Visiting Seville was one of the most delicious trips in my entire life (my mere 22 years of life). Don’t plan on visiting if you’re watching your carb intake, but if you’re a fan of bread, pasta, and desserts, you’re in for a treat. The food is to die for.
My friend, Rosanna, and I had a layover in Barcelona where we had our first taste at tapas. They were welcomed with large Sangrias, well deserved after our long flight to Spain. We had no idea how big or small the portions were going to be, accustomed to the large plates served in the United States. Since we were in the city, we assumed the prices would be a little higher. La cuenta (the bill) was about 22 euros, which is about $24. Not too bad.
It was a different story when we arrived in Seville. As soon as we settled into our apartment, we walked the streets of Seville, at 11 p.m. which is quite the early night for Sevillanos. We walked into a pizza place around the corner of our apartment (everything is close by) and I ordered two slices of pizza, an empanada, and a soda for only 5 euros, almost $6. I can barely get a cheeseburger for $6 back in California, you could say I was in shock.
The pizza was incredible. This slice, light sauce, the cheese was out of this world, and it was my first taste at Spanish ham. Jamon Serrano is dry-cured Spanish ham and you can find it at practically any corner in Seville. My expectations for pizza are high and Spanish pizza has American pizza beat. Sorry, not sorry.
The next meal I got to experience was breakfast. Typical for a Spaniard is to have toasted bread with butter or oil and tomato spread. By the way, you don’t eat on the go, you sit down and enjoy your meal with a cup of coffee or orange juice. Orange juice at practically every cafe is freshly squeezed and was one of the best parts of my morning. Breakfast is served well past 11 a.m. Many workplaces allow their employees to take a break and grab a quick plate at a local cafe. Breakfast plates include eggs, sausage, toasted bread (not your regular sliced bread), and tomatoes.
There are several typical tapas and dishes we had the opportunity to try during our time in Seville. Seville is known for its jamon and fish! I tried fried sardines (ate sardines for the first time) and it was, to my surprise, very delicious. Fun fact, the bones in sardines are digestible and has nutritional benefits for pregnant women. During your lunch break, it’s not out of the ordinary to get a glass or two of beer and eat a ham sandwich as well. Drinking in Spain is about being social, not getting drunk, as long as you’re eating and drinking at the same time, you’re in good hands.
One of my favorite places to visit in Seville was the Mercado Lonja del Barranco, Seville’s most modern Mercado, open next to, ironically, Seville’s oldest Mercado. The building has large glass windows and an outdoor eating area, as well as several tables inside, but I definitely prefer the view outside.
There were a variety of choices to eat at the Mercado. We made two trips in order to try everything we wanted to eat, and we still didn’t get to everything. We ordered a tray of different desserts and I have never been so in love with sweets. I’m more into savory food but I think I was converted to a sweet lover on that day. I ordered some bolognese for to-go. The pasta was handmade and the meat was properly cooked. The sauce wasn’t too heavy and the cheese on top was the icing on the cake. To die for.
The next day, I grabbed a platter of cheese assortments and toasted bread with cheese, with lomo (pork) and tomato. The ingredients for both dishes were fresh, which is expected from a Mercado, and the small meal was memorable. Around the Mercado were drink stations where you could grab anything from beer, vino tinto, or coke in a glass bottle with a cup of ice.