Mediterranean  cuisine

Mediterranean cuisine is one of the healthest diets in the world in which the Costa del Sol embraces. The diet consists of fish, shellfish and the many different types of octopus combined with salad and olive oil. By far the most popular meal on the Costa del Sol is Espetos ( skeward sardines). This dish can be found at every restaurant on the beach. They are grilled over olive wood fires and are delicious. When ordering food in a Spanish restaurant it is best to order a variety of dishes, These are placed in the center of the table for you to try the different dishes. One tip is not to order to much fried food, it"s easy to do ,may be just one or two then have a selection of salad and grilled food.

Espetos ( Skeward sardines) These grilled sardines are delicious and packed with omega 3 oil. Generally served as a starter but can be ordered as part of a main course. Every restaurant on the beach front will be serving these and you can watch them being cooked on boats outside. A portion costs between 3 and 6 euro's in a medium priced restaurant. If you want to try local food these babies are a must.

Pescado a la sal (Fish baked in salt) is arguably the best way to eat fish such as Dorada and Sea bream. The fish is placed in a baking tray and a kilo of salt is poured over the fish then put in the oven. The salt forms a crust and keeps all the juices and flavour within the crust. When ready the waiter will peel of the crust off at your table and serve. No salt gets into the fish and the fish does not have a salty taste. So do not be put off just because it is baked in salt. This dish will cost upwards of 20 euro's in a medium priced restaurant.

Bacalao plancha (grilled Cod) is another favorite on the Costa del Sol. Notice that the Spanish do not go mad on vegetables. The cod is seasoned and grilled with a small amount of olive oil. The fish portions tend to be short and fat making them very succulent. This dish will cost around 10 to 15 euro in a medium prices restaurant.

Chanquetes y Verduntas  translates into whitebait & greenbait but the fish are way smaller than traditional whitebait. It's a very taste dish and sometimes served with a soft egg. This meal makes up part of a main course, so best ordered with a couple of other dishes.

Melillones naturales (steamed mussels) Cooked mussels are eaten all around the world, cooked in cream, Thai sauce, cider and wine to name a few. This dish is natural, the mussels  cooked in there own juices sometimes with a hint of garlic but thats it. Served with a wedge of lemon. If you like mussels then this is a great way to eat them.

Melillones con salsa ( mussels in a sauce) Another way to eat mussels. These are usually green lipped mussels and are served warm. Different restaurants have different sauces but they all taste nice and if you like mussels should be tried.

Gambas pil pil is a traditional dish of Prawns served sizzling in a 50/50 mix of butter and olive oil. The flavour comes from garlic, dried chillies and parsley and is a great dish.  

Calamares (fried squid rings)  are usually served with either aioli, mayonnaise or simply with a lemon wedge. Can be served as a starter or part of a main meal. If cooked right these are delicious.

Fried baby squid served with just lemon. These are great as part of a main course dish or as a side with a drink. 

Chipirones plancha (grilled small cuttlefish) The cuttle fish are young and the cuttlebone has not formed so when you cut into the the body there is a clear sack that needs to be pulled out before eating. These are really tasty grilled with a bit of garlic oil.

Pulpo a la gallega is steamed octopus on a bed of sliced potato and covered in paprika. It's a very tasty dish and can be had as a starter or a main course. Usually served on a wooden dish.

Iberico & Serrano ham is a typical starter on the Costa del Sol. The ham is very finely cut off the bone. Every Spanish restaurant will have a ham hanging in it. As to Iberico or Serrano it's up to you. Serrano can be a bit cheaper as the aging process is quicker at around 15 months Iberico is considered better with a darker colour and can be aged for up to 36 months before it's ready.

House salads can vary from restaurant to restaurant. Can be eaten as a shared starter, shared main or as a main course meal. They usually consist of sweet corn, white onion, tomato, lettuce and tinned tuna. Condiment are usually olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

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© your costa del sol guide....... A useful and comprehensive guide to the Costa del Sol including weather, hotels, flights, holiday deal, selected Icelolly holidays deals, attractions, parking and getting around. Covering Fuengirola, Benalmadena, Marbella, Malaga, Seville, Torremolinos, Casares, Estepona, Dequesa, Sierra Nevada and many more holiday destinations on the Costa del Sol.