Winter comfort food in Madrid has a lot of history and significance for Spanish people. Many of the dishes are called, ¨¨ platos de provecho¨ loosely translated to ¨ dishes from leftovers or scrap ingredients¨. As you can imagine,these dishes were popularized by poor people who creatively put certain handful of ingredients together into a staple food and the rest is Spanish gastronomical history!
Cocido Madrileño is a typical winter stew made from 3 main parts: soup, chickpeas and meat. This characteristic Madrileño dish can be enjoyed in many restaurants in Madrid. Originally, it was referred to “rotten meatpot“, because of the use of leftover meat (though not rotten), a popular custom among a Spanish population without much purchasing power.
The stew is served in 3 turns: first the soup and noodles, then the chickpeas with the vegetables and, finally, the meat. Bring an appetite because this dish is heavy. To immerse yourself in a 360 Spanish food experience we recommend tasting this dish at a family restaurant where ingredients for cocido madrileño are prepared in separate clay pots here.
Callos A La Madrileña
Apart from the Cocido Madrileño, Callos A La Madrileña is a second most popular and most traditional winter dish in Madrid. Its origins are similar and is it commonly referred to as a tripe stew. It is composed of nose and veal guts, chorizo and blood pudding (morcilla). This dish has evolved and being innovated so much that you can even find it in One Michellin-star organ meat restaurant like the Tasqueria. Uncover more bucketlist dishes for foodies in Madrid here.
Besugo A La Madrileña
Besugo is bream, so this dish is a typical fish dish of Madrid´s winter cuisine. Normally bream Besugo A La Madrileña, or Bream Madrid-style is the winter comfort food of choice to accompany many important holidays. This semi-oily fish is served with vegetables, parsley, garlic, white wine and potatoes. Some restaurants cook it with a base of prawns and other seafood. The best restaurants to taste bream Madrid-style are Casa Mundi ,El Filandon and Taberna de Daniela.
Explore Spanish flavors with our tapas tours in Madrid…
Caracoles A La Madrileña
Snails are not only a cherished French delicatessen, but a Spanish delicacy too. Though prepared differently, snails prepared the Madrileño-way a classic serving at numerous bars in Madrid. Clay pots are used to present and serve snails Madrid-style. They are usually consumed as a tapa or as the French would say escargots on a skewer, accompanied by a good red Rioja wine. The magic ingredient, is the sauce made from a secret recipe of meat broth, onion, wine sealed with an aromatic and spicy touch. For succulent caracoles a la madrileña, we suggest Casa Amadeo, Los Mellizos near the Wanda Stadium or El Quinto Vino.
Now for desserts or sweets and pastries…
Torrijas are a sweet dish with humble beginnings, very similar to French toast (pain perdu or lost bread). They were first eaten like this in the 14th century to finish up bread before it went stale. To prepare torrijas at home you will a slice of bread soaked in milk and battered in egg. You then fry the soaked bread in a pan with oil. Lastly the golden brown bread is sweetened, usually with sugar, although honey, cinnamon or molasses are also sometimes used. Torrijas, pronounced are a popular dish during Easter because for those observing the lent rituals it was just as nutritious as protein-packed meat dish. Nowadays, people in Madrid start to eat torrijas from the winter months all the way till about April. Our favorite torrijas can be savoured at La Casa de las Torrijas, El Riojano and Latasia Casa de Comidas located 4-minute away walk from the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.
Churros y Porras
Cafeterias and porras need no introduction. In fact, they are so popular that they have even earned their own churros food tours. So what are churros and porras? They are a fried-dough pastry snack whose origin remains unclear.They make part of the Madrid street food scene,though you can also find them in famous and historical cafeterias in the city centre. In fact, this celebrated Spanish pastry has been exported by one of the more visible Chocolatiers of Madrid, San Gines to Japan and China (Paradoxically, churros are said to come from China…). In Madrid, we recommend you try churros and porras at Chocolat Madrid , Churrerías Siglo XIX and Cafetería Churrería Legazpi near El Matadero.
When in Madrid, REMEMBER this practical list of Food Sourvenirs from Madrid