida (butifarra and mushrooms). Sweet cocas normally feature fruit or nuts such as apricots, figs, apples, oranges, pine nuts or almonds.
This is a stew made from meat, pork fat, pulses (chickpeas, beans…) and sausage. Each region of Spain has its own version, depending on locally available ingredients, as well as for its own particular way of preparing it; whether it be the broth first and then the stew, the other way round, or everything mixed together.
Small, fleshy protuberance located in the lower jaw of certain fish. Hake and cod cocochas are particularly popular and are traditional in the repertoire of Basque cuisine. They are usually prepared with pil-pil sauce and their meat is light and sweet. Another form of preparation is to dip them in a light batter and fry them.
Small Romaine lettuces (approximately 15 cm / 5.9 in long and 10 cm / 3.9 in wide), obtained through traditional genetic selection, they were originally cultivated in the area of Tudela (Navarre), and later extended to other areas of Spain. There are different varieties, of which the Little Gem is the most common. They are not to be confused with mini or baby lettuces, which come from other varieties. Cogollos are usually split down the middle or in quarters, and dressed with vinaigrette (with an anchovy or two on top of each portion they are exquisite). In Andalusia, finely chopped garlic is fried in virgin olive oil, then a touch of vinegar is added and the hot mixture poured over the lettuce halves.
A natural product used to add flavour to foods. In Spain, the most commonly used condiments are saffron (rice dishes, meat and fish stews), pimentón (sausages, sofrito -a traditional Spanish cooking sauce- and other sauces), ñoras (a type of red peppers (sauces, stews), vinegar (salads, sofritos, sauces) and aromatic herbs such as oregano, rosemary and thyme (sauces, stews, game).
A variety of olive named for the shape of the fruit (literally, goat’s horn). Originating in Toledo, it is the second most cultivated variety in Spain, particularly in the Castile-La Mancha region. The olive oil it produces is very stable, which makes it suitable for blending with other varieties.
Name given to an extensive country estate in Andalusia and Extremadura. A cortijo will normally feature a large and white house or manor and a series of other buildings for work or leisure activities, such as stables.
Galician word meaning cross marker, a stone cross set in olden times at crossroads. These are abundant along the entire Camino de Santiago (St. James’ Way), and particularly in Galicia.
Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (Superior Council of Scientific Research). This is a government research organism operating under the Ministry of Science and Technology, with branches all over Spain. Among the lines of research carried out by CSIC are agricultural sciences and food technology. It collaborates both with regional governments and private companies.
A substance used to curdle milk destined for the preparation of certain types of cheeses. It is made by chopping the pistils of the wild thistle flower, mixing them with water and allowing the mixture to steep for a day before use. It is used in the preparation of cheeses such as La Serena and Torta del Casar (both PDO's) in Extremadura, where it is known as hierba de cuajo (rennet grass). It is also used in the Valley of los Pedroches (Córdoba, Andalusia) and in the preparation of Flor de Guía cheese (Grand Canary Island).