Spanish cuisine is an explosion of colour, taste and passion; the southern coastal region of Andalusia has the most iconic Spanish cuisine. Over the centuries, Andalusian cuisine has been influenced by different cultures, as it was a popular maritime hub in the Mediterranean region drawing visitors from far and wide. In addition, the great contrast of the landscape and climate here brings about a wonderful range of cuisine, rich in flavours and diversity.
Costa del Sol prides itself on its tasty Andalusian cuisine, with great Arab, Roman and Phoenician influences. In general, the cuisine here is based on a Mediterranean diet, with olive oil, legumes, vegetables, meat and lots of wine too!
The coastal regions in Costa del Sol are renowned for their amazing fish and seafood. Be sure to try out fried fish (pescaito frito), grilled or marinated fish, anchovies, squid, red mullet and sardines from this region. Pescaito frito is absolutely divine – beautiful blue and white fish is coated in flour, deep fried in olive oil, and then sprinkled with salt. It is usually eaten as an appetizer or main course, and is served hot with a fresh lemon. Fritura Malagueña is another fried dish that combines different types of seafood into a gastronomic delight.
Given the amazing fresh produce available in the region, it is no wonder that vegetable dishes are highly favoured in Costa del Sol. Gazpacho, a refreshing and cold soup made of raw vegetables, is very popular during hot summers. This soup typically contains stale bread, tomato, bell pepper, cucumber, onion and garlic, as well as olive oil, wine vinegar, water and salt. Popular variations of this dish include Ajoblanco, where almonds are used instead of tomato; Salmorejo, which is served with hardboiled egg and other garnishes and Porra Antequerana, a thicker version with no water.
Malaga-style salad, known as Ensalada Malagueña, is another traditional Mediterranean diet family meal in Costa del Sol. Full of strong and pleasant flavours, this dish contains cooked codfish, potatoes, hardboiled eggs, olives, oranges, spring onions, parsley, olive oil and salt.
Find out more about the best restaurants in Sotogrande here.