Spain: Cooking Traditional Dishes

One of the coolest experiences I have gotten to have since studying abroad here in Spain through the Maryland-in-Barcelona program has been going to a local cooking class where we got to learn how to make traditional Spanish foods. Me and my friends signed up for the class through the program’s excursion offerings and were able to make a four-course traditional Spanish meal! Not only did we learn great cooking techniques and hands-on practice cooking the Spanish way, but we also got to learn more about Catalan history and how the dishes we made connected to Barcelona’s rich history. Our first course was a Catalonian thyme soup which was popular many decades ago for being very easy and inexpensive to make. Our second course was one of my favorites, which I now order at least once a week, Spain’s famous patatas bravas. If ever in Spain, I definitely recommend trying this widely popular tapa! Third was the main dish, chicken paella, which was made the traditional way in a huge cast iron skillet on the stovetop which we all shared. Lastly, dessert was the final course and it was the Spanish version of creme brulee, called crema Catalana. Overall, the experience was not only delicious but such a great opportunity to make Spanish foods the Spanish way- with plenty of people in the kitchen all lending a helping hand.

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