Where’s Best To Eat: France or Spain?

Posted on Monday, 9th July 2018

Where’s Best To Eat: France or Spain?

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Whilst Italy is often cited as the mecca for foodies, both France and Spain are similarly high up on the list of worldwide cuisines. If you’re thinking about taking a trip and are torn between these neighbours then this list that reveals three of the best from each country should tempt your tastebuds and help you work out which is best for you, on a purely gastronomic level.

Of course, both have great wine though the culture is very different. In Spain, the prices tend to be lower and the attitude is a lot more relaxed – the French would probably argue, too relaxed… whereas in France, service is more of a fine art and the dining scene has more formality to it than the friendliness of the many tapas bars throughout Spain.

When most people think of french food they imagine the menu of Les Gourmets des Ternes with treats such as snails, frogs legs and foie gras, whereas Spain is a lot more varied – in the North, you can find almost Hungarian style game stews whereas in the South it tends to be much more mediterranean with the traditional seafood paellas and barbecued fish.

FRANCE
1. Beef Bourguignon
This hearty beef stew that originates from Burgundy comprises of tender chunks of beef braised in red wine and beef broth along with garlic, shallots, smoked bacon lardons, a bouquet garni, pearl onions and mushrooms is deceptively simple as it is incredibly tasty.

2. French Onion Soup
This sweet yet balanced onion soup with the occasional hint of rosemary and thyme served with a slice of crisp french bread covered in grilled cheese, and often accompanied with more warm bread is a favourite throughout the whole of France.

3. Mussels
A simple pot of fresh mussels, white wine, a little cream, sweet braised onions and a touch of garlic alongside pomme frites and crusty french bread is an incredible way to enjoy the coastal areas of France.

SPAIN
1. Gazpacho

Gazpacho is a cold soup that originated from Andalusia in Southern Spain which combines ripe tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, bread, peppers and cucumber – all blended until silky smooth and sometimes served with diced hard boiled egg and serrano ham (in which case it’s known as salmorejo).

If you’re making this at home put don’t have a blender then with regard to the bread, that becomes absorbed within the sauce to give it a slightly stockier texture, you’ll need to make sure you cut it fine with a sharp bread knife as otherwise it will become too lumpy.

2. Calamari
Fresh, melt in your mouth rings of calamari are flash fried in a light and tasty batter; served hot from the fryer with a slice of lemon and a punchy garlic mayonnaise dip. However, try to head toward the coast, and eat in a half-decent tapas restaurant, to ensure you aren’t served the same frozen rings with chunky batter that you can find in Aldi!

3. Prawns in Garlic (Gambas al Ajillo)
Imagine sweet, succulent, meaty white flesh served sizzling in a terracotta dish, cooked in extra virgin olive oil with copious amounts of garlic and the tiniest touch of chili; and you have an extremely compelling reason to visit Spain. This dish is particularly well done in the Canary Islands and Southern Spain.

Note: This is a collaborative post.

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