Seville is a city that breathes color, art, and history. It is a city that bewitches anyone who visits it, especially during the Feria de Abril, one of the most famous celebrations in Spain, also called Feria de Sevilla. For seven days, the Andalusian capital becomes a canvas of colors, flavors, and aromas, with the sounds of flamenco and joy filling the air. This celebration is much more than just a fair; it is an experience that should be on every traveler’s bucket list. But, what makes the Feria de Sevilla so special? The answer is simple: food.
Gastronomy plays a leading role in the Feria’s fairgrounds. There’s always time for a small bite or a glass of manzanilla between dances. In fact, there is no basic guide to follow regarding food because it depends on the time you visit the fairgrounds.
Discover the gastronomical delights of Feria de Sevilla. From seafood to Iberian ham, and rebujito, the Andalusian capital has it all during this vibrant festival.
The Feria de Abril in Seville begins with “la noche del pescaito,” or the seafood night. It’s the dinner before the start of the festival, just before the lighting. Fried fish is king at this dinner: cuttlefish, baby hake, marinated dogfish, squid, small fried fish, or anchovies are some of the specialties. Other stars like squid, red mullet, prawns, and langoustines are also included.
Feria de Sevilla food and snacks,
The Feria de Abril in Seville is a symbol of Andalusian gastronomy served in small plates and portions. Some dishes include gazpacho or salmorejo, tortilla de patatas, croquetas, and casseroles with daily stews such as oxtail, Iberian pork cheek, meat and rice, and chickpeas with spinach or cod. Seafood and fried fish hold their spot as long as the Feria lasts.
Once fully immersed in the Feria, it’s customary to enjoy a snack of olives or fried almonds. In this case, Serrano ham and cheeses are the favorites among fairgoers. Iberian ham is the most appreciated delicacy of the Feria and one of the most consumed foods during these days, along with cheese and Sanlúcar langoustines.
Feria de Sevilla drinks
To accompany the appetizers, some people start with a cold beer to beat the heat, while others choose fino, manzanilla, or the classic rebujito.
Fino and manzanilla are two wines that belong to the Jerez-Xerez-Sherry Designation of Origin and come from the province of Cádiz: manzanilla, which is only aged in the wineries of Sanlúcar de Barrameda, and fino in Jerez. Rebujito, which is the star drink at the Feria, is a mix of manzanilla with a carbonated soft drink and lots of ice.
Late night and early morning
The Feria de Abril is a constant celebration throughout the day, which is why many switch from wine to cocktails later on. There’s a healthy custom in the fairgrounds, well known by Sevillians, which consists of replenishing energy at night with a hearty broth with mint. When it’s time to go home, some people stop at the churrerías outside the fairgrounds to have churros with chocolate.
International cuisine in Feria de Abril?
Beyond the traditional Andalusian dishes, the Feria de Sevilla also offers a wide variety of international cuisines. In recent years, the fairgrounds have welcomed food trucks and stalls offering cuisine from all around the world. From sushi to tacos, and from burgers to kebabs, there’s something for everyone at the Feria.
In addition to the food, the Feria de Sevilla is also known for its vibrant and colorful atmosphere. The fairgrounds are decorated with colorful paper lanterns and bunting, creating a festive and joyful atmosphere. Men and women dress up in traditional Andalusian costumes, with women wearing flamenco dresses and men wearing suits and hats.
The Feria de Sevilla is not just a place to enjoy delicious food and drink, but also a place to experience the rich culture and traditions of Andalusia. Flamenco music and dance are an integral part of the Feria, and there are many casetas (marquees) where people gather to dance and sing. It’s a celebration of life, of love, and of friendship, where everyone is welcome to join in and have fun.
If you’re planning a trip to Seville, the Feria de Sevilla is an event not to be missed. It’s a unique and unforgettable experience, where you can immerse yourself in the culture, traditions, and gastronomy of Andalusia. From the seafood dinner on the first night to the hearty broth with mint at the end of the night, and from the cold beers and manzanilla to the delicious desserts, the Feria de Sevilla offers a culinary journey like no other.
The Feria de Sevilla is an incredible event that celebrates the best of Andalusian culture and gastronomy. The fairgrounds are filled with delicious food, cold drinks, and lively music, creating an atmosphere that is both festive and welcoming. It’s a place where people come together to celebrate life and enjoy each other’s company. If you have the opportunity to visit Seville during the Feria de Sevilla, don’t miss it. It’s an experience you won’t forget.
When is the Feria de Abril?
This well-known and lively fair takes place at the fairgrounds of Los Remedios neighborhood in Seville, one or two weeks after Easter. It is the most important fair celebrated in Andalusia. In fact, this year there will be more than 1,000 booths and will occupy an area of around 450,000 square meters, a similar surface to that of the attractions. Learn more through the official website of Feria de Sevilla
Prepare the feria de Abril in your kitchen!
Pescaito frito: fried fish
This dish gives its name to the opening night of Saturday to Sunday, “La noche del pescaíto” (The night of the fried fish). Pescaíto is a simple dish that can be found in every corner of Andalusia, where it is customary to eat fried fish such as pijotas, anchovies, hake, and squid.
The trick to getting a pescaíto worthy of an Andalusian is that the flour is not refined, and that the oil is very hot, as well as the fish being obviously as fresh as possible. As a result, we can enjoy a very crispy bite on the outside and at the same time tender on the inside: a true explosion of flavor and texture.
To accompany this masterpiece, there is nothing better than dipping it in a smooth sauce with a touch of acidity.
It’s the perfect summer dish. This healthy, refreshing, and easy-to-make soup is a real treat! With finely chopped vegetables, a drizzle of oil, or some toasted bread, it’s always a delight to savor this cold soup!
When talking about Andalusian gazpacho, one cannot overlook Cordoba’s salmorejo. Salmorejo has gained many fans, and its recipe is based on tomatoes, bread, oil, garlic, hard-boiled eggs, and serrano ham.
This dish is one of the oldest known recipes, based on the simple “mashing” of foods, or crushing them until they’re fully blended. The earliest versions of salmorejo didn’t include tomatoes, making it ‘white salmorejo.’ It wasn’t until the early 20th century that tomatoes were added to the recipe, giving it the characteristic red color it has today.
In Andalusia, there is a wide variety of stews. But you cannot visit the April Fair without trying the venison stew, the popular oxtail stew (image below), or the “potaje de vigilia,” Potaje de vigilia is a traditional Andalusian dish typically served during the Lenten season leading up to Easter. It is a hearty stew made with chickpeas, salt cod, spinach, and other vegetables such as potatoes, onions, and garlic. The name “vigilia” refers to the vigil or fast observed on Ash Wednesday and Fridays during Lent, where meat is traditionally avoided.
which makes it stand out two weeks before the April Fair due to the tradition of not eating meat during Holy Week. The dish has a long history in Andalusian cuisine, and its preparation may vary slightly depending on the region or personal preference. It is a filling and nutritious dish, a perfect comforting meal after a long day at la feria.
Rebujito is made by mixing manzanilla or fino sherry with lemon-lime soda, typically Sprite or 7-Up, and served over ice. The result is a refreshing, slightly sweet, and slightly acidic drink that is perfect for the hot Andalusian climate. Rebujito is often consumed in large quantities during the Feria de Abril, where it is the drink of choice for many revelers. It is also popular at other festivals and events throughout Andalusia, and is considered an essential part of the region’s cultural and gastronomic heritage.
Buñuelos and churros
To end the fair and on the way home, there is nothing better than some buñuelos or churros with chocolate.
Churros, made from a dough made of wheat flour, water, oil, and salt, can have a straight or bow-shaped form. It is customary to dip them in chocolate, and their popularity makes them perfect for any time of the day: to start the day with energy in the morning, to end a night of partying, or to have an afternoon snack with the little ones. And with this sweet bite, I bid you goodbye till our next article on Spanish food and gastronomy.