To start the day, pour the greenest oil from Jaen onto toasted slices of fresh village bread and add a slice of jamón ibérico from the mountains of Huelva – a king’s breakfast, with a cup of cafe con leche and a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice. One of the best places to try it in Seville is Cafe Bar La Tostaita Veloz. It’s nothing fancy but has a wide selection of breakfast toast ingredients to choose from; jamón, tomatoes, zurrapa, manteca colorá, cheeses, olive oils and good coffee. Locals prop up the bar and there’s often a queue but you might be lucky and find a space on the terrace – perfect for people watching. It’s on the corner of Calle Feria where, on Thursday mornings, you can take in the flea market.
Calle Correduria 50, no phone.
Colourful rice dishes with saffron, tomato or squid ink are popular lunchtime choices at family gatherings, and often eaten at home. To find well-prepared rice dishes, simply served, it’s advisable to head for the small country towns and villages near where the rice is grown. Coria del Rio or Sanlucar la Mayor are good bets. In the latter down-to-earth (don’t go for the décor) La Buena Vida serves rice with shellfish, (lobsters, shrimps, clams and prawns) or small game (partridge, quail, rabbit or hare). The ingredients depend on who has been out hunting, or what is available at the local market. Bear in mind that rice dishes are made to order, can take time to prepare, and are generally cooked for a minimum of two people. It’s often a good idea to order in advance. Calle Cristóbal Colón, 33/35; 00 34 695 765 789.
For fresh seafood head to the Atlantic coast and eat with a view of crashing waves. In one of the chirringuitos (wooden beach shacks) in Punta Umbria or further west at Isla Cristina – both famous for fish – you will find gambas blancas and coquinas. At Chirringuito El Camarrón, in Punta Umbria, order Coquinas a la Marinera, grilled turbot and a bottle of white.
In spring, when the almadraba season has begun, head to Barbate in Cadiz province. Restaurante el Campero is a favourite place to eat freshly-caught bluefin tuna. Stay over in one of the many small relaxed places in Caños de Meca, a centre for alternative summer beach life.
Western Andalucia is one of the few places you will be able to find fresh Iberian pork fillets. The meat is unexpectedly like beef and is eaten rare. The Spanish travel from Madrid and Barcelona to try it; order it at Restaurante Arrieros, set in a picturesque old village house in Linares de La Sierra. The tasting menu usually includes a chance to try carpaccio of raw iberian pork fillet with foie gras, black pudding with prawns and scrambled eggs, or grilled fresh tenderloin of Iberian pork.
Written by Jeannie and Sam Chesterton, co-authors of The Buenvino Cookbook: Recipes from our Farmhouse in Spain (£20, Bene Factum)