Food Travels: Spain, Portugal and Morocco

Kathryn Old, Writer

Some people dream of traveling the world while others are happy with their lives at home. Everyone, if given the opportunity, should travel. Traveling allows you to see other cultures and immerse yourself in them. You can see different countries in the news and see how they live but you don’t really understand until you’re really there to see it for yourself. It’s a whole different experience being exposed to seeing things you don’t see at home. The food is a huge reason that people love to travel. The food varies from place to place allowing you to try so many different recipes and produce that you might not be able to try at home. 


Food is one of the most diverse things in the world. There are so many different cuisines that contain so many different ingredients. Cooking is something that’s been used since the start of time. Recipes have been passed down from generation to generation, being changed and modified. So many different factors help shape the different recipes that a culture has. Religion and region are factors that change the different recipes. Certain religions don’t allow you to eat certain things, so the culture has made recipes around that with different ingredients found in their region.  

Over the summer I was lucky enough to be able to travel across the ocean and try so many different cuisines. The food on the trip was so diverse with going to two continents and three different countries. Portugal consisted of a lot of fish, Spain with tapas and Pallela and Morocco had lots of vegetables and chicken. 

Pasties de Belem

The best meal that I had on my trip was in Portugal when we walked around Lisbon and were sent off to get lunch. We didn’t know what the menu said because it was in a Portuguese so a few of us just decided to pick random things off the menu. We got to try clams and different meats and it was such a diverse meal which is why it was my favorite. The foods in Portugal revolved around a lot of fish. A good amount of the time when I didn’t try something new, I had gotten salmon. The salmon over there was delicious and they had many more different fish to try. While in Portugal we also tried the famous Pasties de Belem which are custard tarts.  



In Spain, I had a lot of tapas which are small, appetizer like Spanish dishes. The tapas could range from cold to hot, with many different kinds. I was able to try different kinds, all throughout being in Spain, which is why I love tapas; you can get a few of them and share them with friends to get to try everything. Spain is also known for Paella which was by far one of the best things I ate on my trip. Pallela is a dish made in a large pan with rice, saffron, vegetables, seafood and chicken. You can pick whether you’d like seafood, chicken or vegetarian. While in Spain, we also had gelato just about every chance they would let us, and it was all so good. I got gelato from a place that made it look like a rose which was very cool.


Starter platter

Morocco was unlike any food I’ve ever tasted. It consisted of many vegetables and chicken cooked in a clay cooking vessel that covers the food called a tagine. The chicken was seasoned with turmeric which has never been a prominent spice in my diet. The vegetables were cooked with couscous which made the meal more filling. Something very common in Moroccan and Spanish restaurants were there was always olives on the table as a small starter like bread would be considered here. At our hostel, they served us a meal with a starter that included tomatoes, carrots, beets, potatoes, bell peppers and egg; as well as a small plate of eggplant and olives. As well as that they also gave us bread made from the little women out in front of the hostel.  

Chicken tagine

Food is a necessity for everyone but for some people and cultures it’s more of a celebration. Food connects people and I was very lucky to have the opportunity to experience three incredibly different cultures. The memories I made by putting myself out there and trying new things is something I will never forget.