Wondering what to eat at the Feria de Abril? Take a look at some of the best traditional food and delicious treats to try at the fair this April.
Take a look at some of the best foods to try at the April Fair this spring
The April Fair, or la feria de abril, is a festival to enjoy with all your senses. The sound of the music, colorful casetas and dresses, the feel of the fabrics, the noble wood of the guitars, and of course the smell and the taste of the fair's gastronomic delights wafting through the air. Because the April Fair is, and we speak with authority here, a perfect summary of traditional Andalusian food.
Is there a food culture at the fair? Well... the answer is "yes and no." The noche del pescaíto (night of fish) is a beautiful and delicious tradition. Before the fair really starts, attendees gather together to eat kinds of fried fish including anchovies, dogfish (a type of shark), hake and even calamares del campo (“field calamari”) which is really nothing more than circular slices of onion and peppers that look like calamari "of the sea."
Once the fair has started each caseta (tent) offers its own specialties with the commonality being that all the food offered is for picoteo. That is, small portions, practically tapas, ranging from gazpacho and salmorejo (similar to gazpacho) to the classic tortilla de patata, cold meats (sausages), etc. Of course all of the casetas also offer more robust dishes too, such as the “stew of the day”: oxtail, venison or Andalusian stew. But something that makes the fair attractive is the fact that you can eat a little and then take time to dance, chat and have fun... Picoteo (quick snacking) is perfect for keeping up with the energy of the fair! And this quick picoteo comes in many shapes and sizes: montaditos (tasty ingredient on a small slice of bread), cazuelitas (hot dishes like stews and casseroles served in small clay dishes), banderillas (pickled vegetables speared on toothpicks) and pinchos morunos (marinated meat brochettes or kebabs)...
But one of the most typical dishes is a simple stew broth. And it is a comforting treat to end a great day of fun at the festival... that is if you don't opt for something equally traditional such as churros or buñuelos.
With so much rich food to be had, it's normal to need something to quench your thirst. At the April Fair you can find everything from water to beer and soda. But if you're looking for a really typical drink, go for el fino (an intense, dry wine served very cold) or rebujito (a cocktail made with vino fino and lemon soda). Of course we advise responsible consumption of these drinks - one glass may be plenty.
We should note that there are some "controversies" when it comes to the food at the April Fair. All of it’s tasty, but some of it is controversial at the end of the day: there are people who consider some of the dishes served at the fair not to be very "Sevillian." For example, prawns and calamari omelets come from Cadiz, the wine comes from Jerez and Cordoba, also the home of salmorejo. We don't want to get into it too much, and we certainly won’t take sides; but it is good to know in case someone mentions it when you’re in any of the casetas.
Perhaps this list of delights is a little tangled but we wanted you to feel the flavor of the wonderfully bustling atmosphere at one of the most important, beautiful and fun fairs in Spain. No matter what you eat, the April Fair will always leave a great taste in your mouth!