In the last several years, food and travel have both become major passions of mine. That’s not to say that I have spent months on end travelling or hours in the kitchen whipping up the perfect meal. But I try to squeeze in travel at every single possible opportunity and I am constantly curious about food, always looking for the best places to eat and the best dishes to try. Since I completed my first food tour in Rome with the Roman Guy tours, I’ve been keen to explore other food tour options available in other countries and cities around the world. This is how I stumbled upon the Devour tours website which inevitably led me to book onto its tapas and flamenco tour during my recent visit to the beautiful Spanish city of Seville.
We booked our tour for the second night of our visit which was the third year anniversary for my boyfriend and I. So no pressure on what we were expecting from the tour! But in our heads, nothing short of wonderful would suffice for this lovely occasion. We pre-booked the tour before our visit which set us back €105 before we had even begun our trip but I was sure that the money would be absolutely worth it.
We started our evening by meeting at a popular square in the middle of the city centre. Our tour guide, David, was waiting patiently for his tour attendees with a smile and Devour sign in tow. When we introduced ourselves, we were greeted by a friendly Australian accent, certainly not what we were expecting for our Spanish food tour! But from sparking up an initial conversation before the rest of our group arrived, his expertise and experience of the city was almost instantly abundantly clear.
The rest of our group was made up of a trio of Americans who were all extremely friendly and more than happy for us to join their gang for the evening. Once our group was complete, we set off on our walk to the first destination.
In Seville, the city is very keen on tapas culture which means ordering a drink then one plate of tapas to accompany it. It’s a slower way of eating and pairs alcohol and food in an almost unbreakable bond. I love pairing my food with wine (obviously) but I’m not used to this slow process of ordering – I’m more of an order everything at the same time kind of girl so this was a completely new way of approaching dinner for me.
At our first venue, we started with a glass of Vermouth, a selection of cured meats and a famous style of Spanish sandwich. Previously, I’ve not been a fan of Vermouth so the thought of trying this was a little daunting! What I did not realise is that all Vermouth is made from fortified white wine. What I was originally expecting was a bitter taste but what was brought out was a much sweeter taste than what I’d anticipated. It didn’t even need a mixer – we were able to drink a whole glass of this straight and I really could have drunk more. The plate of cured meat that was delivered to our table was quite simply an impeccable pairing. Altogether, we had mojama, chorizo, chicharrones, cana de lomo . But my favourite of the first stop was the montadito de lomo sandwich which was essentially a pork loin sandwich. I could have eaten several myself of these incredible creations but forced myself to have some serious self-restraint.
We then walked to our next stop which was fully focused on sherry tasting. When we visited, it was International Sherry Week so it seemed to be a very appropriate stop. We had the chance to try two different types of sherry, mainly dry manzanilla sherry which works perfectly when paired with cured meats. This was served alongside some acorn-fed Iberian ham and aged sheep cheese. Although it sounds disgusting, the cheese was actually pretty tasty although I don’t think it would be wise to serve a large portion of it. Despite going into this tasting with an open mind, I can hold my hands up and admit that sherry really isn’t for me – it’s not a personal preference of mine but I don’t question the quality of the sherry as others in our group found it very enjoyable.
Then it was time to head to our flamenco show at a flamenco venue, Casa del Flamenco, in the heart of the city. Before heading into the show, we were told by our guide that flamenco was originally illegal, a dancing art that was founded by Gypsies. However, since then, it has now become very much ingrained in Spanish art and culture. Despite many photographs promoting this as an art performed as a partnership, much of flamenco is performed solo as it’s seen as incredibly personal. This is also conveyed through the guitar player and acoustics of the singer.
During the show, there was no photography allowed until the last five minutes so I was unable to capture the individual dances of the male and female but both dancers had a very different approach and style. This was a thoroughly enjoyable experience and I would recommend going to see one of these shows whenever you find yourself in Seville.
After the show, we were then taken to our third and final food venue. By this point, I was totally ready for my full meal. After taking our seats, we were greeted with a dish of olives a big glass of red Rioja wine. This was exactly the pairing that I needed after a long evening. We started with ox cheek. Usually, this would be served in a gravy sauce but at this venue, it was served with a light white, cannelloni style sauce. The meat was so soft and delicate, it almost fell apart. This was the best version of this dish that we were served in Seville as a whole.
Next, we were served cannelloni. Unlike a lot of other dishes of this kind, it wasn’t too cheesy and the sauce was incredibly light, despite a hefty amount drizzled over the pasta, and the meat within was impeccable. Of course, this was drizzled with olive oil which Spanish chefs do particularly well but did not taste overly greasy in the slightest.
But my favourite dish of the whole night was served next. This was a prawn risotto. Despite being deliciously savoury, it had a light, creamy texture that was packed full of flavour and paired perfectly with prawns. I could have eaten this dish again and again, and it was incredibly different to a lot of the other food that I would have considered ordering which I think is why I liked it so much.
Our final savoury meal was grilled bream with homemade ajoblanco and seasonal fruit. Cooked in olive oil, this fish was very delicate and tasted incredibly fresh. I usually stay away from fish that has too strong a flavouring, but this tasted meatier and paired with the sweet taste of the fresh fruit, it was sublime. I couldn’t have praised the chefs more for this one – it was cooked to perfection.
For dessert, we had a mango tocino de Cielo – a mango flavoured sweet egg dessert. This is a dessert which was created in the 19th century by nuns using leftover egg yolks and sugar but has become popular with the locals. Despite its incredibly simple ingredients, this was a very rich and flavoursome dessert which had a similar texture to a crème brûlée. It was very sweet but light, making it an almost perfect dessert – a lovely way to end our foodie evening.
Overall, we had such a lovely evening trying out lots of food at restaurants that we might not otherwise have tried or even found so for that reason alone, it was certainly worth the money. Some of the dishes that we tried were absolutely stunning and truly showcased the excellence of food on offer in Seville, leaving us both with a very positive experience.
I think we were incredibly lucky to have had someone as enthusiastic and knowledgeable as David lead our tour and I would highly recommend looking into Devour tours if you’re taking a trip to Spain. It operates in cities all over Spain including Barcelona, Madrid, San Sebastian, Seville, Valencia, Galicia, Malaga and Granada so there are so many opportunities to try a tour with them.