Food is a big part of the trips we arrange, as we encourage you to experience Spanish and Portuguese cuisine in all its guises. Eating is fun, an integral part of the respective cultures and we urge you to get involved, participate, and experience some great foodie experiences on your vacation.
A cooking class in Barcelona with Madrid & Beyond foodie insider Bego is a great way to discover the cuisine which is rich in tradition and history (Arab, Jewish, Roman, Aztec, and many other cultures have all contributed methods and ingredients). Spanish cuisine is sensual yet simple, delicate but unpretentious, folklorist yet innovative. Bego tells us what she enjoys about sharing Spanish cuisine with travelers, why a cooking class is a great way to learn about the culture, and shares a recipe of her own!
“It’s funny because we always think of our cooking classes for travelers from the client’s perspective, and how they offer them the opportunity to know about our culture and country through the experience. But for me, these gastronomic sessions provide a marvelous opportunity to travel daily, in a way, to all their countries of origin! It is a very wide-reaching experience all in all on both sides!”
I've always thought one of the best ways to get to know a culture is through its food. That is why I always try to attend a cooking class when I travel myself.
“Barcelona is well known for its rich gastronomy, both in terms of history and flavor. Amongst scents, flavors and good wine, we try to unveil the secrets of our cuisine while our clients enjoy a traditional meal. We hope that back home, our clients will be able to impress their own guests with new recipes!”
Travelers are always surprised by how thin we are after eating all the delicious recipes we offer! The secret to staying healthy is focusing on fresh (non-processed), local produce, and walking everywhere rather than driving.
“After 15 years giving cooking classes, it’s really hard to pick a single highlight. After all this time, we’ve hosted so many people and believe me, we have anecdotes from all of our sessions! But if I had to choose just one special moment, I would recall the time when a quiet, peaceful lady (who turned out to be a renowned soprano) surprised us all by spontaneously standing up and singing a beautiful passage of a Handel opera as a sign of gratitude for the experience she had had. It was really emotional.”
Spinach Empanada Recipe
You can stuff your empanada with pretty much anything you feel like, even meat, fruit or chocolate! But the one we propose here is a traditional Catalan version.
For the dough
250g all-purpose flour
25g melted but cool, lard butter, or extra virgin olive oil
For the filling
500g fresh spinach
4 tsp Corinthian raisins
3 tsp pine nuts
Muscatel sweet wine
Oil, pepper, salt
For the dough
Knead all the ingredients together to form a dough. Then continue working on the counter for at least five more minutes, until smooth and soft. Let sit.
For the filling
Clean the spinach under tap water, removing the roots from the base.
Leave the raisins soaking in muscatel wine for 30 minutes. Brown the pine nuts for two minutes in a non-stick frying pan with a few drops of olive oil.
Add the spinach and drained raisins, season lightly and cook together for two minutes, stirring often.
Roll out the dough with a rolling pin, into an oval shape.
Place the filling in the center and fold one side on top of the other.
Brush either with lard, or olive oil.
Place on top of a parchment paper slightly brushed with olive oil.
Bake at 480F until golden brown.
Serve and enjoy!