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 What’s to Eat and Do  in Córdoba, Spain?

It’s been a beautiful warm week in southern Spain. The Holy Week parades have been fascinating. There are 33 of them! Each church congregation has their own, complete with cone shaped hat and robed participants, band members, and 2-3 Easter religious floats carried on the backs of members willing to suffer the pain. 



We have been eating out for lunch, which is from 2-4pm. Dinner is 9-11pm or so. Córdoba is less than an hour by train from Seville, so the food is similar. Here are some pics and then travel suggestions at the end.

A piece of toasted dark bread with hummus, quince paste and sesame seeds.

Traditional salmorejo, with sliced egg and chopped jamon. This cold soup is a purée of fresh tomato, fresh white crusty bread, olive oil, garlic and salt. Olive oil is drizzled over the top. Gazpacho, a more well known cold soup, is made with a variety of fresh vegetables including tomatoes, onion, peppers, garlic, olive oil etc, but no bread.

A twist on the Andalusian traditional salmorejo cold soup, this soup has beets instead of tomato with squid ink. On top is squid/calamari rings and quail eggs.


 Quail eggs! They are everywhere you find eggs!

Hard boiled quail eggs for dinner! Cover with water, bring to a boil, remove from heat and cover 5 minutes. Run under cold water. Tap eggs on the side of the pan to crack the shells, and then peel.

 Iberian sausage sliced thin with sesame crackers.


Quail Foie Gras made with pork and quail liver topped with diced quince paste. Membrillo is quince paste and is very commonly used in Spain. It’s a sweet thick jelly made with the pulp of the quince fruit. It’s a wonderful complement to manchego type cheeses

Traditional Spanish omelet or Tortilla Espanola, which is very plain and made with eggs, potato and onion.


Fried eggplant strips served with a dark honey. I’ve also seen squirt bottles of this honey served at the table, like ketchup. 
Thick hard crispy sesame crackers served in bags at most tables.

A mix of Cordoban cheeses we found at a market. Their cheeses are made with cow, sheep and/or goat cheese. Yes, they do mix the milks! The younger cheeses are softer and the more aged are harder.

Flamenquin, a specialty of Córdoba, is like a home made cordon bleu. Chicken, pork or veal is rolled with jamon and sometimes a bit of manchego cheese inside, then breaded and deep fried. Parsley is also sometimes in the filling. These are about 3 inches and considered a tapas for 2 Euros. The larger 8 inch size is a 1/2 ration serving. A full ration is even larger. A variety of foods in some of these 3 different portions are found in most restaurants, bars and tavernas.


Fried calamari, lightly breaded and tender! Served with a mayonnaise like garlic sauce. Standard food.

Cazon in Adobo, Daves favorite. Marinated pieces of fish that are breaded and deep fried. 

Fried marinated anchovies. Crispy and hot without a strong flavor. The marinade is light.

Chorizo in a wine sauce. Best when fried crispy and brown.

Black pudding, similar to the Cajun boudin sausage. Filled with rice and other unknowns? Tasty and mild. Crispy fried potatoes on the side.


A little more unusual is the diced raw RED tuna, mixed with ground cashews, scallions, pimento, Dijon, soy sauce and olive oil. Formed into a mold and served cold, unmolded. Delish!

Grilled calamari over lettuce salad with aioli and lemon vinagrette.


Aubergine  or eggplant cut crosswise into 4 inch wedges and simmered in water, vinegar, and sugar. Then layered with a strong soft cheese and baked and topped with a red pepper sweet chopped chutney. Yum! 


Another tuna, diced and mixed with a stronger mustard marinade, topped with a crisp thin toast and bamboo shoots. The mustard marinade is poured around the plate. 

Pisto, a traditional warm salad similar to ratatouille, is a cooked mixture of chopped pumpkin (which is like the US butternut squash), eggplant, tomato, onions, peppers, summer squash, cumin, garlic, olive oil. All this served with a fried egg. 

Paella with squid ink, baby squid, and shrimp. Not as good as Valencia and L’Abufera, also known as Albufera, where paella was born. The authentic paella sticks to the bottom of the pan, is crusty, and is scraped off the bottom of the pan.

Traditional pastry of Córdoba, Pastelon Cordobes. This is like a firm crusted apple pie with a thick jam like filling that has additional citrus fruits. Then it’s sprinkled all over with cinnamon and sugar.

Torrijas, is like French toast. It’s fried bread that’s layered with custard. Then it’s covered in honey or cinnamon and sugar. Chocolate may be spread over the top. These are made for the Easter season.


Pestino, also made for the Easter holidays.  Crispy and fried then covered in cinnamon and sugar.

This is a deceiving dessert from the pastry shop. It’s basically a wedge of a 2 layer white cake with a thin chocolate icing on top and sides and a plain custard in between the layers. The cut side of the cake is covered with custard. 

Fried Milk Dessert with cinnamon ice cream and cinnamon cream sauce. The fried milk is actually wedges of firm flan fried and then rolled in sugar and cinnamon.


Brownie and ice cream! Gourmet in Córdoba!


Fancy cappuccino with whipped cream. Caffe con Leche is more common here. Many places don’t offer cappuccino! If they do, it’s always dusted with at least chocolate and maybe also cinnamon, cocoa and or chocolate syrup.

Sights not to miss:

The Cathedral of Cordoban/Mezquita 

Jewish Quarter and Synogogue

Roman Bridge and Calahorra Tower With audio tour

Patios of the Alkazar Viejo

Courtyards of Viana

Archeologie Museum

Museo Julio Romero de Torres and Courtyard

Alkazar Royal Stables and Show

Capilla de San Bartolome

Andalusi gourmet food shop

Casa de las Cabeza

El Banista

Bodegas Campos

El Churrasco

La Casa del Viejo

Taverna del Potro
Pastry Shops:

San Francisco Confiteria (near Viana Palace)

What’s to Eat in Seville?

Seafood, bulls tail, pork cheeks, squid ink, jamon, puréed tomato and bread soup, tapas, fresh bread, pastries, gelato….here’s my favorites.

 This lumpy crusty bread looks like the crenelated tops of the Moorish castle walls. Its served everywhere and has a soft white center. 
This was my favorite food in Seville. Rice and shrimp in squid ink sauce with squid stuffed with rice. The squid ink has a mild seafood flavor.  
Bulls Tail in a rich red wine sauce over roasted potatoes. So memorable we ordered it twice! Bullfighting is HUGE in Seville! Similar to oxtails available in the States. 
This also is Bulls tail, but it tasted more like beef chuck pot roast with tomato, peppers and carrots. Very mild.  
Pork Cheeks in a rich sauce over roasted potatoes and topped with goat cheese. Garnish is fresh rosemary, green onion and red pepper. Amazingly tender and lean!  
This is a Serranito, a new twist on a sandwich made with a crusty baguette. Layered inside are thinly sliced grilled pork, a thinly poured omelette, and a slice of mild white cheese. Over the top of the bread is a slice of jamon. A char grilled pepper is on the side to add to the sandwich. 
A tapas of toasted bread layered with tomato purée,  one anchovy and olivada, a puréed black olive spread.  
This little frying basket was a fun way to serve fried bites of fish. They fry fish a lot. We had fried calamari also, but this was marinated bites of fish lightly breaded and deep fried. It’s called Corzo in Adobo.  
This is eggplant believe it or not! It’s cut into thick strips and quickly fried and then brushed with a dark honey and balsamic vinegar glaze. 
Salmorejo is a puréed cold soup made with fresh tomatoes, fresh bread, garlic, olive oil and salt. It can be purchased at the local fresh food markets or made at home. We also saw this served as a dipping sauce with bread in Lisbon.  
This salmorejo is served with the traditional sliced hard cooked egg, sliced jamon and drizzled with olive oil.


Delish cold soup made of ground almonds, garlic and cream and topped with the most tasty raisins. It can also be made with bread and olive oil instead of cream.  
Grilled squid served with a parsley and olive oil sauce.  
Sautéed clams with lemon and garlic. 
Marinated quail legs, garlic slices, onion and carrot served over lettuce. The marinade had lemon juice, olive oil and Dijon style mustard. Lots of fresh parsley added too.  
Cool dessert! Orange and orange blossom cream sauce with mint ice cream and gin slush over all. The orange like garnish was amazing. It is called a ground cherry or a husk tomato and is sweet and tart. (Physalis) Reminds me of the Chinese lantern ornamental plant in the Midwest. 
Let’s talk about oranges in Seville. Here is an orange from the orange trees all over Seville. They were blooming and fragrant for us.They tell us in Seville that only the tourists pick them because they don’t know they are sour and are only used to make orange marmalade which is sent to England. Also you can get fined 1 Euro for each orange you pick! We found this one on the ground . They taste slightly sour, but not as sour as lemons. I’d make juice out of them if I had a tree to pick from!  

Cafe con Leche or espresso with milk. This is the most common coffee served. You can get decaf. Sometimes it’s served as a glass of steamed milk with an individual packet of instant decaf for you to add.  
Cappuccino is always served fancy with chocolate powder or syrup. You can get decaf too!


Loved Seville! If you go, make sure to take at least a day trip to Granada to see the Alhambra. Absolutely also go to Córdoba, our next stop!

Chorizo and Goat Cheese Lollipops: Xupa Xup

Lollipops of Chorizo Filled with Goat Cheese & Quince Paste

Lollipops of Chorizo Filled with Goat Cheese & Quince Paste

Visiting my daughter Diana in Portland Oregon we were introduced to this fun tapas served at a Barcelona style tapas bar called Ataula, located in the Alphabet District of NW Portland.  This very relaxed low key town presents the most amazing food. This one I could recreate.

For more go to Barcelona speaks its own language, Catalyan. The Catalyan term for these lollipops is Xupa Xup.


Lollipops stand up in a cup of dried beans

Lollipops stand up in a cup of dried beans

Chorizo is a Spanish sausage seasoned with paprika. Have the deli slice it as thin as they can while keeping whole rounds of meat.

Chorizo Round

Chorizo Round

Sliced Paper Thin

Sliced Paper Thin

Quince Paste is a solid thick sweet jam used in Spanish cooking. It’s popular in Australia and New Zealand.  It can also be purchased in a flat rectangular form that is easy to cut into squares or slices to serve with cheese and your other international snack foods. I’d use a jam-like jar of it for this.

Quince Paste is Ready to Use in a Jam-like Jar.

Quince Paste is Ready to Use in a Jam-like Jar.

  • Spread a thin layer on one side of each slice of chorizo.
  • Place a teaspoon or so of plain natural goat cheese on the end of the lollipop stick or skewer.
  • Place the cheese and stick on one slice of chorizo.
  • Top the goat cheese with the other slice of chorizo.
  • Press rim together. The paste works like a glue with a tart sweet flavor.
  • Serve right away or within a few hours. The chorizo separates as it dries out.

Russian Salad/Olivier Salad/Salade a la Russe

Light mayonnaise dressing

Light mayonnaise dressing

Potates and other vegetables

Potates and other vegetables

This is the most popular salad in the world! It is made throughout Europe and the Middle East and has a long history, originating in Moscow at the Hermitage Restaurant in 1864. My family in Minsk, Byelorussia served this to us in 1970 for lunch and dinner, 2 days in a row. It is a salad made for special occassions and for celebrations and picnics. You may also add tuna, bologna, calamari, shrimp, anchovies, or ham. My dressing is a lighter version of the original French mayonnaise.

2 pounds white potatoes, unpeeled and washed

½ pound carrots, peeled, cooked firm, diced

1 cup frozen peas

5 scallions, sliced thin

4 hard boiled eggs, diced

1 cup diced kosher dill pickles (Bubbies brand if possible)

1 cup diced roasted red pepper

1/2 – 1 cup chopped green Spanish olives stuffed with pimento, drained

½ cup Hellmann’s light mayonnaise

½ cup Greek plain yogurt

2 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

2 teaspoons lemon juice

  • Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer until they slightly give to a fork prick.
  • Drain and cool potatoes. Peel and then chop into tiny pieces, about ¼ inch
  • In a very large bowl combine potatoes, carrots, eggs, pickles and red pepper. All should be chopped to about the same ¼ inch size.
  • Add the green onion and peas.
  • In a small bowl combine the remaining ingredients.
  • Add this dressing to the vegetables and mix with a big spoon.
  • You may also add cooked shrimp, marinated calamari or bologna!
  • Makes 24-1/3 cup servings.