Many countries offer regional specialities that make a holiday one to remember. Tubber has organized a list of six foodie destinations that are a must visit on your next sailing holiday. Ranging from Spanish dishes to Italian specialities to Greek island food, everyone’s taste buds will be satisfied. After reading this list, foodies will want to flock to these seven cities and islands to try these delicious dishes for themselves.
1. San Sebastian, Spain
Located on the Southern Coast of Biscay Bay in Basque County, San Sebastian is a hip beach city. It’s famous for its Michelin star restaurants and tapas from Andalusia, making the city a must for any foodie travellers.
Our first dish, Txuleta, is perfect for meat lovers. A thick slab of fore rib from grass-fed beef, aged to infuse a deep and rich flavour. After the ageing process, the meat is grilled over coals, giving it a charred and smoky flavour. The exterior has a crispy texture, while the middle is juicy and rare.
One of San Sebastian’s most iconic dishes, Bacalao a la pil pil, is made from local cod. The natural gelatine is mixed with olive oil to create a light sauce. Garlic is later added to enhance the sauce’s flavour. Foodies must try this local speciality while visiting San Sebastian.
For the vegetarian foodies, San Sebastian offers a delicious, wild mushroom dish. Plucked fresh from the beach forest and pine groves, Hongos appear on pintxos menus when the season allows. A popular dish served is Hongos a la plancha, where chefs create a dish using black porcini mushrooms with egg yolk and sea salt. As a result, this dish will satisfy the taste buds of vegetarians and meat lovers!
Finally, a must-try dessert while in San Sebastian is Torrija. A comfort food that shouldn’t be missed, Torrija is a mix of bread soaked in honey and spice-infused milk. After this process, the bread is dipped in egg and fried in olive oil. The caramelised outside offers a crunchy texture while the buttery brioche is smooth and sweet. Although the dish is offered throughout Spain, the dish originated in Basque County and should be enjoyed by foodies in its birthplace.
2. Barcelona, Spain
Foodies can’t visit Spain without trying the famous Paella. Although it was originally made with meat and beans, the dish is now made with rice and seafood. Typically, the dish is reserved for special celebrations and family gatherings.
A popular street food served at the end of winter, calçot is a type of green onion that is native to the region. These sweet onions are grilled and served with romesco sauce. The sauce is a traditional salsa made with hazelnuts, almonds, and red peppers.
For foodies who enjoy anchovies, the iconic escalivada is a must in Barcelona. This dish showcases the quality of the ingredients used. First, the eggplant and red peppers are grilled over an open wood fire. The vegetables are then served on toasted bread. Cooks add olive oil, garlic, and salt-and occasionally anchovies- creating a simple but flavorful dish unique to Spain.
Although French cheese may be seen as the most famous in Europe. When visiting Barcelona, however, foodies must try mató. The popular cheese is soft, sweet, and spreadable. Mató is a perfect regional dessert served with honey and walnuts.
3. Naples, Italy
We will start with the most obvious dish all foodies must eat in Naples-pizza. Naples is the city where pizza was born and a consortium makes sure that pizza makers only used approved ingredients and methods. To get true Neapolitan pizza, restaurants will have signs reading “Vera Pizza Napoletana.” Look for these signs to find true Neapolitan pizza. Pizza comes with a number of topping combinations but the Margherita is always a must try. For anyone who hasn’t eaten pizza in Italy, this type of pizza is not eaten with your hands by the slice. Instead, Neapolitan pizza is eaten with a knife and fork and is a single serving size. Each person orders a pizza for themselves and doesn’t share it; but with how good it tastes, you won’t want to share!
Another popular dish in Naples in fritti. Fritti is fried food that can be eaten in restaurants or as street food. Grab a paper bag of fried veggies, fish, and cheese to snack on while in the piazza. It can also be ordered as your main course. The dish is known as fritto misto di mare, it’s a mix of fried seafood that is sure to please. Even if you’re a big pizza lover, you will want to deviate your pizza diet a little to at least try the fritti in Naples.
A sweet, delicious pastry treat in Naples is the sfogliatella. This shell-shaped pastry is the size of your palm and is filled with a sweetened ricotta or almond paste. There are two versions of this tasty dessert, sfogliatella frolla or sfogliatella riccia. The first version has a smooth exterior while the second allows you to see the flaky layers of the dough. The pastry may look light and airy but it’s more filling than expected.
4. Capri, Italy
Seafood lovers will enjoy the fresh, local shrimp. The shrimp can be eaten raw with olive oil or sauteed in a pasta or risotto. Other fish commonly served on Capri are saraghi (banded seabream), dentici (dentex), octopus, and totani (a type of calamari). One of the more popular seafood dishes in Capri is l’empepata di cozze. This dish is usually served as an appetizer and placed at the center of the table for everyone to share.
A traditional dish served is the scialatielli, a ribbon pasta served with parmesan, fresh basil, and seafood or sauteed vegetables. A second pasta dish served is spaghetti alla nerano, similar to the scialatielli, the spaghetti is tossed with zucchini and cheese.
For foodies wanting local fish as their main course, order the local pezzogna (red seabream). The fish is prepared in a sauce made of cherry tomatoes, garlic, parsley, and olive oil.
To end your meal, try the torta caprese for dessert. A local chocolate and almond cake is best served with a small glass of limoncello.
Since the island is surrounded by the sea, it only makes sense they have popular seafood dishes. Torta tal-lampuki is a pie made of fish known as mahi-mahi or the common dolphinfish. The lampuki are cooked with tomatoes, onions, olives, capers, and spinach before being put inside a puff-pastry and baked in the oven.
A popular pasta dish in Malta is Timpana, which is a baked macaroni dish. The macaroni noodles are cooked in a sauce made with minced meat, tomatoes, onion, garlic, and cheese. Some cooks add bacon and hard-boiled eggs to the sauce or even calf-brain and chicken liver. The macaroni is then baked, resulting in a filling and tasty meal!
You can’t visit Malta without trying the island’s most popular snack-pastizzi. These savoury pastries are traditionally made out of pastry puff or filo pastry and filled with either warm ricotta cheese or mushy peas. Pastizzi are cheap, delicious, and addictive treats found across the island.
6. Crete, Greece
The first dish is a Greek-style bruschetta called dakos. It consists of traditional dried bread baked several times and stored for months before being eaten. To soften the bread before eating, locals use a spoonful or two of olive oil. Dakos is topped with grated tomatoes, crumbled feta cheese, and oregano for a light, crunchy, flavourful pre-dinner snack.
A trip to Greece isn’t complete without having a gyro. The gyro has grilled meat, usually pork or chicken, prepared on a vertical spit. The meat is seasoned with garlic and oregano before being served in a wrap with onion and tomato. Ask for the gyro to be topped with tzatziki to add extra flavour to the dish. The sauce is made of yoghurt mixed with cucumber, garlic, salt, olive oil, red wine vinegar, and dill.
A traditional appetizer, known as meze, is typically shared among friends or family. Meze resembles the Spanish’s Tapas and is served hot or cold. Typical ingredients in meze include olives, souvlaki, hummus, Tashi dip, halloumi cheese, stifado stew, lountza pork loin.
These six holiday destinations are perfect for foodies and sailors. With fresh, local ingredients used in their regional dishes, these locations are ideal for foodies!