Spanish cuisine is eaten all over the globe and continues to be popular wherever you are. But, when it comes to snacks from Spain, which ones must you try? If you think of yourself as a foodie, you will recognize authentic Spanish snack food flavors when you taste them. Spain’s snacks are unique because the exact product might be made entirely differently depending on where you are in the country.
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Most Popular Snacks in Spain
After living in Spain for three years, we’ve put together our list of Spanish snacks. This list will tell you about some of the most famous snacks in Spain that you must try when visiting. A lot of these tasty treats we learned about when living in Spain.
I will be telling you the best places to find them around the country, and also how some of them can be made at home. I will also tell you about the history of some of Spain’s snacks and how they have changed over the generations.
So, on that note, here’s my top Spanish snacks list.
Best Snacks From Spain
Fuet – Cured Meat
This Spanish snack is a popular meat snack that represents Columbus’s return to Europe by using a mixture of New World pepper. So contrary to popular belief, this is not supposed to contain the often-used Spanish ingredient paprika, though a lot of modern recipes do now use it.
Fuet is a pork sausage that has been dry cured, then stuffed into casings and seasoned with salt, white pepper, white wine, and fresh garlic. It’s an extremely straightforward and simplistic recipe, although it does take a bit of experience to get the sausage stuffing technique just right. It’s a popular food in Catalonia, where we lived in Spain.
Spanish empanadas are always a great go-to if you’re unsure about the other items on the menu; they are also an excellent choice to make at home, particularly if you’re cooking for a larger group.
They consist of a crumbly flakey dough, which is stuffed with ground beef and spices. At least this is the traditional way to make them over the years, and as they’ve become more popular, you often see them with a variety of different and diverse fillings.
The original dish started hundreds of years ago in the Middle Ages. It was found to be an excellent way to preserve meat for longer, which turned out to be the case. It seems the beef inside empanadas stays much fresher than it does in other cooked forms.
We ate a lot of empanadas when living in Girona, Spain, in particular from an Argentine restaurant. But you can also find them at grocery stores and pastry shops.
Pincho de Cangrejo
Pincho de Cangrejo is a traditional appetizer in Spain that originates from the Basque Country. Pinchos, or pintxos in the local Basque country are popular at tapas bars in San Sebastian. They can also be found in Rioja, on tapas streets like Calle Laurel.
A pincho de cangrejo is made using a thin baguette topped with crabmeat, mayonnaise, and scallions. It should be served at room temperature or slightly chilled.
You will be likely to find this Spanish snack at a lot of restaurants and cafes, often being served as a starter or appetizer.
Bocadillos – Spanish Sandwiches
A bocadillo, also known as a bocata, is a Spanish sandwich served on a crunchy baguette, sliced lengthwise.
It’s a highly humble food that the locals love, mainly because of its low cost and traditional background within Spanish families.
They can be filled with pretty much any filling you can imagine, from tuna fish, salami, cheese spread, and omelet, to pate, pesto, scrambled eggs, or Emanuele. There are also some people who make a sweet version with chocolate. They are seasoned with various sauces such as mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise, or aioli.
Boquerones – Spanish Anchovies In Vinegar
Another name for this Spanish tapas snack is Boquerones en Vinagre, better known to some people as anchovies.
The dish is often found in most eateries as part of their Spanish tapas selection. They are fresh anchovies that have been marinated in olive oil and vinegar and seasoned with cracked black pepper, garlic, and fresh parsley.
It is often served with a small amount of fresh bread and enjoyed with a cold beer or glass of wine.
One of the great things about this Spanish snack is that it’s a healthy and light option, so there is no need to feel guilty about ordering it. Boquerones are one of my favorite Spanish snacks. I ate them almost every weekend in Girona, washed down with a glass of Spanish vermouth.
Pan Con Tomate – Bread With Tomato
This popular Spanish snacking dish is a simplistic yet satisfying meal made using some of the best tomatoes available in Spain. It’s served on crusty bread, with fresh garlic and good quality Spanish olive oil.
It’s a great choice if you want to have a go at making a Spanish snack at home because it’s straightforward to make, and the ingredients are easy enough to get your hands on from any grocery store. Lightly toast the bread. Cut open the tomato and rub the insides on the bread. Drizzle with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt.
In Catalonia, this is also a common Spanish breakfast item. You can find it on almost every breakfast buffet menu at hotels across the country. Pan con tomate is also served alongside plates of Jamon Iberico as well.
Berenjenas Con Miel – Fried Eggplant With Honey
This dish can be enjoyed as a part of any meal due to its sweet and savory flavors.
It’s made using fried eggplant, drizzled with honey. If you are traveling to Malaga or Seville, make sure to try it there as it’s very popular. It’s often seen on the vegetarian section of the tapas menus, but it is also enjoyed by non-veggies due to its moreish flavor.
It’s an excellent finger food and one that I find to be a good sharer for the middle of the table. We love this Spanish snack so much we learn to make it at home. Here is our Berenjenas con Miel recipe for you to try.
Pimientos Del Piquillo Rellenos De Atún – Tuna Stuffed Peppers
Pimientos Del Piquillo Rellenos De Atún is an authentic Spanish appetizer often served as a bar snack. It first came about in the Basque Country.
There are many different varieties of Pimientos Del Piquillo, but this one, in particular, is made using piquillo peppers that have been stuffed with tuna fish; the peppers they use should traditionally be from Lodosa in Navarra.
The tuna mixture is usually combined with shallots, lemon juice, mayonnaise, and lemon juice, and the peppers are then placed onto skewers with a slice of crusty bread.
Croquetas De Jamon – Spanish Ham Croquette
This Spanish snack, also known as Spanish ham croquettes, is a staple on almost every menu you will see across Spain.
These crunchy, creamy bitesize appetizers are a hit with visitors and locals all over the country.
Unlike the croquettes you have probably had elsewhere, these ones do not contain any potato and are made using only serrano ham and bechamel sauce, which is then lightly breaded, and deep fried.
They are a popular snack to have with drinks while sharing an afternoon with friends. Make them at home with our Spanish croquette recipe.
Another Spanish tapas-style appetizer, patatas Bravas, maybe one that you’re more familiar with, as it’s often found in tapas restaurants all over the world.
It consists of small cubed potatoes, which have been fried until they are golden and crispy and then seasoned with smokey paprika flavors. When served, it comes with a lightly spiced chili and tomato sauce. Check out our recipe for salasa bravas to make this Spanish snack at home.
This dish has many different name variations, some of which include Bimuelo, Burmuelo, and Bunyola. But they all mean the same thing: a fried dough fritter.
Found in regions throughout Spain, this popular deep-fried dough snack is often seen around the Christmas period, as well as Hanukkah.
In some countries, they are filled with a variety of different fillings, but most of the ones I have come across in Spain are dusted with sugar, honey, or chocolate powder. In Catalonia, they are often flavored with a touch of anise.
They pair perfectly with a cup of hot chocolate.
Almendras Fritas – Spanish Fried Almonds
The name for this Spanish bar snack is Spanish fried almonds, which are exactly what they say on the box.
Often found in bars as a snack or as a sharer around the table while you wait for your appetizers, these are simple recipes that can be served hot, cold, or at room temp. Almendras fritas are also easy to find at local Spanish food markets. Our favorite are from the market in Malaga, where it’s a popular snack to eat in Malaga.
Some people like to add a dusting of flavor to them, but in most places, they are served with simply a pinch of salt.
Mojama – Dried Tuna
This is more of a delicacy than a snack in my eyes. In essence, it is dry-cured tuna, but not just any tuna. The fish is usually sourced from Huelva or Cadiz. We first tried mojama when eating tapas in Seville.
It is prepared by taking the loins from the tuna fish and leaving them to cure in salt for around two days. After this time, the salt is washed off, the loins are refreshed, and then left in the sun for up to twenty days. This is the most traditional way to cure it. It’s then cut into thin slices and often served with good-quality olive oil, diced Spanish tomatoes, and almonds.
More often than not, you will see this being served in cafes and restaurants which offer afternoon tea, and it is perfect when paired with a short beer and a portion of olives.
I hope that this list of Spanish snacks has helped you decide which appetizers you will try when visiting Spain.