Posts Tagged ‘spain’

The History of Spanish Tapas

Posted on: April 28th, 2016 by admin No Comments

Spanish Cuisine. Assorted tapas on ceramic plates.

The History of Spanish Tapas

One of the big trending culinary delights of the modern age is the Spanish tapas menu. You don’t have to go to Madrid or Malaga to experience the idea of ordering small plates of a variety of delicacies and sharing with friends and family. We are all familiar with tapas, but how many of us know where the idea came from? It’s not as easy as you think to pick up the origins, but here are some of the ideas about how it happened.

Myths and legends that surround tapas

If you delve into tapas history the name is associated with Spanish royalty. The idea of which king it was is rather obscure, but one of the stories is that following a long trip, ‘a king’ visited a restaurant in Andalusia and was served wine and cheese. The cheese was put over the glass of wine to protect it from either insects or dust. The word ‘tapadera’ means cover, and from then on the king always asked for tapas whenever he drank wine.
Another story claims the origins of tapas relate to a sick Spanish King, who could only eat small amounts of wine and food to recover. When he was well again, he ordered that all of the restaurants and bars in Castile would serve food in this way.
One legend that didn’t involve Kings relates to peasants in the countryside. To maintain their energy levels, they would eat small snacks regularly with wine while they were working.

Tapas today

In the current modern society, tapas is just known as a Spanish version of enjoying a range of small dishes with wine. For anybody that is visiting Spain, this is one of the great gastronomic delights and every region around the country will have their own version. The classic tapas menu involves fish, meat, eggs, vegetable, and wine. It is served lots of different ways depending where you are eating it.

The importance of tapas

When you think of Spain, tapas is one of the images conjured up and in truth, this has become a part of the country’s national identity. Cities in Spain combat with each other to become known as the best place to eat tapas, but of course, it all comes down to personal choice. The beauty of eating in this way is that no matter what your taste in food, there is always something on the menu that you will like, whether you are eating in Spain or anywhere else in the world.

 

How the Spanish do Christmas

Posted on: December 2nd, 2015 by admin No Comments

Christmas Beach

Christmas in Spain takes place over a much longer period than in other countries. Heavily rooted in religious influence, the Christmas period, or ‘Pascuas’, ranges from December 24th to the 6th of January with Christian celebrations throughout.

December 24th is celebrated with a great family feast, usually a turkey stuffed with wild truffles, followed by the midnight mass service known as the ‘Misa del Gallo’. This Mass of the Rooster refers to the crowing of a rooster at the moment of Christ’s birth, and is followed by a triumphant musical parade through the streets accompanied by carols and traditional instruments, and a return to home.

Santa Claus has gained popularity as the main gift-giver for Christmas, but more local figures are still celebrated. In the mountainous Basque region, ‘Olentzero’ is a coal merchant who descends to leave presents for the good children, and coal for the naughty, while ‘Tio de Nadal’ performs a similar function in Catalonia and Aragon. Spain being such a large and culture-rich country, local differences abound.

After a slight lull, December 28th is celebrated as the ‘Dia de los Santos Inocentes’ (Day of the Innocent Saints), a day similar in style to April Fool’s Day. People attempt to trick each other with silly stories and jokes, with believers named as innocents. This day is inspired by the story of King Herod’s attempts to murder the infant Jesus.

The twelfth night of Christmas on January the 6th is a celebration that rivals Christmas Day in terms of extravagance. Epiphany or the ‘Fiesta de Los tres Reyes Mages’ (Festival of the three Magic Kings) celebrates the night when the famous three Kings brought presents to the baby Jesus. This is the main time for gift-giving, and on January 5th, children will leave drinks and food for the Kings in hopes of receiving a good haul in the morning. Each King has his own appearance and custom and will be shown on numerous parades across Spain on floats, riding their traditional camels. A special cake known as a Roscon will also usually be eaten on Epiphany morning, a ring-shaped roll containing sweet fillings and little gifts.

The Perfect Putting Experience – Golfing in Majorca

Posted on: November 10th, 2014 by admin No Comments

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Majorca is the largest of the Balearic Island and has long been a favourite vacation destination in Spain. The beaches and glorious weather are a big draw for those that visit although there are plenty of other attractions. This includes golf, with the courses on the island providing some of the best playing conditions around Europe.

Getting to Majorca is relatively simple. It is served by the Palma de Mallorca Airport, which is one of the busiest in Spain and many of the European airlines operate flights to it. The transport systems on the island are fairly good, but renting a car is the easiest way to getting to your chosen golf course or resort of choice.

There are plenty of destinations to choose from. This includes the Santa Ponsa Golf Club, which is situated close to the capital city, Palma, and has three different courses to play. The Arabella Golf Course & Spa has a similar set up, with this resort also located close to Palma and boasting three separate courses. Those that want to play a course designed by Jack Nicklaus can do so on Majorca by visiting Golf Park Puntiro. A golf academy at this resort also provides the chance for anyone to brush up on their skills, with instructors using some of the latest technology to help players get the best out of their game.

In total, there are more than 20 courses around Majorca and some of the others to play on a visit include Alcanada, Canyamel, Poniente, and Son Servera. Visit at the right time and it may even be possible to take in a professional tournament. The Pula Golf resort has hosted European Tour events on a number of occasions and the European Senior Tour has also staged tournaments on the island.

The warm climate of Majorca means that golf is a year round sport on the island. This makes it an ideal destination for golfers to take a vacation, with the sunny weather and beautiful courses ensuring they will have an enjoyable time.

Top 5 Most Delicious Spanish Dishes

Posted on: October 21st, 2014 by admin No Comments

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Spain is famous for its delicious cuisine. If you are planning a trip to Spain or simply dining at your local Spanish restaurant, these are some Spanish dishes that you should not miss.

Paella (as seen above)
This delicious rice dish is one of Spain’s signature dishes and can be enjoyed either as a main meal or as a side dish. The dish is traditionally made with saffron rice with seafood such as prawns, calamari, mussels and fish, although meat versions are also available. One of the great things about paella is that the variations are almost endless and it can be cooked with onions, olives, tomatoes, chillies, mushrooms or just about any combination of meat, fish and vegetables that you like.

Cochinillo Asado
For a really decadent dinner, roast baby pig is a mouth watering option and features a crispy rind with juicy meat on the inside. The best place in Spain to sample cochinillo asado is Segovia.

Chorizo
This spicy sausage is rich and delicious and makes the perfect accompaniment to any meal. Chorizo is usually served thinly sliced and cold or cut into pieces and cooked in wine or cider and is delicious with fresh bread or Spanish-style potatoes. Many bars in Spain serve chorizo as a snack and this sausage is great with a glass of locally made beer or wine, while it can also be eaten for breakfast with a traditional Spanish egg dish.

Fried Milk
This sweet treat is called leche frita in Spanish and is a traditional Spanish dessert that features a cold and firm milk pudding centre contrasted with a warm and crunchy coating of flour and egg that is dusted with cinnamon and sugar. This dessert is sometimes flavoured with lemon or orange and can be eaten at any time of the day.

Patatas Bravas
This satisfying potato dish is the perfect accompaniment to dishes such as chorizo and cochinillo asado and features chucks of fried potatoes smothered in a spicy tomato sauce. There are several variations of patatas bravas just waiting to be enjoyed in Spain such as potatoes served with ali oli garlic sauce or paprika.

The Unforgettable Cap De Formentor Road Trip

Posted on: August 7th, 2014 by admin No Comments

Cap de formentor

Known by the locals as the ‘meeting point of the winds’, Cap De Formentor is the northernmost point on the island of Majorca. It is located at the tip of the Formentor peninsula, a rugged finger of land that juts out into the Mediterranean Sea.

To get to Cap De Formentor by car, take the PM-221 from Port de Pollença. The narrow 13.5 km road winds its way along the dramatic landscape, taking in tunnels, picturesque views and lookout points.

At the end of the road you will find the magnificent Formentor lighthouse, which was built in the 1860s, and the spectacular sight of the sea crashing against the cliffs 300 metres below.

A drive to Cap De Formentor is a journey you will remember and is a great way to explore some of the scenic beauty of Majorca.

Two Beaches in Majorca Voted Amongst The best in Spain

Posted on: July 16th, 2014 by admin No Comments

Beaches

Spain has long been known as an excellent destination for a beach vacation and a recent survey by the comparison site Trivago showed that the island of Majorca is one of its top locations for this. The survey ranked the best beaches in Spain, with two in Majorca making it into the top 10.

Playa de Muro came in at number 3 on the list, with this beach stretching to a distance of around 6km. Its waters and sand have a Blue Flag rating to show they are in pristine condition and its length and out of town location means it never gets too crowded.

Cala Millor beach (as seen above) was ranked 7th in the survey and this is another Blue Flag stretch of sand. It is around 1km long, with its picturesque white sand and turquoise waters offering the chance to relax in the sun or enjoy some fun water sports.

A Sunny Christmas Getaway – Christmas Travel Guide

Posted on: December 18th, 2013 by admin No Comments

Christmas Travel Guide

Would you love to get away this Christmas but can’t stand the daunting idea of Christmas travel? It’s really not as bad as it seems! Take a look at our Christmas travel tips for easy ways to deal with traveling and to hopefully, get rid of any travel anxiety you may have.

1. Don’t bother wrapping up presents before packing them. If your parcel is selected for a baggage check, your efforts will be wasted!

2. Don’t pack party poppers; these are on the list of items not allowed on flights.

3. If possible, fly on Christmas Day, Boxing Day or New Year’s Day. You could save hundreds of pounds!

4. Plan your itinerary carefully to make sure that you arrive at the airport nice and early. Don’t forget to check the latest weather and traffic reports.

5. Try and avoid taking bulky presents to cut down on luggage and save money. Gift vouchers are always welcome presents and take up very little space.

Lastly, remember to safely lock up your house. Leave the heating on at a very low setting if the weather’s freezing. You don’t want to come back to burst pipes!

Abseiling in Majorca – An Unforgettable Experience.

Posted on: December 12th, 2013 by admin No Comments

Abseiling

 

Although it’s quite possible to spend an entire holiday in Majorca basking in the sunshine on a beach, the island has so much more to offer. An excellent day out can be enjoyed with the help of a few ropes, a harness, and a rock face.

Mallorca’s mountainous terrain offers plentiful opportunities for abseiling, and this outdoor activity is suitable for anyone over the age of twelve. Abseiling is an exciting sport in its own right, but it is also a great way to overcome a fear of heights, building confidence step-by-step under the guidance of experienced instructors. Along with the heart-racing thrill of the descent, there are some breath-taking views over the island to see. With wet weather being the only limit, abseiling is available year round.

Prices for a half-day session start at around fifty Euros, so the whole family can enjoy abseiling without breaking the bank.

Christmas in Majorca – A Festive Adventure

Posted on: December 6th, 2013 by admin No Comments

Christmas in Majorca

 

Christmas in Majorca arrives slowly, with no sign of Christmas carols in the shops until December when it is firmly showing on calendars across the island. Town squares are regaled with tiny Christmas lights and a Nativity scene – the Belén, which can often also be found in house and shop windows.

Christmas Eve (Nochebuena) is celebrated with family meals at home before Midnight Mass on the 24th December After Mass the eating continues before everyone heads to bed to recuperate their energies for more food on the 25th December.

Most important is the arrival of the Three Wise Men – the Reyes Magos, who, on the 6th January, bring presents to children. There are parades all over the island, the biggest is in Palma, as the Kings arrive by boat in coastal towns and by tractor in the country to throw sweets to the children and deliver their presents.

All of these fantastic and original activities make christmas in Majorca a must try! If you do decide to travel to Majorca for Christmas, choose Car Hire Majorca for a quick and easy rental.

Majorcan Food – The Long Standing Traditions of Majorcan Dining

Posted on: December 2nd, 2013 by admin No Comments

Majorcan Food

 

Traditional Majorcan food is based around the local produce with an emphasis on vegetables, fish and pork. Popular main courses include Fiduea which is the Majorcan version of paella and which is made with noodles instead of rice. Pork is cooked in many different ways and for llom amb col the pork is covered with raisins and pine nuts and wrapped in cabbage before being cooked.

Majorcan food also includes interesting desserts, which tend to be quite light dishes. These include crème caramel or gato de almendras which is an almond cake that is traditionally served with ice cream made from toasted almonds. Ensaimadas are another popular desert choice and are also often served for breakfast. They are pastries made in a spiral shape which are dusted with sugar and which can be filled with a variety of fillings such as jam or even sausage depending on when you are eating them.