The Art of the Croqueta

I have been in Sevilla for almost a month now, and whenever my friends and I go out to dinner one thing remains constant: we look to see if the restaurant offers croquetas.

Croquetas, or in English (and French), Croquettes are small, fried mouthfuls of heaven. The base is similar to a bechemel sauce, although the Spanish use olive oil instead of butter. Flour, spices and meat is added to the hot oil and once the mixture is cooled, you add eggs, form them into logs or balls, coat them in egg and bread crumbs and fry. Most croquetas are made with Spanish jamón (Iberico ham), but can also be made with bacalao (cod), chicken or shrimp. My favorite is the jamón.

Anyway, as my friends and I begin to scan a traditional tapas menu in Sevilla, las croquetas (or lackthereof) always catch our eye. We have been in search of  Sevilla’s best croqueta, using the following criteria:

1. Size- the bigger the better!

2. Texture- creamy, but with enough thickness that you know there is actual meat inside and not just milk and flour

3. Crispness- when you bite into a great crotqueta you need to hear the crunch on the outside but be greeted on the inside by a smooth filling.

4. Temperature- piping hot, please!

5. Dipping sauce- a perfect croqueta doesn’t need a dipping sauce because the it should be flavorful enough, but it is never a bad accompaniment, and could make or break the dish overall

I am hoping to find the “Ultimate Croqueta” by the time I return to the United States, and will review and describe in detail when I do. Until then, feast your eyes (pun intended) on some images of typical croquetas, and check out a classic croqueta recipe here (in English!). They are not the prettiest things to photograph, but thanks to Google Images I’d day these ones are pretty mouthwatering

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