After having followed Lauren’s blog, Spanish Sabores, for several years, I learned that she had started food tours in select Spanish cities. I was so intrigued by her business idea, and, as a lover and student of Spanish gastronomy myself, I had to try one of the food tours.
In planning my trip to Madrid, I scheduled and paid for the “Ultimate Spanish Cuisine Tour” online, and I received helpful confirmations and reminders until the day of my tour. The instructions were simple to follow: we were to meet in the Plaza Mayor in Madrid to start our food tour. I couldn’t wait.
When I arrived, my guide, Joy, greeted me with friendliness and excitement. There was only one other guest on my tour, so we would have lots of time for questions and getting to know each other as we floated through Madrid’s busy streets. Despite being September, the weather was quite warm. Still, we proceeded on our walking tour, which focused on Madrid’s classic cuisine.
A few of my favorite things:
The tour started with sweet, moved onto salty, and ended again with sweet. The path through these flavors, however, incorporated various foods and drink that make Spain’s gastronomy so rich and diverse. A few of the foods and drink we explored on the tour included vermouth, cocido (Spanish stew for which Madrid is famous), tortilla de patata (Spanish omelet), turrón (Spanish candy), churros con chocolate (fried dough with chocolate), jamón ibérico (Iberian ham), and sidra (Spanish cider) – to name only a few of the culinary delights!
Joy explained Spanish history as it related to Madrid’s plazas and landmarks as well as Spanish wines and cheeses. I loved the mini history lessons associated with each stop on the tour. For example, did you know that the City of Madrid recognizes those businesses that have been operating for more than 100 years with a plaque located right outside of their door? As Joy put it, you know a business’ goods or services are worthwhile if they’ve been around for 100 years.
The tour lasted about three hours, and we finished with a mouthful of delicious tastes from olives to manchego cheese to deep red Rioja wine. Every bite and sip was unique and flavorful. I returned to at least two of the places we visited on the tour to buy some tasty souvenirs for my plane ride home.
My favorite stop on the tour was the Mercado de San Miguel. This market has rich history as well as delicious variety. There was so much to look at, smell, and taste. I definitely went back for another visit after the food tour!
My guide was patient, articulate, and accommodating. Despite having lived in Spain previously and consumed lots of Spanish food and drink, I still learned quite a few things. The tour satisfied both my desire to learn and taste.
I highly recommend this food tour as an informative and delicious occasion to get to know Madrid, Spain, and Madrid and Spanish gastronomy. My favorite part, though, was exploring the connection that food brings between people. Food and drink are a universal language, and I’m so glad I get to “speak” it with others who enjoy it as well. Cheers, and thank you Devour Madrid Food Tours for a wonderful experience!
All opinions are my own, and I received no compensation for expressing them.
© 2016 Melanie Glover. All rights reserved.