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The Food of Madrid

9th October 2013

Spain’s literal and gastronomic capital, Madrid is sure to delight food lovers and satisfy hungry travellers. This lively city is where feasting is an everyday occurrence, with evening meals typically flowing into the early hours of the morning. Savour authentic Spanish cuisine and be tempted by  the city’s gourmet treats. From salivating over succulent roast pork to indulging in mouth watering Spanish doughnuts, it seems leaving the city a few kilos heavier but hungry for more is inevitable.

Here are our top five traditional and delicious Madrid dishes to try.

Madrid

Cocido madrileno
One of the most celebrated dishes in Madrid is cocido madrileno, a fragrant vegetable and meat stew. Combining chickpeas, potatoes, carrots and cabbage with meats such as chicken, beef and pork, this stew is classically served in three stages. First the broth or soup is devoured, followed by the vegetables, finishing with the tender meat. While this hearty dish is particularly popular in winter, Cocido madrileno remains a fixture on the menu of many restaurants in Spain all year round.

Cochinillo asado
A traditional dish of Madrid, cochinillo asado is a roast suckling piglet. Not for the faint hearted, this special treat is served whole – head, hooves and tail. Cooked on an oak wood fire, the meat is rubbed with olive oil, garlic, salt and thyme and then roasted until the skin is crispy and golden and the meat is extremely tender. Consider tasting this national delicacy at the restaurant, Sobrino de Botin. Opened in 1725, this iconic establishment is believed to be the oldest restaurant in the world.

Churros
Churros and chocolate are the dessert of choice when in Madrid. This sumptuous sweet is essentially a Spanish doughnut, usually either shaped in a knot or as a long stick. The combination of crispy fried dough boasting a light fluffy inside, dipped in thick and rich dark chocolate, sends both locals and tourists into a sugar frenzy. Notorious for having the best churros and chocolate in town, a visit to Chocolateria San Gines in Madrid is a must.

Tortilla de Patata
A popular tapas dish, Tortilla de Patata is a thick Spanish omelette. The classic version is made simply using egg, potatoes, salt and olive oil, however today there are many different variations. Choose to add onion, cheese, garlic or prawns or try the original when in Madrid. Pop by the gourmet tapas bar, Juana La Loca and try one of their famous tortilla de patata con cebolla caramelizada - a delicious Spanish omelette infused with caramelised onion.

Leche merengada
A delightful beverage, Leche merengada is a basically a Spanish milk shake. Typically made with milk, egg whites, sugar and cinnamon, the drink is often served cold or even partially frozen. There are a few small variations, such as adding lemon, vanilla or espresso, but the main ingredients will stay the same. A refreshing treat for a warm summer’s day, many ice cream parlours or cafes will sell leche merengada.