Boda a la Española: La Prueba

I just arrived last week, and we’ve been hard at work with wedding “things.” Although it’s not as time-consuming as planning a wedding in the States, there are a lot of little errands to run, things to buy, people to see … it can get overwhelming. But yesterday was different—yesterday was “la prueba del menú.”


Our wedding party (really, is there any other part?) is being held at nearby hotel, located about a ten-minute drive away from Zamora (the city). We received a menu, full of delicious-sounding dishes and were told to select three of each category to try: appetizers, fish, sorbets, meat, and desserts. Yes, if you are unfamiliar with Spanish weddings, there is usually a meat dish and a fish dish. Carnivores much?

Here’s what we chose to try (with our final choice having the three asterisks by its name):

Entrantes (Hors d’oeuvres)

There was no need to pick; we get them all. They were very varied, and it was hard to say which one I liked best, but it was probably the one with smoked salmon.


Included: little cups of salmorejo (which had too much paprika), cups of yogurt with honey and walnuts, smoked salmon canapés, sausages, and so many other things I don’t even know how to name.

Aperitivo (Appetizer)

  1. Langostinos sobre lecho de cebolla caramelizada al aroma de armarnac. (Prawns on a bed of caramelized onions flavored with armarnac [type of cognac].)
  2. ***Hojaldre relleno de esparragos trigueros y salmón con salsa holandesa. (Puff pastry filled with wild asparagus and salmon with hollandaise sauce.) ***
  3. Vieira gratinada rellena de gambas, con virutas de jamon. (Scallop gratin shrimp with shavings of ham.)


Pescado (Fish)

  1. ***Rodaballo al horno con verduritas, salsa de carbineros y patata panadera. (Baked turbot with vegetables, Carbinero sauce, and golden potato rounds.) ***
  2. Rape en salsa cántabra con almejas. (Monkfish in Cantabrian sauce with clams.) <—Apparently, this dish is very successful as of late, so the guy in charge suggested we try it.
  3. Rodaballo al horno con salsa de mostaza y cebolla caramelizada. (Baked turbot in a mustard sauce, served with caramelized onions.)
  4. Merluza rellena de txangurro en salsa de almendras y apio con gambas. (Hake stuffed with crab sauce in an almond-celery sauce with shrimp.)


Picture of the merluza at the left and the monkfish at the right.

Sorbete (Sorbet)

  1. Limón. (Lemon.)
  2. ***Mango. (Mango.) ***
  3. Mandarina. (Mandarin orange.)

Carne (Meat)

  1. ***Lechazo asado con ensalada. (Roast lamb with salad.) ***
  2. Milhojas de solomillo y foie gratinado con salsa holandesa, hongos y verduras. (Steak tenderloin millefeuille and foie gras, served with hollandaise sauce, mushrooms, and vegetables.)
  3. Solomillo de ternera alistana al Pedro Ximénez. (Tenderloin steak with Pedro Ximénez.)

Postre (Dessert)

  1. Tarta de las monjas y helado de tulipa nata nuez. (The nuns’ cake with walnut ice cream.)
  2. Tarta del convento y helado de tulipa nata nuez. (The convent cake with walnut ice cream.)
  3. ***Texturas de tres chocolates con helado de toffee. (Cake with three chocolate layers, served with toffee ice cream.) ***


Picture of the tarta de las monjas.


And of course, it was accompanied by wine. Cheers to July 7, 2012!

40 thoughts on “Boda a la Española: La Prueba

  1. July 7!!! You guys are power wedding-planners. Talk about a fast turnaround. Enhorabuena, the food looks delicious, and I hope you’re enjoying being back on this side of the Atlantic… well, I’m sure you are, but you know.

    1. Thank you. Mario is the real power wedding planner. Or maybe it’s his mother. All I know is I just do what they say, and it’s pretty stress free so far!

    1. Yep! I hope you all like turbot, even if it sounds horrid! Mario reminds me that “rodaballo” doesn’t sound good either. But it tastes good!

  2. I hope you’re enjoying your return to Spain!Good luck with your wedding planning (everything looks delish, by the way), this post reminded me that I should really work on my fish vocabulary… It’s something that I never learned for some reason, and makes me feel kind of stupid whenever it comes up. At least I know “turbot” now thanks to you :)

    1. Haha, fish vocabulary! I admit, I didn’t know what rodaballo was. I looked it up. Merluza I did know, as it’s the commonest fish here, thus why Mario’s mom recommended we not pick it, calling it “corriente.” But fish/meat vocabulary is hard! I’m always asking Mario what a certain fish/meat dish is!

      1. Te espero mucha suerte con todo y felicidades! Estoy casada ya 25 años con un hombre armenio…entiendo los choques culturas y no es facil a veces, pero siempre superamos! Cuidate!

  3. I only did a couple of tastings because I didn’t want to got to a bunch of places to find a caterer. Now I wish I would’ve done more.

    1. In the US, I’m not sure I would’ve done it, but here it’s the norm. It doesn’t even cost extra … I admit, I don’t know how it’s done in the US. It’s been quite nice to let others take the lead, so I can sit back and relax, haha.

    1. Dearest Mother, as you can see one dessert has three stars next to its name. We chose that one. It wasn’t the parents’ favorite, but Mario and I held our ground. It’s delicious, but you probably won’t even want dessert at that point!

  4. I just ate and I’m hungry again now! I’m so happy you chose Mango sorbet. =) The puff pastry appetizer looks so amazing! Here’s what I want to know – what’s the difference between the nuns and convent cakes? Looking very pretty in your pictures!

    1. Hah, good question. I asked that myself. One had “crema pastelera,” which is like the cream in a cream-filled donut. The other had “nata,” which is whipped cream. Other than that, they’re the same.

      I knew you’d be happy with the mango. That means you’re coming, right? :)

  5. Very cool…and you’re making me hungry. Also noticed that you alternated between “prawn” and “shrimp”, how odd–you’re American, right? I am too and I’ve never heard anyone say “prawn”, always “shrimp”. If I’m not mistaken there’s actually a difference between the two, they’re not synonyms, but Americans just use “shrimp” to describe both.

    I’m a language nerd.

    Love your site, by the way, I can’t wait to visit Spain, and again congratulations on your wedding. You’re looking forward to the party more than the actual wedding? That’s awesome, my kind of girl! :D


    1. Really? I just looked up langostino on WordReference, and I got prawn. I figured it was best to differentiate, because a shrimp is quite small, whereas these were quite large! I guess you’re right, though; I don’t hear the word prawn very often. I too am a bit of a language nerd.

      The party is the part where you get to celebrate with your friends and family, so of course!

  6. Oh man that food looks amazing. God I love the menu’s at Spanish weddings, it would be so fun to do the prueba! You’re final choices look delisssssssssh!

  7. Hi Kaley
    I used to follow your blog a while ago, but then I haven’t been to it in a while. I was randomly on it today and I see that so many things have changed, you are getting married and you are back in Madrid! I want to say congratulations and I wish you the best! I live in Madrid (I’m currently working as an auxiliar, but I also work at a humanitarian NGO.) I’ve been living in Madrid for almost 2 years now and I love it. Although I’ve come to be very jaded and pessimistic about men, your story is refreshing and shows there’s still hope :). Besos, Tina

    1. Hello Tina, thanks for stopping by! Mario is a man among men, but there are many other great ones out there. I hope you find one, if that’s what you want, that is.

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