The gastronomy of the Andalucia region in Spain is rich, varied and full of the Mediterranean flavors and influences that characterize this region.
The mild temperate climate, proximity to the coast, wine and olive-growing, meat-curing and wonderful fresh fruits, vegetables and spices, nuts, berries etc, make the cuisine here justly world-famous. Certain products like raisins from Malaga, sherry from Jerez, olive oil from Sierra Sur and asparagus from Cordoba have been given special status in world markets.
Every area in this region has its own special produce like strawberries from Huelva, cucumbers, tomatoes from Almeria, sea-food of Malaga and Barbate, white shrimps of Cadiz, jamon or ham from Jabugo etc. Jaen, Cordoba, Seville and Granada are famous for olive-cultivation while Jerez and Malaga are known for their sherry and sweet wines. Additionally, there are year-round food festivals with different themes displaying the richness and variety of the produce of this region.
Some of the most famous Andalucian delicacies are:
Gazpacho: This world-famous cold soup is best made with Almeira tomatoes and cucumbers and has a medley of freshly chopped vegetables added to it. Served in summer, it is indeed a meal in itself, served with freshly baked bread and olive oil.
Rabo de Torro: Ox-tail stew usually served after one of the violent and exciting bull-fights in Malaga, and it contains meat from the bulls that were killed in the ring.
Huevos a la Flamenco: Baked omelette made from slices of chorizo sausage, ham, vegetables like tomatoes, onions or peppers and eggs, this is served in many tapas bars as well. It is a famous dish of Seville.
Pescaito frito: This fried fish dish is one of the most popular dishes in Andalucia, especially Cadiz. It is available all over the region in various forms, depending on the kind of seafood that’s used. All kinds of marine food like anemones, oysters, squid and octopus are used. The seafood is dredged in chick-pea flour, salt and spices and deep fried in olive oil.
Tortilla a patatas: A thick omelette made from eggs and mashed potatoes, this is a dish that’s served all over the region, with fried bread, peppers and various sauces. In many road-side eateries, you can get these tortillas served between slices of thick country-made bread and it is served with fried mushrooms, tomatoes, peppers and mayonnaise.
Sweets: The desserts here are rich and elaborate. Some of the famous sweets are Pestinos or almond pastry dipped in local honey, wine doughnuts, mantecado (tiny sweet biscuit) marzipan, turron (nougat) and a host of fruit based desserts. The region is also a famous orange-growing area so these fruits are incorporated in many sweets here.
Cheeses: Though Andalucia is not noted for its special cheeses, it does have some delicious goat and sheep’s milk cheeses which are served in tapas bars and after meals.
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