Tastes of Madrid

On my recent visit to Madrid, there was one thing that really blew me away – the food. My experience with Spanish cuisine was limited prior to my trip and the tapas I ate in Madrid were a world away from what I had sampled before. From sumptuous seafood to the heavenly Iberian ham, which melts on the tongue, Spanish cuisine has rocketed to the top of my gastronomy hotlist.

Here are a few of my highlights:

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Delicious patatas bravas with aioli at Estado Puro (Plaza de Neptuno) – the place to eat tapas in Madrid. This was one of a selection of high-end tapas we sampled at the Chef’s Table (we opted for the tasting menu). The tapas were out of this world. And make sure to try the sangria!

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This is the oldest bakery in the city – check out the ornate cash till!

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Everywhere you go you get tapas with your drinks. We enjoyed a luxurious stay at AC Santo Mauro hotel* and these were some of the tasty treats we were offered with our champers. Clue: they are not jam rolly polly lollypops (as I initially thought) – it’s foie gras! The crunchy crisp-like snacks are fried banana.

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Simply the best octopus I have ever eaten – at MM in the Mercado de San Miguel (the Borough Market of Madrid).

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Huge prawns at MM in the Mercado de San Miguel – delicious.

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There’s no ham like Iberian ham, which comes from a particular ancient breed of acorn-eating Iberian pig. Apparently, it’s rather healthy too as it has far less cholesterol than other ham products.

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Beautiful stuffed olives at the Mercado de San Miguel.

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And what better to wash this all down with than a fruity mojito?

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Casa Botín is the oldest restaurant in the world, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. It has been a restaurant since 1725, and is known for its roasted suckling pig and lamb.

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One of the lovely old tiled signs you see across Madrid. This one is for a lovely old bar – ironically on the Plaza de Jesus!

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