September 25, 2017

Made in Spain: The Perfect Spanish Picnic

Perfect Spanish picnic basket

Pack your perfect picnic with this gourmet shopping list.

It may not seem to be so in Madrid, but Summer is on its way and all around Spain flowers are blooming and the sun is shining– beach days will be here before we know it. And along with the summer sun comes the start of picnic season, the perfect excuse to grab some friends and pack a picnic basket, and head to your closest park to disconnect in the fresh air.

Spain is a wonderful country for having a beautiful food filled picnic– from the delicious food you can pack to the rather lax rules about drinking in public places, a day of epicurean bliss is almost guaranteed.

When shopping for the perfect Spanish picnic there will surely be some tough decisions involved– should you splurge on the bellota? Red wine on a hot day or white wine and a bag of ice?

With just one trip to your local market, you’re likely to be able to pick up everything you need for what we’d dare to say makes the perfect Spanish picnic.

What to Drink

Cava, Red Wine, & Vichy Catalan

Extras: Ice & Plastic glasses

cava for the perfect Spanish picnic

A delicious glass of rose cava.

Start your picnic off with some class with a refreshing glass of Spanish cava. Sure, you’ll need to buy a bag of ice to keep it chilled, but there is nothing like a crisp glass of brut cava on a gorgeous spring day. Later, switch to a nice bottle of red wine (see our wine guide for help choosing something delicious). Switching to red is easy, since it doesn’t need to be kept on ice and you can easily cork the bottle and bring it home (if you don’t finish it that is!). Keep a chilled bottle of Vichy Catalan sparkling mineral water on hand to keep hydrated and refreshed.

What to Snack on

Cheese, Charcuterie, Olives, Anchovies, & Picos

Extras: A knife, cutting board, and napkins 

Spanish charcuterie for picnic in Spain

Is there really anything better than an assortment of Spanish charcuterie?

To accompany your beverages we recommend an assortment of Spanish delicacies that are easy to throw into your picnic basket without any fuss. Here’s what we would take:

Cheese: Aged Manchego, Cabrales, Mahon, and Payoyo make a nice cheese plate. Buy a wedge of quince jam (dulce de membrillo) and some grapes to pair even better with the crisp cava.

Charcuterie: Order some hand-sliced jamón ibérico de bellota (or de recebo if you’re on a budget) and while you’re at it ask for some cecina de León (cured beef) and mojama (cured tuna). If you are like us and can’t get enough of Spanish embutidos, try some Catalan fuet, a delicious sausage from the northeast of Spain.

Olives: Olives are always great to have on hand, and there is no better place to buy marinated olives than here in Spain. We love the fresh Campo Real variety, and the spiced Malagueñas. If your olive vendor makes olive skewers, buy a box of those– they’ll go fast. Our favorites are include a vinegar cured anchovy and quail egg, or sundried tomato and guindilla pepper.

Anchovies: Both salt and vinegar cured anchovies are incredible in Spain, and are an easy, transportable snack you can eat on a piece of bread or simply plain. Most markets sell anchovies by weight, and will let you try one first if you aren’t yet convinced that they are truly incredible!

Picos y Pan: It’s what you’ll often see as an annoying extra charge on your bill when going out to eat, but its true that breadsticks and bread are essential to a good Spanish picnic. We recommend the picos camperos and a nice freshly-baked baguette.

Simple, quick and delicious, these are our Spanish picnic picks. What’s on your list for the perfect Spanish picnic?

Photo Credit: (Picnic Basket) adamdachis

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