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Spain in-depth: practical information

What to buy in Spain: A Complete Guide

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What to buy in Spain

If you are what to buy in Spain to give a loved one this holiday season, you are in the right place. Here you will find the best, most original, and truly Spanish gifts that will transport you back to the Iberian peninsula every time you see them. 

Our expert local guides have chosen authentic Spanish gifts that aren’t just kitschy, stereotypical souvenirs, that other sites try to pass for “authentic”. We have chosen authentic gifts from each autonomous community, so no one gets left out. Let’s get into it. 

Table of Contents

What to buy in Madrid

Barquillos

An airy cookie, similar to a wafer, traditionally sold during the celebration of San Isidro. They are traditionally handmade, and barquillos arent bought they are won. During San Isidro vendors sell tries on a makeshift roulette table where all you can win are… you guessed it.. Barquillos of all sorts. 

Violetas

Traditional violet flavored candies, very typical of Madrid. With a torrid back story involving a monarch, his wife, and his lover. A story for another time. The original store that popularized the candy is still in business, located in Plaza Canalejas, in the center of the city. This shop has been selling little else since 1915.  

Manton de Manila

The signature silk blanket used by flamenco dancers was actually an invention of Madrid. The garment was originally imported from China and was adopted by Madrid Manolas, aristocratic women from certain neighborhoods in Madrid. 

cava

What to buy in Cataluña

Catalan Espardenyes

Espardenyes are the typical esparto footwear of rural Catalonia. Comfortable, light, and fresh, they are used to dance the typical Catalan dance, the Sardana, as well as in popular festivals. 

Coca

A flat pastry that comes in a variety of different flavors and textures. You can find wafer-thin crispy cocas, sweet cocas, savory cocas, it’s like a more versatile Catalonian pizza. 

Cava

Cava is Catalonian sparkling white wine. Cava requires very specific conditions and production methods to be considered cava, and it is some of the most delicious wine you can taste in Spain.

What to buy in the Valencian Community 

Paella

A paella, as we have mentioned in previous articles, is actually the pan in which the classic dish is cooked. Paella was invented in the marshy area, just outside of the city of Valencia, known as the Albufera. A good paella should be made with iron, it should be wide and shallow, and should be used outdoors over an orangewood fire, for optimal authenticity. 

Horchata

Horchata is a Spanish delicacy. Horchata IS NOT Mexican, and it is not made with rice milk. It is traditionally made with tiger nuts in a process similar to that used for making nut milk. Horchata is served ice cold, with a side of fartons, a long thin pastry.

What to buy in Andalucía

Jerez

Sherry from the coastal town of Cádiz, specifically from Jerez de la Frontera is a uniquely Spanish product that has a long and storied history. There are different varieties, for every palate, from super dry to super sweet. We recommend trying all of them, just in case. 

Spanish / flamenco guitar

A very specific guitar, designed exclusively for flamenco. Enough said. 

Andalusian ceramics

There are several different techniques that Andalusian ceramic describes, but the ceramic from Andalucia is well known across the world for its quality and vibrant colors. The techniques and traditions that characterize this style are an inheritance of the Moorish occupation of the peninsula. 

What to buy in Extremadura

Iberico ham

There are many amazing, delicious, and beautiful things produced in Extramadura but none better or more well known than Iberico Ham, a product we have gone into detail on before. The best Iberico ham in the country is made in this region. 

What to buy in Castilla la Mancha

Olive oil and Manchego cheese

Two of Spain’s most famous gastronomic exports. The region of Castilla la Mancha is the Mecca for these two products, and they have to be featured on this list. 

Mazapán

A seasonal sweet made with almonds, sugar, and eggs, of Moorish origin. Enjoying a mazapán and a coffee in the medieval city of Toledo is a religious experience that everybody should experience once in their life. 

Toledo Jewelry or Sword

This might be the most “tourist-y” thing on this list, but Toledo was once the epicenter of metalwork in Europe. Toledo produced the best armor and weapons in the world and also some of the finest and most lavish jewelry (in particular Damasquina) in the world. If you are interested in either, just make sure to buy artisanal. 

What to buy in Castilla y León 

Ribera del Duero Wine

The Ribera del Duero wine region, located along the Duero River, is responsible for some of the best wines you can find in Spain, and that is saying something. 

Charro button

A typical piece of jewelry from Salamanca of Roman origin. The Roman Empire once occupied this region and is actually responsible for the winemaking traditions in the area as well. 

Yemas de Santa Teresa

A typical sweet from the walled city of Avila made with egg yolk and sugar exclusively.

What to buy in Galicia 

Galician Octopus

Spanish octopus in general is a world-renowned delicacy, but within Spain, Galician Octopus is the best of the best. Served on a wooden plate, over a bed of boiled (Galician) potatoes, with paprika, salt, and olive oil. Simple and delicious. 

Rias Baixas white wine

For white wine lovers, this is a no brainer. Galicia, as a coastal region, is well known for its excellent seafood, and they have developed the perfect wine to accompany these dishes.

Pulpo a Feira (octopus)

What to buy in Cantabria 

Sobaos passiegos

Sobaos are buttery, fluffy slices of heaven, and Cantabria is where these lovely little pastries were developed. Sobaos are traditionally served for breakfast but you will probably find yourself sneaking one as a snack at random times during the day. 

What to buy in Asturias

Cider

Asturias has a noticeable Celtic influence. One way this influence is manifested is in the preference of Cider over wine in this region. Sidra Asturiana is a staple, and in Spain, there is no other option if you are looking for an apple spirit. 

Faro Ceramics

The other great Spanish ceramic style. Ceramics from faro reflect the Celtic influence in Asturias and is of excellent quality. Faro ceramic is usually decorated with floral patterns in tones of yellow, green, and blue. 

What to buy in La Rioja

Rioja Wine

There is not much more to say. Rioja is considered to be one of the best wine regions in the world, if not THE best, and wine is king in La Rioja. It’s important to note here that not all wine produced in La Rioja is Rioja wine. Rioja is a denomination of origin and a wine is required to meet certain production methods and quality standards to be referred to as a Rioja wine.   

What to buy in Basque country

Txacoli Wine

A completely unique wine because of its flavor, which is almost more similar to cider, and in the way it must be served: from a certain height, out of a certain spout, into a certain glass. Txacoli can only be found in the Basque Country and is a must. 

Gerriko y Txapela

These two garments are the iconic staples of the traditional Basque garb. A txapella is a black beret style hat and the Gerriko is the traditional red, cloth belt that is so iconic. 

What to buy in Navarra

Ideazabal Cheese and Chistorra

Chistorra is a thinner chorizo style sausage, that is thinner and delicious. Ideazabal cheese is made exclusively with Latxa sheep milk and is considered to be one of the best cheeses you can get in Spain. 

Kaiku

A Kaiku is an odd and traditional milking pale from Navarra. They can be wooden, metal, or ceramics, but they must have the same characteristic shape. Kaiku’s are also used for making different milk-based goodies (like Spanish cuajada)

What to buy in Aragón

Ternasco

Ternasco roasted suckling lamb, made in the classic Zaragozano style. This might be the hardest thing to get you hands-on from the list. It can be found vacuum-sealed in some places in Spain, but you are probably better off buying the cut of meat at your butcher and then following a traditional recipe, but it has to be on this list because it is such an icon, especially in the capital of  Zaragoza. 

What to buy in Múrcia

Pastel de Carne de Múrcia

These are traditional meat pies from this region. One pastry shop, in particular, Confiteria Espinosa, make the best of the best. Their meat pies have won several international competitions. Unlike anything else, you have tried. 

Vidrio Murciano

Murcia is one of the most underrated regions in the country. One of the main artisanal products that are characteristic of Murcia is hand blown glass. You will find some of the best, traditional glasswork in the country in Murcia. Always an appreciated and classy gift.

What to buy in Blearic Islands

Ensaimadas

Yes, this is kind of a touristy thing to bring back from the islands, but with good reason. If you can get your hands on a well made, artisanal ensaimada, lookout. 

Babutxes Mallorquinas

Moccasins from Mallorca. Few things are more comfy and warm than these lined leather slippers. 

What to buy in Canary Islands

Gofio and Islacao

Gofio is a sort of porridge, made with several different cereals that has a wide variety of different preparations that go from sweet to savory. One of the most traditional ways of enjoying gofio is with Islacao, a soluble chocolate product, mixed together with milk for a filling breakfast. 

Manta Esperancera

This is a traditional item of clothing, worn traditionally by farmers on the island of Tenerife. The cape is always pastel color, with a series of lines at the bottom, and falls just above the ankle. Reminiscent, in a way, of a Mexican Sarape.

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