Spanish Food: A personal Review

Rachel Chea

More stories from Rachel Chea

The Single Life
March 23, 2017

While being in Spain, I’ve had many opportunities to try Spanish food and form a well-rounded opinion about different dishes, and the cuisine in general. One thing that I have come to realize, is that Spaniards aren’t big on seasoning. For someone coming from the Caribbean, that took some adjusting. Now this may not be true for the entire country or every restaurant, however, there seems to be pattern when I eat in my host home or grabbing something for lunch. These comments put aside, here are some typical Spanish dishes, and my review on them:

1. Croquetas
These yummy, fried, cheesy, potato-filled, bite-sized wonders, are probably one of my favorite things to eat here – specifically the ones filled with pieces of ham. Served often for tapas or just a snack, they never cease to satisfy and are one of the few flavor-filled Spanish foods. These obviously aren’t the healthiest things in the world, but everyone knows that it’s the unhealthy foods that are the most addicting.

2. Bocadillo de Calamares (Calamari Sandwich)

Like many others, when I think of anything calamari, I not only think of the words “fancy” and “expensive” but also “delicious”, “delectable” and “scrumptious”. If you couldn’t tell, I love calamari and naturally, when I first heard of this sandwich, I couldn’t wait to try it. Let’s just say, I could’ve gone my entire life without trying it, and wouldn’t have missed much. Although this is known as one of the typical and traditional foods in Madrid, it has to be the most basic and bland sandwich I have ever eaten. This sandwich is literally just fried calamari rings inside a toasted baguette – that’s it. No sauce, no seasoning, not even any form of condiment to moisten the bread of calamari. I wasn’t amused or impressed, yet Spaniards rave over how good it is. I don’t get it…

3. Paella

If you like rice, veggies, seafood or meat, this is for you and this is what makes paella one of my favorite Spanish dishes. There are different variations such as seafood, or mixed paella, but the concept remains the same for all. Paella is also one of the few Spanish dishes that is packed with seasoning. Compared to Caribbean dishes, it isn’t much seasoning. However, for Spaniards it’s pretty seasoned.

4. Cocido Madrileño

Finally, cocido. For the first few weeks, this is what I would have for dinner in my host family…a lot. Cocido is basically a type of stew or soup, with chickpeas, meat and other vegetables. Except in my house, it didn’t seem like a stew at all; just some boiled chickpeas and chunks of chorizo. Now don’t get me wrong, I love chickpeas and I love meat. However, after a while, especially since it doesn’t contain much seasoning, I became bored with it and still don’t find it to be anything too special.


Those are just a few Spanish foods that I have eaten and formed a very strong opinion on. While I love living in Spain, and trying new food, I wouldn’t consider Spanish food the best in the world. I also don’t think that I would ever crave Spanish food, but that has yet to be determined, especially after I leave.