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What Spanish ingredients should I get?

I don't have a lot of experience cooking Spanish food, but after a few days in Spain I'm dedicated to learning. I'm still here, so was wondering if anyone could give me suggestions of what food items or ingredients I should buy that can travel well.

I love the boquerones en vinagre here, but the packaging seems to say that I need to refrigerate it. Is that really true? I'd love to pack a few packages of this but it would have to be able to survive without refrigeration for a few days.

How about cured meats? Can I take those with me sans refrigeration?

Any other suggestions would be appreciated. I have a few more days here and would love to pick up a few things.

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  1. You can't bring back the cured meats. Bring back a few tins of angulas, maybe?

    6 Replies
    1. re: Veggo

      Why not the meats? Refrigeration or customs?

        1. re: Veggo

          I live in Cambodia and they don't seem to care about that sort of thing, so I think it's okay.

          1. re: Lina

            I imagine a jamon Iberico in Cambodia would be a wonderful thing.

            1. re: Veggo

              I can't find this sort of thing at any of the shops there, so that's why I am hoping to go back with a bag filled with goodies!

              1. re: Lina

                Maybe a couple nice bottles of Madeira, also? More economical than portos. Have some madeira, my dear.

    2. Strangely, I brought back all kinds of stuff, but my family liked the different tea flavours (there was a hibiscus, raspberry rooibos) best. Chips, people give you the fish eye, but they'll let you bring it in. Sadly, can't bring back cured meats and I love their pork products. But you could probably do olive oil and Spain is known for olives too.

      1 Reply
      1. re: S_K

        The OP lives in Cambodia... they're less fanatical about things being brought back through customs there.

        Me, I brought back olive oil, boquerones (which, if it's a sealed tin, shouldn't need refrigeration), and jams.

      2. - olive oil
        - sherry vinegar
        - paprika/pimentón: sweet (dulce), medium hot (agridulce), picante (hot), and smoked
        - saffron/azafran

        1 Reply
        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

          Yes to the saffron, anytime, anywhere (well, the good stuff).

        2. Paprika,sweet, bittersweet and smoked. I like the bittersweet.

          Sherry vinegar or other wine vinegar.

          Piquillo peppers

          Olive oil

          Romesco sauce

          High end canned seafood

          1. My suggestions:

            Bottled Piquillo Peppers

            Salted Marcona Almonds

            Pedro Ximenez Vinegar Grand Reserve

            Marques De Valdueza olive oil or Nunez del Prado EVOO in the Tin can $$$

            Ybarra Olives with Piquillo Peppers

            Various El Rey Smoked Paprikas

            Boquerones White Anchovies

            Bajamar Asparagus Spears in can

            Bevia Sea Salt

            Spanish almonds

            and LOTS of paella rice

            Catalonian Vichy water

            2 Replies
            1. re: arktos

              What a great shopping list, thanks!

              All of the boquerones I have been able to find seem to require refrigeration. Are they sold in any form that don't require refrigeration?

              1. re: Lina

                Some come in a jar. I know Miguel & Valentino import them to the U.S. from Catalonia I believe. Good luck!!

            2. Chorizo doesn't need refridgeration

              3 Replies
              1. re: redfish62

                Was asking about Boquerones en vinagre (White Anchovies) as they are all sold refrigerated

                1. re: Lina

                  From another of several threads on the subject:

                  I would not even know where to begin, but for starters:

                  Saffron (red threads); marcona and other almonds; Pimenton in 3 varieties (hot, agridulce and sweet); Ortiz ventresca tuna and the myriad other tinned seafoods aabilable in any supermarket; Tolosa beans; Bomba rice; terra cotta cazuelas; membrillo; Torta del Casar and other cheeses; Iberian ham; Tortas de Aceite crackers; tinned Navarra piquillo peppers; tinned Navarra asparagus; Espinaler sauce for the tinned cockles and other shellfish; local honeys and jams.

                  Here is a partial list I posted for someone else here not long ago; these are just some of the things that I often bring home from Spain; they are not particularly linked to Madrid but are easy to find in that city.

                  " My list is more or less the same as yours. I will also look for tinned piquillo peppers from Navarra. Last time I bought cans of asparagus from the same region. In addition to the Cuca brand of seafood, mentioned above, I think, look also for Cabo de Pena brand which has satisfied me in the past. I want to bring home chipirones and almejas, as well as tuna. And also the white anchovies, which I fell in love with only recently at a Spanish wine event..

                  And mojama, vaguely similar to bottarga..but usually made from tuna..

                  A new revelation to me are the dried beans from Spain. I bought a bag of Tolosa beans from Kalyustan that were so good and creamy, even after a couple of years of languishing in my cupboard! I never have luck with dried beans but these were so good that I plan to bring them home, and also look for other types of beans..

                  White beans from the Segovia area, too--Judiones de La Granja.

                  I am sure you know these, but Marcona almonds; saffron; and olives will be on my list..... "

                  Here is the original thread, with lots of shopping info contained within:


                  Permalink | Report | Reply

                  By erica on Apr 28, 2011 06:37PM

                  I would bring the boquerones; I have seen them for sale unrefrigerated, in markets.

                  I would buy many tins of pimenton, in all 3 varieties. Plenty of tinned ventresca or other top quality tuna.

                  If you buy tinned asparagus, make sure they are from Spain (Navarra, I believe) and not from Peru.

                  Tortas de aceite, if you can keep baked goods in the hot steamy climate.

                  1. re: Lina

                    You can get boquerones canned or in a bottle, but they are packed in olive oil and different from the ones in vinegar that are so ubiquitous in bars. You have to hunt for them a bit--look in the canned fish aisle at El Corte Inglés or--if you can--at one of their "Club de Gourmet" stores.

                2. Can't all of these items be purchased locally or at least through the net? I usually like to bring home a few things as momentos, but generally I can find other things when I get home.


                  3 Replies
                    1. re: Lina

                      There are several webistes that sell Spanish items. La Tienda and Hot Paella are two that I've used. I purchased Paella pans and a propane burner. They offer a wide variety of Spanish specialty foods, rice, spices and such.


                      1. re: JuniorBalloon

                        La Tienda is a great source for high-end products from Spain, but imagine sending packages through FedEx contract affiliates to Phnom Penh? Do you really think they will get there? I will rely on Lina's experiences....

                    1. I know it probably seems like carrying Coals to Newcastle, but bring back rice from Spain. It is different and if you are going to make Paella and other Spanish rice dishes you will need this short grain rice. BTW, Claudia Roden's new book, The Food of Spain is a must have. I checked it out of my public library and now have to have it. It is a very comprehensive book and covers Spain by regions. I will be able to eliminate a number of cookbooks in my arsenal with this 1 book.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Candy

                        While a medium grain rice that absorbs a lot of broth is ideal for paella, Spanish speakers have adapted to using other types of rice. For example in Latin America, long grain is widely preferred, even in a paella style dish. Here's a Filipino version that also uses a long grain.


                        There have also been adaptations in the seasoning. For example annatto is commonly used to color rice instead of saffron.

                        1. re: Candy

                          Thanks, the cookbook looks good. I'm definitely going to need one. Any other recs? I'd love one that's perhaps less comprehensive and paperback -- am not going to make it back to Cambodia with this much luggage!

                          1. re: Lina

                            I would skip the Roden book in favor of Anya Von Bremzen's New Spanish Table, which is out in paperback. http://www.amazon.com/New-Spanish-Tab...

                            And of course, Penelope Casas' books are classics. But you would do much better ordering these from Amazon rather than trying to find them in English in Spain and paying the price there.