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Friday, October 25, 2013 (read 669 times)
5 Good Reasons to Taste Salamancaby Phoebe
The geographical diversity of Salamanca’s landscapes means the cuisine varies between delicacies which originate in the highlands and those from areas of meadow and pasture. Despite this, Salamancan cuisine retains a simple and traditional core.
§ The Moorish rule has its roots in much of the food in Salamanca today
§ Salamanca is known as ‘España del Asado’, translated as ‘the Spanish capital of roasts’
§ ‘Hornazos’ pastries are a favorite among the University of Salamanca students
This beautiful baroque-style student city is a real gem when it comes to traditional Spanish cuisine.
1. Iberian inspired
Salamanca is Spain´s most important swine-breeding region and pork is the local staple. Salamanca’s delicious pork and beef-based dishes come from the Campo Charro region where Iberian pigs and cows are reared in extensive pastures; pigs are fed acorns which gives the pork and ham products a special nutty flavor, evident in delicacies such as ‘cochinillo al fuego’/roasted suckling pig. Other frequently roasted meats include lamb, veal and goat, as well as a special breed of ‘morucha’ cattle,which adds a distinct savory taste to hearty stews.Also, the cool dry air in Salamanca’s mountainous regions are ideal for producing delicious aged cheeses, the most famous being from the province of Hinojosa de Duero, found northwest of Salamanca on Portugal’s border. This climate also aids in the production of succulent melt-in-the-mouth cured meats, such as chorizo, salchichón and Iberian loin fillets, in addition to fruits and vegetables such as strawberries, figs and chickpeas. Additionally, Salamancan cuisine has been influenced by the popularity of gaming in the region, so seeing products such as hare, partridge and pheasant on the menu is not uncommon.
2. Enjoy classic favorites
‘Hornazos’ are one of the most popular delicacies in Salamanca during the Easter period; these salty oven-baked pastries filled with ham, sausage, bacon and egg are particularly favored as a snack by hungry students from the local university. Another firm favorite is Farinato, a white seasoned sausage meat with breadcrumbs, often served with a fried egg. Not forgetting the much-loved ‘Chanfaina salmantina’, one of the delicious warming stews found in Salamancan cuisine, made from rice, pork slices, lamb, sweet bread and chorizo pieces.
3. Spain never tasted so sweet
Salamanca is also blessed with a number of sweet deserts which have their roots in the Islamic and Jewish cuisine predominant during the Moorish rule in the region. Ingredients like almonds and honey are the basis of many Salamancan deserts, such as ‘amarguillos’/almond cookies, ‘bollo maimón’/sponge cake and ‘repelados’/marzipan, to name but a few. It appears that the secrets from Islamic and Jewish gastronomy have been well-preserved in Salamanca and are still very much present in the culinary repertoire of the region.
4. Wine and dine in style
In addition to the vast array of mouth-watering dishes in Salamanca there is also a significant penchant for fine wine, particularly in the wine districts running along the River Duero, as well as in Sotoserrano and Sierra de Salamanca. The taste bud-tingling savory quality of these wines is the perfect accompaniment to a meal out in one of Salamanca’s distinguished restaurants. And where could be better to begin than in the world-famous ‘Golden City’ of Spain? The magnificent Plaza Mayor, illuminating the evening darkness, provides the perfect backdrop to an evening of delicious Spanish cuisine. Serving some of the best food in the region is ‘El Pecado’. Situated directly inside the Plaza Mayor, this Salamancan restaurant serves contemporary cuisine but with its basis in traditional Spanish and Castilian dishes. It also boasts an endless choice of national and international wines which will make your jaw drop – and not because of their price!
Where better to go to sample some very special Spanish and Castilian cuisine than to Salamanca? The sumptuous Salamancan flavors are simply waiting to be discovered.
Keywords: salamanca cuisine, food in salamanca, traditional spanish cuisine, salamanca restaurant, spanish cuisin