Spanish Food In Barcelona
One of the things I was really looking forward to in Spain was eating some authentic Spanish food. It’s a huge privilege for the opportunity to taste the local food in its original land and I was really excited to have some paella and tapas. My friends and I went a step further and signed ourselves up for a Spanish cooking class!
We thought it would be a hands-on class followed by a meal of our own cooking, but it turned out to be a cooking demonstration. The class costed 24€ (SGD37) per person, and it was a demonstration we could have watched on Youtube and saved our money. But it was fun meeting other travellers and we did have a good time chatting and making new friends.
It was a shame that 80% of the indoor spaces we’ve been in are so poorly ventilated. I am puzzled at why the establishments in Barcelona are not better ventilated and cooled indoors. I have seriously been perspiring all day every day. It’s hot on the streets. It’s hot in the shops. It’s hot in the train station. And in this restaurant where the cooking class was held and a huge gas stove was firing up heat to cook the paella, I almost melted into non-existence.
The “chef” was unfortunately not as pro as we expected. He was Spanish, and was funny and sincere, but his paella sucked. Most of us didn’t even finish our portion of paella on our plates.
Although the finished product wasn’t great, I did pick up a few tips on making a great paella. And they included not using minced garlic as they will burn, using a good quality fish stock to cook the rice, and not stirring the rice-stock mixture too much and just leaving it to cook.
The final paella dish looked really good. It was such a disappointment when we bit into our meal and realised it didn’t taste as good as it looked.
While the rice was cooking, we were served a simple spread of local tapas, which are Spanish appetisers. And this was the chance to indulge in some local hams like serrano and iberico.
Washed down with yummilicious Sangria (Spanish wine punch), these appetisers were so delicious that we were practically making a meal out of them. It was unbearably hot in the restaurant and the sangria did a good job at cooling us down. See my hair sticking to my hot and sweaty face.
My favourite part of the class was learning to make Spanish sangria, which was essentially lots of cheap red wine with fruit, rum, sugar, fruit juice and soda water. Here were my friends giving sangria mixing a go.
Those two jars of Sangria became the strongest rum-laced ones, of course!
Chilled sangria on a hot summer day inside a stuffy space is the best antidote. I can drink this non-stop. It really is one of the nicest cocktail drinks around. It’s also a great way to convert cheap red wine into something fabulous. No more wastage of bad cheap wine. =)
I’m disappointed that my paella experience wasn’t better. I have to go find some good authentic ones now. My hunt for fine Spanish food in Barcelona continues!
P/S. If you are interested in good Spanish/European food in Singapore, please keep a lookout in my blog on the opening of Kaixo restaurant.
My friend Issachar was trained in Le Cordon Bleu Culinary School and has worked in several large local and foreign restaurants, and he’s finally setting up his own restaurant in Singapore. It’s going to be a lovely restaurant serving European food, especially Spanish tapas! I know the food is going to be incredible because I’ve been eating Issachar’s food for almost 20 years! Stay tuned..