From Nature to the table
The Sierra de Aracena and Picos de Aroche is one of the best examples of how the best can be made of traditional cooking. The delicious home-made dishes, like the ones carefully cooked for us by our grandmothers, are one of the best ambassadors for the Region.
The fertile vegetable gardens which are generously spread all over the towns supply delicious tomatoes, potatoes, courgettes, aubergines, peppers, onions and pumpkins, among other natural delicacies. The great choice of vegetables available in the area is a perfect excuse to use them in all kinds of recipes. Either as a main dish or garnish, these vegetables are essential and highly appreciated for their quality and freshness.
Tomato and other flavoured soups, winter gazpacho, mountain ragatouille or potato balls are some of the best dishes made with vegetable products which now have their own section on the menus in most restaurants in the area. In fact, this demand for quality vegetable products has encouraged the promotion of an ecological culture which is becoming more and more popular every year.
Wild mushrooms are an important asset in the mountain region cuisine. More than five hundred species (edible and poisonous) grow all over the region, covering the countryside in spring and autumn.
Species like the popular Amanita caesarea are the indisputable queens of the mushrooms along with the Amanita ponderosa, Boletus edulis or Cantarelus cibarius. These species and many others are the speciality dish in many bars and restaurants and are cooked in many different ways.
The natural environment also provides excellent game hunting facilities, which from a cooking point of view means you can find boar and deer meat prepared in many different ways. The excellent game meat available in the hunting season gives you the chance to try delicious, innovative, tasty dishes.
When we talk about meat we cannot forget Iberian pork from the king of the meadowlands. Cured Iberian ham is a common ingredient on any good menu where you can also find exquisite charcoal-grilled pork or stews as well as cured meat starters. In this section, we can find cured loin, spicy sausage meat, chorizo, black pudding and other typical cuts.
Our gourmet food trip cannot be complete without traditional cheese. Several family businesses have brought back an old goat shepherds’ tradition by producing cheeses with unprocessed goat’s milk, which the experts have classified as among the best 50 in Spain. Aromatic cheeses or soft spreading cheese made with the same traditional recipes as always are the best advertisement for this product which is opening up markets all over Europe and even in the United States.
The dessert menu is even more appetising. Chestnuts are mixed with peaches, pears and an endless number of fruit varieties from the Múrtigas Valley.
If you have a sweet tooth there are many typical pastries and desserts to try: honey pastry twirls, pine nut tart, doughnuts, profiteroles, bread in honey, fried milk, quince jelly and other popular delicacies. Fine pastries are also baked traditionally in the patisseries of the area which are mainly located in Aracena.