Gastronomy of Andalucia
In Spain dinner is often served quite late in the evening, usually between 9pm-11pm. In order to pass the time between work and dinner time many Spaniards go to tapas bars. ´What is a tapas bar?´ you may ask. Tapas bars offer a variety of beers and wines as well as ¨tapas¨, the Spanish word for appetizers or snacks.
The tapas come in different forms, cold or warm, meat-filled or vegetarian. What a better way to engage in Spanish culture than to eat when the Spaniards eat and eat what the Spaniards eat?
The typical cuisine of the Andalusian region is very rich. There are many different sauces, often served with fish or other types of seafood (e.g. prawns or calimari). The style of cooking is heavily based around traditional dishes and dishes which would be cooked at home.
They are shared by the whole table; you don´t buy your own Tapa! In fact, this method of eating is so popular in this part of Spain that they have their own verb for it! “Tapear”, meaning – “to have Tapas”.
If you´re not such a fan of fish dishes, that´s fine, as pork, chicken and gazpacho (a type of cold soup) are all served during the summer months. And if you go a bit further inland in Andalucia you´re sure to find meat restaurants where you can get steaks, rabbit and a whole range of other dishes.
To wash down you your meal, Andalusian towns offer many wines typical of the region (e.g. the rich Manzanilla). Or if wine isn´t your thing, the area serves many light and golden coloured beers.
As for as desserts go, the area is full of “Heladerias”, or ice cream parlours, serving a multitude of creamy flavours that you can mix to your own liking. There are also many other sweet breads and cakes all made locally in the traditional ways.