A Taste of Andalucia a la Jienense
This province, known as a land of olive groves and designated “World Capital of Olive Oil”, is the region with the highest olive oil production in Spain. Many of the typical dishes of the region have their origin in the Andalusian cuisine of the medieval period. In addition stews were invented by the shepherds who populated the north and east of the province.
The gastronomy of Jaén is based on the Mediterranean diet, but within the province there are great culinary differences. In the north of Jaén we find dishes with great La Mancha influence; in the west, of Córdoba influence, while, in the south, there are similarities with the cuisine of Granada.
Being an inland province, Jaen is better known for game. Freshwater fish such as trout are also a local favourite. The best way to enjoy the gastronomy of Jaén is with a tour of the tapas bars. It is also worth trying a local speciality, bacalao a la yema (egg yolk cod), as well as the pipirrana (tomato salad with green pepper and garlic dressing), andrajos (winter stew), ajo harina (cod and potato stew) and pollo a la secretaria (a famous chicken dish from Alcalá la Real).
For sweet treats, the bollo de higo (figgy bread) is a firm favourite, known for reducing cholesterol and high in energy. Another traditional dish, believe it or not, is the Jaén version of île flottante (floating islands), known here as huevos moles. If visiting during Holy Week, it is likely you will see panetes everywhere, dumplings in orange and cinnamon syrup. However, if you are looking for an interesting beverage to either try or take home as a gift for friends, then look into a bottle of locally produced anís or resol liqueurs.