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Gastronomy

Gastronomy

Andalucia's gastronomy is finally starting to get the adulation it deserves. Of course, those who are familiar with its outstanding piggy, fishy and veggie dishes will already have their own preferred delicacies. Here we offer a geo-mapped list compiled from your suggestions.

The crumbly Christmas cookies collectively known as mantecados, which you will see in the months leading up to Christmas, individually wrapped and sold either by weight, or in a box, are made in a town located in the eastern part in Seville province, Estepa.

In a few decades, Almeria’s gastronomy has undergone a spectacular transformation. From rather scarce products from the land and sea, it has passed to intensive agricultural production and, finally, to products of extraordinary quality that are exported all over the world.

London-based restaurateur Jose Pizarro takes us through his favourite dishes from the region. Originally from Extremadura, the region just to the north-west of Andalucia, Jose Pizarro is a restaurateur with three restaurants in south-east London and the City, and a pub in Surrey. He has already published books on Basque Country and Catalan cuisine, and in this volume we get the full gamut of Andalucian cooking, with its extraordinary range of local ingredients thanks to the fertile soil and bountiful seas.

Carmona is involved in the 'Ruta de la Tapa', a gastronomic tapa route to promote Andalusian cuisine. Restaurants involved in the route are signposted with a blue and white tile with the logo of the city. Typical dishes to try include sopa de picadillo (stock with jam and egg), caracoles (snails), migas (fried bread).

The area of wine production known as the Serrania de Ronda forms part of the DO Sierras of Malaga, producing what are popularly known as 'the Ronda Wines'. Here modern bodegas at over 750m altitude in the Serrania de Ronda produce young red wines from Romé, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Petit Verdot and Tempranillo. Their white wine varieties include Chardonnay, Macabeo, Colombard and Sauvignon Blanc.

Spanish bread is normally bought on a daily basis, fresh from the local bakeries throughout the region. Village bread is known as "pan cateto" and is absolutely delicious. On a Spanish night out many revelers will pop by the village bakery in the early hours, lured by the aromas of freshly baked village bread.

There are few better ways to learn about Andalucia than through its food, with all the fabuous local produce available, from the Sierra de Huelva's pure-bred acorn-fed free-range pork (cerdo iberico, which is made into the famous jamon iberico) to the unparalleled selection of mariscos (seafood) on the Costa de la Luz, salmorejo (thick cold tomato soup) from Cordoba, wild mushrooms in the Sierra de Grazalema, olive oil from Jaen.

As you travel along the mountain road from Granada, the white village which appears below in the valley, with its high-towered castle-church, resembles a ship sailing across a rolling sea of bushy, low-lying, gnarled trees... those trees that produce the cholesterol-free green gold which all the world desires.

Few things can beat Sherry as a pre-meal aperitif. Ever since Sir Francis Drake ransacked the port of Cádiz in 1587 and made off with 3,000 barrels of Sherry, the British have been addicted to the stuff, and continue to be the main international clients.

Andalucia has a long history of winemaking and produces several interesting and taste-worthy products you’re sure to enjoy.

With a wine-making tradition spanning more than 2000 years and with more vineyard acreage than any other country in the world, Spain is producing wines of increasingly good quality. There are excellent reds from traditional areas such as Rioja and Navarre, and also from emerging wine-growing regions such as Ribera del Duero and Somontano.

The pigs of Andalucia also contribute to the making of sausages, with red chorizo and black morcilla being the best-known. The villages in the vicinity of Ronda and Antequera (Málaga) are renowned for their sausages. Sausages, along with pulses, potatoes and vegetables go into hearty stews and soups that are winter fare.

Almond trees and the nuts they bear are an integral part of life in Andalucia. While the countryside is dotted with almond groves, kitchens throughout the region make use of creamy almonds for soups, meat dishes, pastries and seasonal treats.


Oranges are big business in Spain, with the eastern province of Valencia topping the charts in production. However, the “naranjo” (orange tree), its blossoms and its fruits have a long tradition in Andalucia with Moorish poets singing their praises in Islamic Spain and historians reminding us that these trees were also valued by Greeks and Romans who surely cultivated them in their Iberian colonies.