No, Gracias—Spanish Foods I Dislike

Guys, I’m pretty obsessed with Spanish cuisine. Nothing gets my goat more than when guiris come here and declare the food to be bland. Oh no you didn’t, I want to shout at them while doing a dramatic z with my pointer finger. Insulting Spanish food is like insulting my suegra: I’m having none of it.

There are so many delicious things here, and they are not all terrible for you (another stupid myth!):

lentejas

  • lentejas (lentil stew, a.k.a. the bomb)

Cocido

  • cocido (healthy if you stay away from the tocino, a.k.a. fat)

By Valdavia (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

And of course my favorites: cheese, wine (remind me to tell you my favorite wines from Toro later!), chorizo, and salchichón! My in-laws make the last two, and if you haven’t had them … well, you haven’t had good chorizo or salchichón! It’s just the facts.

Buuuuut, let’s be real, there are some foods I don’t like. Yeah. It’s true. It’s true, and I said it. Not all Spanish food is to my liking. What are these foods, you ask? Why, let me tell you.

By Tamorlan (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

  • Pulpo. Nope, I don’t like octopus and don’t tell me that I should, because the chewy texture just skeeves me out.

By Tamorlan (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

  • Morro, oreja, callos. Not into organ meat, and I’m even less into eating pig’s snout. Oreja is really chewy and just thinking about it can give me the heebie jeebies. (I hope all Spaniards reading this are learning some new “words” today.)

By Tamorlan (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

  • Torreznos. What are they? They’re pieces of pig fat cut into strips and fried. Yum? Add to this varied fritanga, because it is way too fatty for my liking. Eating probably takes five days off my life.

By Javier Lastras from España/Spain (Flan de Turrón) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

  • Flan. Not into that jiggling mess of a dessert.

By Lucía Domínguez (UED77)Lucía Domínguez (Own workOwn work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

  • Aceitadas. Sadly, this is a typical dessert in Zamora, my favorite city in Spain, but I just don’t dig anise.

Aguardiente

  • Aguardiente. Not a food, but this liquor sets my insides on fire and tastes vile.

Which foods do you dislike in Spain? And if you say salchichón, I may cry. Tears of happiness. Because there’s more for me!

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36 comments

  1. We were gonna have to have words if you didn’t like lentejas and puchero! I don’t like eggs, tuna or mayonnaise, so I don’t eat revueltos (made an exception today), ensaladilla or salads with tuna and eggs. Also hate flan and anything chewy, so out goes the tripe, castanetas and ear! EW.

  2. I’ve never heard of patatas a la importancia–I’ll have to check ‘em out!

    I really like pulpo but I can see how the texture would put some people off. Texture is the main reason why I have not enjoyed callos :S Anyhow, my other least fav Spanish foods would be mojama, ensaimadas made with lard (ICK), and liquor de hierbas.

    1. Okay, so I’m not sure, but I believe that patatas a la importancia are from Castilla y León, or at least they’re most popular there! Anyway, they are delicious. Mario had been wanting them for some time, so his mom made him some this past weekend, and he was so happy. She normally tries to make something much more “elaborate” but that’s what he wanted. And cocido. So we had cocido Saturday and patatas a la importancia Sunday!

      1. It’s so true that no matter where you’re from, the food from your family always has a spot in your heart :) Since you’re living abroad, it’s very lucky that you and Mario share the same tastes, food-wise!!

  3. My heritage is Filipino so we’ve gotten a lot of traditions and whatnot from the Spaniards. But I have to say Filipino >>> Spanish when it comes to food any day anywhere, especially with the flavor. For example, I honestly hate the flan here. the Filipino version is so much better without a doubt. Sorry Spaniards!

  4. I’m obsessed with lentejas too! A big favorite.

    I tried callos once and it was good, but the texture just weirded me out too much. I mostly hate jamón serrano (cue shocked gasps from the Spanish). I keep TRYING to like it, but I just think it’s kind of greasy, fatty, and old-tasting.

    Torreznos just look nasty, so I’ve never even wanted to try them.

    And I’m sorry to break it to you, but flan is delicious! :)

    1. Hehe I swear I will not tell any Spaniards about your aversion to the food of the gods. ;)

      Lentejas are so good. The recipe I linked to is with chorizo, which is the way it’s best.

    2. I do not like Jamón either. Hey, more for the rest of you!
      Actually, sadly there is a lot of Spanish food that I do not like (your list Kaley being a good start). Which is why I am going to try to make or hunt down some fo the favorites that you had mentioned. I need more recipes to try and to like! It shall be my goal. :)

  5. We eat something pretty similar to torreznos down in the southern part of USA, so I love those. But I agree with everything about callos, oreja, and morro – the texture makes me gag.

  6. Not a fan of chorizo. I know no Spaniards wants to hear it, but I don’t like it. Sorry!

    Also I’m on the fence about revueltos. I can eat one or two but after that they start to stick to my insides.

    Definitely agree about flan. I don’t really like flan across the board. Anything that wiggles so same goes for American jello (which moves more than flan does and is just so gross looking). A teacher at the school I taught at last year loved eating flan. So whenever there was flan in the staff lunchroom fridge (the ones that come in those yogurt containers), he would go loco for it.

  7. I used to really like Spanish food, but having lived in Madrid for 3 years now I must admit, I’m so tired of it. My heart sinks when I open a menu and see the same choices over and over again. It’s greasy and the flavours bore my taste buds. (See how I avoided saying bland ;). I’d never diss your granny!

    Variety is the spice of life, and Spanish food is not varied or spicy enough for me, who was spoilt for choice living in London for 18 years.
    It feels cathartic to actually voice this out loud, as I’d fear public outcry if I admitted it to Spaniards. Thanks for letting me get it out of my system.

    Bracing myself for another lunch out with Spanish friends today….

    1. I absolutely agree. I have been in Andalucia (from New Zealand) for nearly five weeks and am completely disappointed with Spanish food. It’s fatty, over-oiled, salty and mostly tasteless. It uses offal and the steaks are like thin slabs of overcooked wood. Give me French cuisine any day over Spanish. When I look at the raciones and tapas menus my heart sinks as I know I’m going to get heartburn afterwards. They have absolutely no idea how to make a decent, tasty tossed salad. They also commit the cardinal sin of chopping up lettuce. I haven’t been to any really swept-up restaurants because they are outside my budget. And as the desayunos! Words fail me. What a filthy concept.

  8. Lentejas and cocido are my fave!! :) soooo good! but then, yes, all those things with ears and tripes and callos are not my ideal meal, although I must say I ate them when I was little, just until I learnt what they were.
    I don’t know patatas a la importancia, down here we have patatas a lo pobre, which may seem quite pobre in “companions” but the taste is really nice though simple. Great as a side dish for any meat.
    And the only thing I don’t agree with is FLAN. I LOVE ANYTHING MADE WITH MILK and EGG if possible! Natillas are #1 and then crema catalana (or brûlée for my buy), then #3 is flan. :D

  9. pancetta…. ew! and i really dislike polverones, especially when people tell me “son muy dulces!” because no, they’re not! and of course, all those organs really don’t make my mouth water. They can stay on the other end of the table!

  10. Morcilla isn’t exactly my favorite, but I would still eat it. I’ve never heard of patatas a la importancia before. When I’m in Spain in about 6 months, I ‘ll have to check them out!

  11. I have eaten octopus here that was great, and then I had something that was like potato salad or ensaldilla russia with pulpo and extra mayo! Totally disgusting! And I could do without the organ meats or weird parts! I love flan, I grew up on it in Mexican restaurants and even at home. Most Spanish food that I’ve had has been great, but in Andalucia anyway it can get a little monotonous – I’ve heard it’s better in the north. Lentejas are awesome, and so is jamón, but I really think salmorejo is my favorite!

  12. There are dishes and ingredients in Spain that I like very much but I do not think they have the best cuisine – I love Spain but…food is not their forte. Kind of like England.
    When I came to Spain in the 1980’s we American students were actually crying for vegetables, fresh, green vegetables because our diets were soused in olive oil and overcooked (when available) broad beans and a scant amount of vegetables. I used to carry a little bottle of Tabasco and black pepper in my purse to jazz up my food in restaurants. But I was in Andalucia and many things were fried in olive oil. Morcilla wasn’t that bad. I got used to many things I normally wouldn’t have touched like sardines. It helped that things were locally made. I loved the jamon serrano and most sausages. Believe it or not, cheese was hard to come by back in the 80’s. I would ask for it, they’d give me “La Vaca que Rie”, only one bar gave me a hard slice of manchego floating in olive oil. Same with orange juice. They used to give me something like Tang. There weren’t gelatto shops every 500 feet, no sandwich shops, very few pizza or foreign foods restaurants to fall back on – NO vegetarian restaurants like I see now. Now LOTS of foods are easy to find there. The absolute worst food in Spain is found on the Costa del Sol. Don’t even think of eating there. It’s a crime what’s being served by foreigners and Spanish alike to tourists. Just buy groceries and fix a sandwich in your hotel or apartment.

    1. Oooh I disagree about their food. I mean, I’m not sure how it was where you were in the ’80s, but nowadays it’s pretty damn good. A lot of the best restaurants in the world are here. And my suegra is an amazing cook, so of course I’m a bit biased!

      I’ve not been to the Costa del Sol, so it’s hard to comment, but I’m going to guess it has to do with it being quite touristy. Usually touristy = worse food.

      1. It’s true, the costa del sol is really, really bad unless maybe you have an unlimited budget. As for the food, well, okay, it depends (like American food too) on where you go. I can’t afford the really good Spanish restaurants anymore. I used to eat at some when they had the peseta instead of the euro. The last couple trips I could only eat tapas and in lower end restaurants. My friend Antonia though is a great cook too. The best food is probably in the home there or higher end restaurants. :-)

      1. Well, I did like the chiringuitos on the beach but you have to tell me where to go! I ended up eating poorly until I got an apartment with a kitchette and shopped at the grocery store. The ingredients are great, the bacon was out of this world good, same with the cheese, the fruits, the vegetables and bread! We ate wonderfully in our apartment cooking our own food but the cafes and little restaurants (other than an Italian place run by Italians) were meh, not so great. Some were downright awful and expensive. And I am not terribly picky.

        1. maybe we just got lucky? We thought La Taberna del Obispo right across from the cathedral (in Malaga) was good. There was another place near the Picasso museum that was good, alas, I don’t recall the name. and there was one other called Quitapenas which was a bit more expensive but we liked that place. we really liked Casa Aranda for churros y chocolate. and I’ve heard that Tapeo de Cervantes is good. and there were other places too that we just tried and were good. I didn’t have any bad food in Malaga. Maybe the more touristy places in Costa del Sol don’t have good food and that’s what you experienced? but we were in old town Malaga and honestly, never had anything bad. We would just look at the menus and judge the crowd to decide if we wanted to eat there. Hope that helps :)

          1. Yes, Malaga itself is probably better. I have been there a few times and I have Spanish friends. A local policeman recommended one of the chiringuitos on the beach to me after I ran from my hotel to Malagueta beach and we ate there two times and loved the fresh seafood. On the Costa del Sol the chiringuitos are ridiculously priced so I didn’t try them. Malaga city is different. I am sure it’s pretty good if you ask locals where to go. CdelSol…not so much. I found an Italian pizzeria which was out of this world but other places — awful. In other Spanish cities it’s hit or miss. I can get a GREAT breakfast in a lot of bars and cafes, lunch and dinner is a bit trickier. Again, we try to get local input to make our decision. But then again, we’ve sometimes found some pretty earthy spots doing that! :-D And I had a picky 9 year old with me. The best thing to do is try to be Spanish. Eat at a cafe or bakery for breakfast, Find a good lunch place and don’t try to eat an American style dinner at 6 or 7 p.m. Just go for tapas and drinks around 10 p.m. unless you have a kitchen at your disposal. Carby and a little crazy for Americans but we settle into it.

    2. I’m so shocked about yout post… because if there is something you can find in Spain that is fresh vegetables.

      Actually, I had the same feeling when I lived in a host-family in the USA some years ago. When they told me “we are going to eat veggies this dinner” I thought “yayy! finally, veggies!” but the veggies were… peas and carrots… (ok, vegetables… but…).

      I think the spanish cuisine you described is not real at all and probably you had bad luck and too many “restaurantes para guiris” (for tourists, by tourists and, actually, adjusted to the foreigners taste, mainly english people). I can bet you won’t find spanish people in those restaurants lol

  13. omg…I am soooooooooo far behind in my blog reading! but I had to ring in. you don’t like flan?!?!?! ah, I’d kill for that very plate of flan up there ;) I love cordero and especially from Posada de la Villa. Went there for our anniversary two years ago. can’t wait to go back! I have never heard of patatas a la importancia either but it sure looks yummy!!

  14. I was just looking for some blogs with Spanish recipes when I found this! Truly, Spanish cuisine is so rich and tasty I decided to take Spanish cuisine cooking classes in Dirty Apron which offers one of the best cooking classes in Vancouver. I loved the paella and the tortilla de patatas but I can even eat the lentejas and cocido. People just should not be put off so easily by the looks. Just close your eyes and try the taste first! :)

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