Where to buy the best gazpacho, Spain’s summer soup classic

Spanish consumer body OCU has asked food experts to find the best gazpacho brands on the market, and repeated the process with salmorejo, an equally yummy cold tomato soup.

Where to buy the best gazpacho, Spain's summer soup classic
Gazpacho is an ideal meal for a hot summer's day. Photo: James Blick/Flickr

Chilled, refreshing, and delicious, a bowl of gazpacho is a must during Spain's sizzling summer months.

If you’ve never heard of or tasted gazpacho, the best way to describe it is as a cold tomato soup, a light meal that’s perfect for hot weather when you don’t have much of an appetite. 

The Spanish idiom “de gazpacho no hay empacho” – meaning “You can't get enough of a good thing” – epitomizes Spaniards’ love for the cold tomato soup, widely considered one of the most delectable dishes in Spanish cuisine.

Ask any Spanish grandmother and they’ll tell you the best gazpacho is home made, with countless recipes found all across Spain (scroll down to find our recipe). 

READ MORE: The best Spanish treats to keep you cool in a heatwave 

But if you’re short of time and want to try the best gazpacho available in Spanish supermarkets, a study by Spain’s consumer watchdog OCU, published in digital daily La Verdad, has ranked all 43 gazpachos on the shelves. 


First of all, it’s worth noting that the food critics who embarked on the study tend to agree with the Spanish ‘abuelas’ mentioned earlier, as no gazpacho brand got a particularly high rating. 

The three best supermarket brands were Chef Select Tradicional at Lidl, Aliada Tradicional at El Corte Inglés and Hacendado Andaluz at Mercadona. 

The worst, according to OCU, were Vibs Oro and Salsas de Salteras. 

The experts agreed that what was lacking overall in prepackaged gazpacho in Spain was more texture, due to them not having enough bread added to the mix.

They also pointed out that many brands were excessively vinegary, arguing that the Alvalle original and Bio Don Simón brands didn’t even taste of gazpacho.

Then there’s salmorejo, a denser tomato soup that often comes with a chopped up hard boiled egg and Serrano ham.

Just as tasty and appetizing on a hot summer’s day, salmorejo (seen below) is also very popular among Spaniards.

Salmorejo is similar to gazpacho but contains less water. Photo: Javier Lastras/Flickr

According to OCU, the best salmorejo brands in Spanish supermarkets are Alvalle and Hacendado Estilo Cordobés at Mercadona, whereas the worst are Santa Teresa con pan de pueblo and Alipende at AhorraMás.

The panel’s main criticism towards salmorejo brands was that they came out excessively lumpy.

If you do have time to spare and want to keep cool and well fed this summer, here’s a great gazpacho recipe to cook up.

RECIPE: How to make gazpacho


IN PICS: This is what happens when a town in Spain throws the world’s biggest food fight

Thousands of half-naked revellers pelted each other with tomatoes on Wednesday in the town of Buñol in eastern Spain, in the annual fiesta billed as the world’s biggest food fight.

IN PICS: This is what happens when a town in Spain throws the world's biggest food fight
Photos: AFP

A convoy of six trucks laden with almost 150 tonnes trundled through the towns narrow streets as teams onboard distributed an estimated 180,000 tomatoes to the crowds ahead of the epic squishy battle.

At 11am on the dot, the battle commences and lasts for one hour turning the streets into tomatoey mush and the walls daubed with seedy splats.

The iconic fiesta, billed at “the world's biggest food fight,” has become a major draw for foreigners, in particular from Britain, Japan, Australia and the United States Buñol city hall estimates that only one-fifth of the roughly 22,000 participants each year are from Spain.


Organizers recommend participants squish the tomatoes before throwing them – “the hit will be less painful” – wear old clothes and use goggles to protect their eyes from the fruit's acid.

Non-resident participants are charged €10 ($11.50) to take part and tickets are limited to 17,000 to restrict numbers and prevent the festival from getting out of hand. The town reserves 5,000 free tickets for residents.

Before ticket sales were introduced the food fight drew over 45,000 revellers to the town.

The Tomatina started in 1945 when locals brawling in the street at a folk festival seized tomatoes from a greengrocer's stall and let loose.

And after the tomatoey battle is over, the clean up begins.

READ MORE: La Tomatina: Everything you need to know about Spain's epic food fight fiesta