Cocido Madrilèno


Cocido Madrilèno is a stew with chickpeas, potatoes, sausages, and any other meat you’d like in a broth.  This dish is popular during the winter because it is a stew but, is served all year around.  Cocido Madrilèno has a rich broth from these combined vegetables and meats that create a unique flavor profile.  This dish dates back all the way to the Castilian kingdom.  The way this dish is served is the broth first as soup, then the chickpeas with vegetables, and then the meats.  Sides or toppings that are common with this dish are bread, salsa de chiles, or aioli.  These are served with the Cocido Madrilèno to enhance the flavors.

Cocido Madrileno | Spain's Favorite Stew – fusion craftiness

Welcome to Madrid!


Professors and Students, welcome to Madrid! This blog intends to give you an insight into things you may see or do during your time in the city! This city’s many different historical and artistic aspects make it worth visiting. There is also a grand variety of fun throughout the city including things like foodstuffs, tourist attractions, and much more that you will learn about by the end of this blog! We feel that Madrid is amongst the most important cities to study abroad in Spain because of the historical perspectives it presents. There are various museums, historical landmarks, and stories that relate to very important moments in not only Spain’s history but the entire world.

If you are interested in learning more about the different activities Madrid brings to the table and places to visit throughout it, please visit our Further Information page! Thank you for finding interest in visiting Madrid and we hope this blog further persuades you to visit!

Music in Barcelona, Spain

Many countries have their own musical styles. Spanish music, however, has been evolving because of its diversity. By meshing the cultures during the first era, or its early days, it has made an impact on each other with the early Romans bringing in new ideas and music of Greece. The rise of the Visigoths, saw the booming of sacred music and chants being restricted from the Church, and under the tolerant Moors, Jewish, Christian, and Moorish music simultaneously developed. The government declared prohibition of these types of music, during the time of Reconquista. During the Renaissance period, the music continued to evolve as instrumental music was on the rise and became popular with the influence of Arabic music and the Spanish guitar being developed. After the 16th century, polyphonic singing style, meaning that it is a tune with many voices, were introduced through contact of France. Also, during this time musicians were traveling from country to country. After those years of rapid development, Spain was pulled from unusual features to having classical composers like Francisco Guerrero and Tomás Luis de Victoria rose to popularity. During the 17th and 18th centuries, zarzuela, which is the opera form, developed and became popular which culturally became phenomenal that it continues today.  Furthermore, classical music development was put to a stop to point that it declined for two centuries long. This happened because popular and folk music was booming throughout various regions of Spain. Flamenco is considered a traditional folk music that contains as many as 6 elements, such as, song, guitar, dance, hand clapping, and finger snapping. Its origin was from the members of the gypsy culture in India. It is to believe that the Roma people went to southern Spain from Rajasthan, northwest India, around the 9th and 14th centuries bringing large collection of songs, dances, and musical instruments. This style of music was first played and became popular in 1842 at Café sin Nombre, in Seville. During the 20th century after the Spanish Civil War, the dictator Francisco Franco banned, burned, and rebuked all things that pertains to regional culture because he wanted the country to not only be a nationalist country, but also a country that is uniformed. However, Spain’s wide range of folk did not disappear, but it was kept hidden from Franco’s government. We can think of this as it being an underground nightclub for people to practice their culture. Once Franco’s regime ended, their culture was redeveloping in a new way as pop and rock ‘n’ roll made its way to the history of music in Spain. American and British groups were doing international performances and Spain followed suit even if Franco tried to prevent that from happening it would be impossible for him to do. The Spanish artists added Flamenco passion and rhythms to give the world a piece of Spanish music in today’s pop music. Therefore, when you arrive in Spain prepare yourself to have your ears listening to some things that you would not normally listen to in America. 

From traditional music of the region to more modern pop and rock music, there is a variety of music to be found in the city of Barcelona. Barcelona has become known for its nightclubs and bars, in which it has led to people in the younger generation to listen and dance to electronic dance music. However, there are other nightclubs and bars that plays jazz, rock, and pop. There are a lot of excellent jazz clubs that you can check out throughout the country, but Barcelona is one of the places in Spain that people visits the most because people who likes concerts, or want to see a big-time performer would go to Palau de la Musica Catalana in Barcelona. The most well-known rock band that is from Barcelona is called the Paso de Cabra. They play a Catalan-style flamenco and Catalan-rhythmic fusion bands such as the Ojos de Brujo and Muchachito Bombo Infierno, as well as Macaco, which is most appreciated, that makes up a good amount of the Catalan music scene. Barcelona host music festivals as well as its variety of experiences and venues hence the name “City of Festivals”. The best time to go to these festivals is from mid-September to early October as that is when the festival begins in Barcelona, and it happens every year. The city’s environment makes it an ideal place to share the best music for both the Spanish and international cultures.   Aside from the music, it is also well-known for its outstanding football team, architect, beaches, and food. Picture that you could be at a beautiful hotel, or restaurants eating some good food while sitting in an ambience environment listening to Catalan music. You may be asking what kind of dance would they do if they heard music, or do they dance at all? The answer to that question is they do a folk dance called Catalan Rumba. The only time that this dance occurs is when the music has a flamenco or other popular Latin music. This dance is performed mainly in the streets, in which that is how it gained its popularity during the 1960s. Musicians that helped put Barcelona on the map as a musical destination (which I would call the Beatles of Barcelona) are Pablo Casais, who is a cellist, the opera singer Montserrat Caballé, and a rock band. Many people go to Barcelona because of the location, the climate, the food, and most importantly a place where you can live a relaxing lifestyle while you are on vacation. I know that this place is a great place to be, not just because of the music, but what the music brings, and the environment, or venues that it can be played. If you are planning to have a wedding, and need to have a live band to perform during the event, or hiring a DJ, the arrangements can be made for that. Music in the Spanish culture is based on spirited energy and romantic appeal, which is considered top priority in Spain. 

Worlds oldest restaurant

Botin is a historic restaurant located in Madrid, it is the world’s oldest continuously operating restaurant according to the Guinness World Records.  The official name of the restaurant is “Restaurante Sobrino de Botin”.  The restaurant has been in business since 1725, having a rich history and cultural significance in Madrid.  The same family has owned this restaurant, and it has been passed down by generation.  It is located in the heart of Madrid near the Plaza Mayor.  The type of food that you would get there is Castilian, with a lot of the dishes having roasted meats as the entrée.  This restaurant is not only well known by tourists but, also by the local community, they take pride in having this restaurant open since the early 18th century.  Needless to say, when visiting Madrid this is almost a must on the list not only for historical interest but, for the experience as well.


Royal Palace of Madrid

The Royal Palace of Madrid is known as the Palacio Real de Madrid.  The history of this palace relates all the way back to the 18th century.  It was built after a fire in the former Palace of the Alcazar of Madrid which was destroyed by a fire in 1734.  The construction of the Royal Palace of Madrid began in 1738 under King Philip V of Spain.  King Philip V was the first monarch of the Bourbon dynasty in Spain and the palace was where they resided.  Along with this, the Royal palace was intended to project the influence and longevity of the monarchy.  The Royal Palace of Madrid shows examples of Baroque and Neoclassic architecture.

Some of the main designers of this building were Filippo Juvarra, Juan Bautista, and Francesco Sabatini.  This resulted in an immensely grand palace that reflected the Spanish monarchy.  This palace houses some of the rarest art in the world.  It consists of paintings, sculptures, historical artifacts, tapestries, and other treasures making it a cultural and artistic center in Spain.

In the past the Royal Palace had been the official residency of Spanish monarchs but, now it is used primarily for the state ceremonies and events held in Madrid.  It plays a large role in the affairs of the Spanish monarchy, as it has witnessed very significant historical events in Spanish history.  The Royal Palace of Madrid is a great stop for those who are interested in the origins of Madrid.,is%20open%20to%20the%20public.

Cuisine in Seville You Cannot Pass Up

A dish that you should really consider trying when visiting Seville, Spain is Huevos a la flamenco! This is a popular dish as it is a very commonly liked traditional dish. Huevos a la flamenco is formally known to be a dish served for breakfast that consists of tomato sauce, peas along with other cooked vegetables, ham, chorizo, and a couple of eggs. Depending on where you go to try this dish it will be prepared differently depending on the chefs’ preferences, this is because there really is no definite recipe to correctly prepare it. Although American culture considers a dish with eggs in it to usually be a breakfast dish, this is not always the case in Spain. It is quite common that dishes with eggs are served for lunch or dinner as well as breakfast. Do not miss out on this delightful opportunity to start your day right with enjoying Huevos a la flamenco.

Alright now that we have covered breakfast let’s move on to must try entrée cuisine. Patatas Bravas are considered to be one of the most famous tapas, snacks or appetizers, in Seville, Spain. The dish Patatas Bravas includes fried potatoes that are covered in bravas sauce which is a mouthwatering partially spicy and smoky flavor sauce. This sauce was created to completely distinguish the potatoes from any other fried potatoes you will get your hands on. A restaurant in Seville that you must try to enjoy Patatas Bravas is the Restaurante Bicho Malo and I promise once you do you will have an overwhelming feeling of money well spent!

On the notes of marvelous entrées that are available for you to try in Seville, Spain lets discuss a well liked rich and delicious stew. Robo de Toro is a classic Spanish stew, commonly known as an oxtail stew, that is made from oxtail tail, tomatoes, red wine, sherry, leeks, red peppers, celery, and onions. Although outside of the country of Spain Robo de Toro is known as oxtail stew, in Spain this stew is best represented by the title bull tail stew as the words Robo de Toro mean a bull’s tail. All in all, this is a Spanish dish that goes by many names, I just thought I should include this information as your trip to Seville should be a relaxing getaway and not a confusing time abroad trying to figure out simple translations to things when the fact of the matter is that the information you thought you had learned is deemed not completely correct . Robo de Toro is said that traditionally it was served after bullfights and because of this word got around and it soon became exceedingly popular across Spain and still remains just as popular today. Although Robo de Toro is said to have Roman origin as the stew dates back to Roman times, in reality it was an Andalusian creation that was supposedly inspired in Córdoba. Just like pretty much all dishes in Spain each restaurant you visit will use their own unique, yet somewhat similar recipe to prepare this dish. Don’t wait any longer and try Robo de Toro as soon as you can get your hands on it!!

Where to Dine in Cordoba?

Traveling to another country comes with many challenges and opportunities, and none the least of which is deciding just where and what to eat. In a country full of rich and diverse cultures, peoples, and locations such as Spain, this task can seem even more daunting. However, the one region that should not be overlooked is the Province of Cordoba. Containing a number of Michelin-star restaurants, at varying price levels that can fit into any and every budget, and suit every palate; Cordoba is one place no visitor should ever overlook when it comes to dining.

Interior of El Bar de Paco Morales
From Taberna el nº 10

For those on a strict budget: Taberna el nº 10 is a lively tapas bar with a warm atmosphere that is the perfect place for students to unwind while enjoying quality “small bites” after a hard day’s work of classes and studying. However, for those looking for a more substantial meal, they need to turn no further than El Bar de Paco Morales, whose menu focuses on giving popular dishes a more modern flair, while providing its patrons with a fun atmosphere where they can relax and savor their meal. Both of these fine bars accommodate late hours, remain open until midnight, and are located centrally to the province; and, patrons will find that there is no need to “break the bank” to enjoy either venue.

From Casa Pape de la Juderia
From La Cuchara de San Lorenzo

For those looking to elevate their dining experience in Cordoba: La Cuchara de San Lorenzo, is a location with a moderately priced menu that focuses on traditional cuisine with a modern flair, such as Salmorejo, Flamenquin, and Oxtail. Or, if you are someone that prefers ambiance and history, overall, consider making a reservation at Casa Pepe de la Judería for your next meal. Located in the city’s Jewish Quarter, enjoy Southern Spanish Cuisine on a traditional Andalusian patio, or on a rooftop terrace.

The interior of Noor restaurant
From the tasting menu of Noor

Lastly, for those looking for nothing short of elegance and extravagance: The fine dining establishment Noor, will more than suit your needs. Take a trip through the ages with chef Paco Morales’ ever-changing seasonal menu, which explores Andalusian cuisine throughout the ages and brings history into the modern era for a new generation to enjoy once more. Savor desserts that feature locally sourced ingredients and main courses that transport you throughout time itself in an environment that embraces its namesake by being warm, bright, and welcoming.

For further information on these restaurants, as well as other Michelin-star locations in Cordoba, please visit the Michelin Guide webpage here. For further information on Cordovan cuisine, gastronomy, culture, and history please visit the further information page.

Cordovan Gastronomy for Beginners

Hallmarked by its Arabic and Jewish influences, Cordovan cuisine is bursting with flavor and is the perfect summation of the region’s cultural heritage. The Cordovan recipe book contains hundreds of dishes all waiting to be sampled and savored, which can certainly make the task of picking a meal feel like a herculean feat—and while there are wrong choices in the world of gastronomy—no one can truly say that they tasted Cordovan cuisine without trying at least one of these regional classics!

A chilled tomato-based cream soup that is typically made with olive oil, hard-boiled eggs, and ham, and thickened using a rustic white bread. Traditionally, the bread used for Salmorejo is Pan de Telera, and the tomatoes are none other than Andalusian tomatoes. This savory soup is a blend of sweet and bold flavors, that represents a common trend in Andalusian cuisine and showcases the Mozarabic influence on the Gastronomy of this Spanish region. Other dishes with similar flavor profiles include orange and cod salad, and artichokes “a la montillana”.

For the carnivores amongst us, many will find that the flamenquín is a dish well suited to their palates. Flamenquin translates to “small flamenco dancer”, according to Chef Jose Pizzaro, and is a salty, savory, and crispy delight; filled with Serrano ham it is a breaded rolled pork filet that is served fried. However, if pork is not to one’s taste, the Cordovan cuisine also features dishes that include oxtail, honey-roasted lamb, and local wild game that are all available to enjoy depending on the locale.

Last but certainly not least, a sweet addition to the Cordovan recipe book, Alfajores are a must-try dish for anyone and everyone visiting the Province of Cordoba. A cookie-like pastry, Alfajores are made by creating a jam filling with honey, almonds, and sesame seeds that is sandwiched between two dense and flaky butter cookie-like biscuits. The use of honey, almonds, and sesame, all fillings common in Arabic and Middle Eastern deserts, is an imprint of the region’s Arabic and Jewish past. This influence can be seen in other desserts such as Pastel Cordobés, a fried dough pastry that utilizes a jam filling as well.

While these dishes are just entry points into the world of the Cordovan cookbook, for more recipes and information please consider visiting the further information page. For further information on the dishes mentioned in this article please visit the Turismo de Cordoba website, located here.

The Foodie City

This is for all of those who are looking to indulge in good food, but not looking to cook. Barcelona is the city of foodies. This means that their cuisine isn’t just subject to their authentic Spanish food. They are listed as one of the best Spanish cities for food. While they do have a multitude of fancy restaurants, they also offer something else and that is street food. Everyone loves a good street food vender. It’s cheap and the best way to experience the cuisine. The Barcelonian street food takes flavors and inspiration from its Mediterranean neighbors. Not sure what to try first? We recommend the food market, Mercat La Boqueria which has been around since 1217. They offer plenty of seasonal dishes and include many types of seafood dishes. By immersing yourself in the food you are essentially having a one-on-one experience with the culture itself. Eating is considered a very important social activity and it’s not unknown for coworkers to indulge in a drink and appetizer after a long day of working.

Like most restaurants, most of the venders won’t sell the same thing and if they do, they all tend to have different touches and flavors to them. You also are greeted with plenty of food options like entrepas, which means between bread in Catalan, tortilla de patatas, which is the equivalent of a potato frittata, bikini, which is a French infused style of Barcelona cuisine.

You probably notice throughout the list the extensive uses of potatoes. This is due to the fact that they were used as cheap sustenance and provided a very versatile use. They are used in dishes like tortilla de patatas like previously mentioned, and other more popular dishes like croquettes and gazpacho.

Granada Cuisine

Whenever I’m traveling to a new place, I am always most intrigued to see the different food options they have and browse different restaurants menus ahead of time. Well, in Granada, Spain there are many delicious, traditional meal options that are most widely known in this city and are very popular here. The cuisine of Granada also reflects the city’s diverse cultural influences and traditions. Therefore, one of the first most popular dishes in Granada is the Habas con Jamón, which is a dish of broad beans mixed with pieces of cured ham and can sometimes even be prepared with a fried egg on top of it too for more flavor and protein. This dish was also a way for people to embrace Christianity in Granada in the past, since eating pork was not allowed and not a part of Jewish and Islamic religions/beliefs, which they did not practice here.  

After my main course meals, I am always craving a sweet treat afterwards, so in Granada one of the most popular dessert options there are called Piononos. These are small pastries that are made from thin layers of sponge cake and soaked in sweet syrup with cream on top. These treats are also sometimes sprinkled with cinnamon or powdered sugar on top to add more flavors too, so if you’re looking for delicious dessert options in Granada this is a country wide favorite in Spain that I would strongly recommend to people, especially if they are visiting Granada for the first time! 

Next, for popular and refreshing beverage options, Granada has a wide selection of different wines and beers that are enjoyed here. Some of these include lager beer, which is one of Spain’s largest produced products, sangria (red wine, sugar, orange juice, and a variety of fruits), and Arab tea. Also, this city is known for its refreshing, popular summer drink, “tinto de verano,” which is a chilled red wine mixed with lemon soda for a sweeter taste to enjoy on warmer days.  

To accompany each beverage, Granada has a customary policy to serve complimentary “tapas” with every drink order, which is what this city is most widely known for typically. Tapas are little side dishes/appetizers, such as olives, cheese, potatoes, meatballs, and seafood (shrimp and squid) as a few examples that are popular at many restaurants.  

Adding on to seafood options, due to Granada’s proximity to multiple bodies of water, this allows for a variety of diverse seafood dishes to be prepared and served in this city. A popular choice is the “Bacalao a la Plancha,” which consists of grilled codfish seasoned with garlic and olive oil and mixed with potatoes and different kinds of vegetables, such as mushrooms, kale, onions, or tomatoes. This dish includes fresh ingredients and is beautifully prepared, which contributes to the popularity of it among locals and many visitors as well. This is a great option for vegetarians to eat too, which is a great benefit for the people who do not eat meat. 

Works Cited:

Carrascosa, Lauren. “What to Eat in Granada.” Spain Traveller, 6 Apr. 2023,

Zimmerman, Lindsey. “Top 10 Must-Try Typical Foods in Granada.” Devour Tours, 28 Feb. 2023,

Bienvenido a Barcelona!

Barcelona is a city brimming with opportunity, particularly in research, technology, and innovation. The Mediterranean way of life, the vibrant streets, and the agreeable temperature of Barcelona all contribute to the attraction of qualified professionals, entrepreneurs, researchers, and students from all over the world (Welcome to Barcelona, n.d.). Its solid entrepreneurial culture is based on rigor, a future vision, ambition, the ability to innovate, and the fact that it is open to the globe. Its economy has a rich commercial and industrial past, making it appealing for corporate development, with cutting-edge research and innovation that transcends borders. The variety of historical and artistic characteristics of the city make it worthwhile to visit. The city is vast and gorgeous, with culture and fresh experiences around every cobblestone street bend. You’ll be delighted you chose study abroad programs in Barcelona, with its mind-boggling Gaudí architecture, mouth-watering tapas, and awe-inspiring seaside vistas. Opportunities for involvement in local culture are limitless. Remember that the amount of effort you put into the study abroad program dictates the outcome, yet it will still be an experience unlike any other. And you just might not want to leave (Fortuna, n.d.).

The following are just a handful of the many study abroad opportunities available in Barcelona.

Catalan Language & Culture

This curriculum, designed for students of all levels of Catalan proficiency, allows you to learn and enhance your Catalan language abilities while also obtaining a greater understanding of Catalan culture. Join other international students in Barcelona to improve your Catalan abilities while studying abroad. Barcelona has two official languages: Catalan and Spanish. Catalan has an undeniable impact on many elements of Catalan society. For instance, family members that solely speak Catalan in their own residences. Catalan is the global language of instruction in schools. Foreign languages, in this example English, are, however, introduced into the curriculum. Catalan, for example, adds to the complexity and color of Barcelona’s cultural tapestry. Though it is not required, learning Catalan makes navigating Barcelona much easier. It also broadens your professional, business, social, and personal perspectives, as well as enriches your stay in Barcelona. Once you thoroughly grasp the Catalan language and can speak it fluently, you can participate in a variety of cultural and recreational events that represent the city’s thousand-year past.

Communication & Journalism

The Communication & Journalism program, designed for all levels of Spanish language proficiency, allows you to choose from a variety of courses taught in your choice of English or Spanish, as you delve into themes such as the role of social media, photojournalism, and Spanish media. Through active involvement with the host city, people, institutions, and culture, you have the opportunity to turn the city into your classroom, while gaining insight into the changing media landscape and varied journalism approaches in Spanish society.


Expand your horizons and obtain international insight into the field of psychology. You have the unique chance to learn from local specialists how practitioners approach the study of human behavior, with both core and optional psychology courses accessible. The city of Barcelona serves as an extension of the classroom by contextualizing the curriculum and urges you to draw parallels between your personal observations and relevant course themes.

Look no further; Barcelona is the destination for you. If you want to discover more about the various options Barcelona has to offer, please visit Further Information – Barcelona for more cultivating activities and events.


Bou, E., & Subirana, J. (n.d.). The barcelona reader: Cultural readings of a city on JSTOR.

Fortuna, C. (n.d.). 15 things to know before study abroad in Barcelona.,might%20never%20want%20to%20leave

Welcome to Barcelona. PDF. (n.d.).

Mythology of Barcelona

There are several different legends that are attributed to the founding of the great Spanish City; Some sources point to the Carthaginian general Hamilcar Barca naming the city after himself and calling it Barcino sometime around the 3rd century. Another equally as compelling (and certainly more interesting) legend has to do with the Roman mythological figure, Hercules. I view the latter of these two origin stories as the “canon” and little can be done to make me believe otherwise. The story goes that in mythological times the son of Zeus, Hercules, traveled by sea with some of his most trusted people on nine ships to establish and build a city at the hill of Montjuïc. Upon setting out, Hercules and his people were met by weather so bad, that it destroyed his small fleet of ships and forced him and his company to walk the rest of the way. None of the ships were believed to have survived and most of the men that were on them were believed to have perished. So, when the noble Hercules and his entourage neared their destination, they were pleasantly surprised to find some of their companions fast at work constructing the lovely city that they had all set out to build. In order to glorify the memory of those lost to create such a beautiful city, they named the city Barca-nona, the ninth ship. Over time this name has transformed into the city that we know today as Barcelona, a cultural and economic hub of the Iberian Peninsula.