Many people will pick up a shot glass or a postcard from each city they visit. We at Devour Spain tend to fill our suitcases with something else – food!
Luckily, Madrid has plenty of incredible gourmet food gifts to bring back home, and they make great souvenirs and presents for yourself, friends, and family. There are many gourmet food gifts from Madrid that we absolutely adore, but here are our top five recommendations for foodie “souvenirs” from the Spanish capital.
Photo Credit: Syvwlch
1. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
This one product alone should convince you to book your tickets, reserve some airport parking, and pack your suitcase for Madrid. Although the majority of the world’s olive oil (that’s right, the world’s) is produced in the Jaén province of southern Spain, the good stuff always reaches us in Madrid!
Where to buy: Patrimonio Comunal Olivero (Calle de Prim, 12) This is actually the official olive oil store of the Department of Agriculture!
2. Jamón Ibérico de Bellota
This is the best of the best – the product that most Spaniards would probably go to war to protect. Iberian ham is any cured ham that comes from the black Iberian pig, but when you see de bellota, that is the good stuff!
For this meat, the pigs have been raised free range, in oak forests and fed a diet of rich and nutty acorns. They are then cured for at least 36 months, leaving you with a rich, fatty ham that just melts in your mouth.
Unfortunately, Americans cannot bring this back with them, as the USDA doesn’t allow it. Check with your country’s restrictions and cross your fingers that you can stock up!
3. Pimentón de la Vera
Smoked Spanish paprika is one of our favorite Spanish products, and the paprika produced in the small town of La Vera is the best. You can find it in sweet (dulce), semi-sweet (semi-dulce), and hot (picante). It is a steal here in Madrid, around 2€ per bottle, so try them all!
Where to buy: Spicy Yuli (Calle de Valverde, 42) has the best in Spanish spices, you won’t want to leave!
4. Pedro Ximenéz
This super sweet, dark dessert sherry is an after dinner treat, especially during the holidays. People even serve it over vanilla ice cream for a grown ups only dessert. Viña 25 is a delicious brand at a very reasonable price.
Where to buy: Mantequeria Bravo (Calle Ayala, 24) has all sorts of gourmet products to tempt your palate – including some delicious sherry!
5. Paella Rice & Saffron
When making a good paella, it is all about the rice! Here in Spain, most paellas call for Arroz Bomba, a kind of round short grain rice from Murcia, Spain. It is said to hold three times more broth than other varieties, yet still hold its own shape in a paella. Arroz Bomba is sold in various supermarkets and specialty shops in cute canvas bags, perfect for gifting.
When buying paella rice, you can’t forget to pick up some real Spanish saffron. As one of the most expensive spices in the world, it is a real treat to find the good stuff here in Madrid at a reasonable price.
Where to buy: You can find the Bomba rice in almost any supermarket, but if you don’t see it try the El Corte Inglés Gourmet Experience on the bottom level of the Callao store (Plaza del Callao, 2).
Can’t decide which one of these fabulous foodie gifts to stuff into your suitcase? We’ve got an even better idea: get the gourmand in your life a Devour Tours gift certificate, which won’t take up any room in your luggage—plus, it never expires and can be accessed in seconds. They’ll have you to thank for the culinary adventue of a lifetime in one of Europe’s most delicious destinations.
Lauren grew up in an Italian-American family where 3-hour meals were the norm. After 10 years in the restaurant industry, she moved to Spain where she launched her popular Spanish food blog, Spanish Sabores, and soon after led groups on the first Devour Madrid food tours.