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Not to be confused with ceviche, escabeche isn’t so much a dish as it is a marinade. Historically a means of preserving meat, it can be used with everything from rabbit to sardines. The marinade is typically a mixture of wine vinegar, olive oil, onion, garlic, pimentón and laurel. Of the most common are seafood escabeches; the fish is cooked and then marinated, for at least a day, deepening the flavors and imparting a slight tang. Mejillones en escabeche (shown) are particularly popular among the Spanish and in many cases are preferred to fresh mussels. Visitors may be surprised by the high prices of preserved foods in Spain, but pay attention, you’ll find that those prices correspond with products that are considered a delicacy. And if preserved seafood sounds unappetizing, ease your way in with the milder escabeche de perdiz, a gourmet partridge variety.
Where to find escabeche
Madrid: Serving carefully conceived of Spanish and international tapas, Taberna del Chato is a great place to fall in love with the Spanish style of dining.
Sevilla: La Pepona, with it’s quality ingredients, thoughtful preparation and innovative approach to making classic Spanish tapas should be on the top of your list of places to eat when visiting Sevilla.