ANDALUSIA — Traditional Food Profile

Flamenquins – Pork Rolls

One of the most diverse food regions in Europe, Andalusia, with its Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines and vast agricultural lands, has a rich tradition of indigenous foods. 

Throughout its provinces — Almería, Cádiz, Córdoba, Granada, Huelva, Jaén, Málaga and Seville — food production has very deep traditional roots. Long before the eight centuries of Moorish culture introduced aubergines, rice and watermelons among other exotics, the ancient Celts and Romans perfected preservation techniques that continue to define Andalusian traditional cuisine. 

Raw produce like almonds, anchovies, aubergines / eggplants, broccoli, cucumbers, grapes, melons, olives, onions, peppers, prawns, spinach, tomatoes, tuna, watermelons and courgettes and value-added products like ham, olive oil, paprika, sherry, vinegar, wine and various sausages (cooked, cured and fresh) have left an indelible mark.

The vegetables that Almerían growers continue to cultivate undercover, the pigs that Córdoban farmers continue to fatten, the fruit that Granadan and Huelvan planters continue to raise, and the fish that the fishers of Cádiz, Huelva and Málaga continue to harvest from the seas around Andalusia indicate a strong food future for the region, despite concerns about inclement weather and sustainable fish stocks.

Arabic (Moorish) food methods remain embedded in Andalusian traditional cuisine. Gazpacho was the Moorish term for the “soaked bread” method of preparing vegetables with garlic and olive oil for soup. Originally a product of Seville, gazpacho reflected the availability of local produce in the regions, where the soup took on local flavours. The Málagan version included almonds and grapes, while other versions relied on ripe tomatoes for the essential flavour.

The Arabic influence is seen in the countless confections that mark festive periods, cakes and pastries of amazing ingenuity and subtle lightness, like the “little pigs of heaven” reinterpreted by the nuns of Guadix in the Sierra Nevada. Made with the left-over egg yolks from the wine-making process that clarified the wine with egg whites, these confections epitomise the relationship between the people, their place and their produce.

The attraction of the Al-Andalus culture has prompted cooks and chefs to look more closely at its roots. Chef Paco Morales named his new restaurant Noor, “light” in Arabic, to describe this relationship. “The goal is to purify the Arab and North African legacy in Andalusian cuisine,” he said, aware that the produce associated with that culture is now indigenious to the region, aromatics like rose petal, herbs like cilantro, spices like cumin. The introduction of “long-forgotten” traditional recipes coupled with a reinterpretation – “the personal touch” – has given Noor a culinary edge that has not been missed elsewhere, especially among those who realise the significance of this knowledge.

Cadiz was the host, in September 2016, of an initiative to celebrate the culinary expertise of the region’s artisanal producers in a series of markets. Arcos and Jerez followed as the artisans took their beers, bread, cheeses, confections, hams, honey, ice creams, jams, juices, olive oil, pastries, preserves, sauces, spirits, table olives and wild plants on tour.

It is fair to say that Andalucia has an indigenous food culture rivalled only by Anatolia, with traditional food that is the quintessence of the Mediterranean, where the fresh produce is re-created in “living kitchens” based on recipes and methods coveted by countless generations of bakers, cooks and chefs. 

SELECTED INDIGENOUS PRODUCE

Albacore / Bonito + Almond (Largueta, Marcona) + Anchovy + Artichoke + Asparagus + Bean + Beef + Cardillo / Cardo / Tagarnina / Wild Thistle + Chicken / Field Chicken + Chickpea + Clam + Cod + Courgette / Zucchini + Deer + Duck + Grape (Moscatel, Palomino, Pedro Ximénez) + Hare + Mushroom + Mussel + Olive (Aloreña, Gordal, Hojiblanca, Lechín de Sevilla, Manzanilla de Sevilla, Picual, Picudo, Verdial de Huévar) + Parsley + Partridge + Pheasant + Pork + Potato (Papas Negras) + Prawn + Rabbit + Red Pepper + Rice + Sardine + Snail + Squid + Strawberry + Tomato + Tuna + Turkey / Field Turkey + Wild Artichoke + Wild Boar


SELECTED TRADITIONAL CUISINE

Aceite de Oliva olive oil

Aceitunas de Mesa table olives

Ajogañán aromatic potatoes with fish

Albóndigas de Pescado fish balls

Albóndigas Mozárabes en Salsa de Almendras meatballs in almond sauce

Alboronía aubergine casserole

Alcaucil braised wild artichoke

Alcauciles y Cebollas Rellenas stuffed artichokes and onions

Alfajores honey cakes

Andrajos con Liebre hare soup

Arroz con Chipirones baby squid with rice

Arroz con Conejo y Setas rice with rabbit and mushrooms

Arroz con Pollo chicken rice

Atún al Ajillo tuna with garlic

Atún Encebollado tuna with onion

Bacalao salt cod

Bacalao con Pisto salt cod with mixed vegetables

Batatas Confitadas candied potatoes

Berenjenas Califales battered aubergines in wine reduction

Berza Jerezana Jerez green stew

Boquerones en Adobo fried anchovies

Borrachillos aniseed pastries

Botifarra home-made pork sausage

Breca a Las Uvas sea bream with grapes

Caldereta del Condado country lamb stew

Caldillo de Perro fish soup

Carbón Dulce de Reyes “sweet coal of kings”

Carne con Tomate meat with tomatoes

Carrillada de Cerdo aromatic pork cheeks

Carrillada de Mamut pork cheeks in sauce

Cazuela de Fideos a la Malagueña fish and noodles

Cervezas Artesanas artisanal beers

Chacinas cured / dried meats and sausages

Chocos con Arroz y Habas cuttlefish with rice and beans

Chorizo pork, garlic, paprika sausage

Cola de Toro en Salsa de Vino Blanco bull’s tail in white wine sauce

Comida de Tagarninas wild thistle soup

Confituras preserves

Crema de Almendras almond cream

Croquetas del Puchero chicken croquettes

Destilados spirits

Ensalada de Pimientos Asados y Atún Fresco de Andalucía Andalusian roasted pepper and fresh tuna salad

Escabeche de Pollo marinated chicken

Espárragos con Arroz rice with asparagus

Espinacas Jienenses Jaén spinach

Fideos con Gambas prawns with noodles

Flan de Castañas chestnut cake

Gachas Pimentonas spicy porridge

Garbanzos con Langostinos chickpeas with prawns

Garrapiñadas candied almonds / pine nuts

Gazpacho Andaluz chilled vegetable soup

Gazpachuelo olive oil “soaked bread” soup

Granizados Artesanos artisanal sorbet / frozen fruit juices / purée

Guiso de Alcauciles artichoke stew

Guiso de Berza cabbage stew

Guiso de Tagarninas wild thistle stew

Guiso Pelotas meatballs and potato stew

Guitarras bean and vegetable soup

Habas con Jamón beans with bacon

Helados Artesanos artisanal ice cream

Huevos a la Flamenca Flamenco style eggs

Huevos Fritos con Espichás fried eggs with herrings

Jamón Ibérico Iberian ham

Jerez-Xérès-Sherry sherry

Longaniza spicy pork sausage

Leche Frita fried milk

Licores liqueurs

Lomo de Atún en Manteca de Barbate Barbate tuna in butter

Malagueño Ajoblanco cold garlic soup of Malaga

Mantecados sweet lard / olive oil cakes

Mazamorra de Córdoba cold almond and garlic soup

Mermeladas Artesanos artisanal jams

Miel Artesanos artisanal honey

Migas Andaluzas Andalusian crumbs (bacon, breadcrumbs, garlic and sausage)

Morcilla blood sausage

Morcilla en Caldera blood sausage paté

Morcón pork sausage

Ostras Templadas con Vinagreta oysters in vinaigrette

Paletilla de Cordero Segureño Asada al Horno oven-baked shoulder of lamb

Palillos de Leche milk sticks

Pan de Cádiz Cádiz bread

Pan de Higo fig bread

Papas con Chocos potatoes with cuttlefish

Patatas Chips potato crisps

Pescaito Frito fried fish

Pestiños festive honey ribbons

Pimentón dried red pepper / paprika

Piñonadas sugared pine nuts

Piriñaca onion, pepper and tomato salad

Potaje de Habichuelas bean stew

Perdices Guisadas stewed partridge

Pimientos Asados roasted peppers

Piononos de Santa Fe toasted custard sponge cakes

Polvorones festival shortbread

Puchero chicken, chickpea, veal and vegetable broth

Revuelto de Tagarninas wild thistle stems with eggs

Salchichón white sausage

Salmorejo / Gazpacho cold tomato soup

Tapas appetisers / bar snacks

Tapas de Atún tuna snacks

Tarta de Galletas layered cake with biscuit base

Ternera a la Sevillana Seville veal with sauce

Tocino bacon / salted pork fat

Tocinos de Cielo de Guadix “little pigs from heaven”

Torrijas de Semana Santa holy week fried bread slices

Torta Real de Motril royal almond cake

Tortas de Aceite de Castilleja de la Cuesta sweet olive oil cakes

Torticas de Avío anchovy, garlic, peppers, tomatoes tarts

Tortillitas de Camarones shrimp fritters

Turrón nougat

Ventresca salad belly albacore / tuna

Wine

Zumos Naturales natural juices


RECIPES

Alajú / Alfajor de Medina Sidonia (spiced honey cakes)

Adored throughout the Iberian peninsula, these aromatic cakes are a product of Medina Sidonia, modern Cádiz, made in the Moorish tradition following an ancient recipe. Associated with the festive period at the end of the year, they are now a daily constant and sold as small 40 g and 50 g pieces wrapped in wafers or as one kilo bars. The secret is not the method, which is uncomplicated, it is the quality of the indigenous ingredients, particularly the honey and especially the breadcrumbs. They can be made plain with honey and syrup mixed with breadcrumbs, ground almonds and ground spices, without the toasting process.

  • 450 g pure aromatic honey
  • 400 g white wheat breadcrumbs, fine ground
  • 300 g almonds, toasted, coarse ground
  • 200 g hazelnuts, toasted, coarse ground
  • 120 g vanilla sugar
  • 120 g water
  • 90 g almonds, blanched, peeled, fine ground
  • 75 g sesame seeds, ground / 60 g tahini
  • 30 g aniseed, ground
  • 10 g cinnamon, ground
  • 10 g coriander seeds, ground
  • Orange essence, splash
  • Cloves, large pinch

Syrup

  • 200 g sugar
  • 200 g water

Coating

  • Icing sugar
  • Cinnamon, ground

Combine almonds, breadcrumbs, hazelnuts, spices and, if perferred, the ground sesame. Heat the honey in a large pot. In a separate pot make a syrup, allow to cool a little, then add to the honey. If using tahini, add to the honey-syrup mixture. Add a splash of orange essence. Work the dry mixture into the wet mixture using wooden spoons. Turn out onto a clean surface, stretch into an elongated cylindrical shape, cut into rounds, leave to cool completely. Make another syrup, allow to cool, then dip the cakes in the syrups. Coat with icing sugar and ground cinnamon. Leave to dry.


Fritura Andaluza / Pescaito Frito (fried fish)

  • 500 g anchovies, whole
  • 250 g hake, cubed large
  • 250 g monkfish, cubed large
  • 250 g squid, cut into rings
  • 8 red mullet fillets
  • 200 g white wheat flour
  • 200 ml olive oil / sunflower oil
  • 2 eggs (optional)
  • 4 lemons, juiced
  • 10 g salt
  • Water, for batter (optional)

Season the flour with salt. Dip fish in seasoned flour, deep fry in 200ºC oil until golden and crispy. Alternatively, whisk flour and salt into the eggs and sufficient water to produce a thin batter. Pass fish through the batter. Deep-fry. Drained on kitchen paper, dress with lemon juice.


Flamenquins (pork rolls)

  • 500 g pork loin, cut into four equal slices, each one pounded thin
  • 4 thin Serrano ham slices
  • 4 thin cheese slices, thin
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 45 ml olive oil
  • Breadcrumbs, for coating
  • Flour, for coating

Arrange the pork slices on a wooden board, place a slice of ham on top of each one followed by a slice of cheese. Roll each one tightly into a cylinder. Dip each roll in flour, then in the egg and finally in the breadcrumbs. Shallow fry over a medium heat until brown all over. Drain on kitchen towels, serve whole or cut into thick slices.


Gazpacho (“soaked bread” soup)

There was a time when gazpacho was not blended and not always served cold or chilled. In Seville, where it was first introduced by the Moors, cubes of day-old bread, chopped cucumber, chopped peppers and pulped tomatoes were flavoured with crushed garlic, onion slices, paprika powder and strong olive oil, and perhaps a splash of vinegar – an ingredient not always favoured.

  • 1 litre water
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, diced
  • 300 g day-old bread, cubed
  • 300 g onion, sliced thin
  • 300 g tomatoes, skinned, pulp removed, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped small
  • 1 red pepper, chopped small
  • 60 ml olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 15 ml sherry vinegar
  • 5 g paprika 
  • 5 g salt

Soak the bread in the water until soft, blend with the cucumber, peppers, tomatoes, garlic, oil, vinegar and salt. Chill for two hours. Garnish with the thinly-sliced onions and a dusting of paprika powder.


Riñones al Jerez (kidneys in sherry sauce)

  • 500 g beef / lamb / veal kidney, soaked in 500 ml salted water for two hours, cut into thin slices
  • 175 ml dry sherry
  • 150 g onion, chopped small
  • 30 ml olive oil / 30 g butter
  • 1 tbsp parsley
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed, finely chopped
  • 5 g black pepper
  • Salt, large pinch

Sauté onion in the oil over a low heat for 30 minutes until golden brown. Add garlic, increase heat and fry for a couple of minutes. Add kidneys, brown gently. Add the sherry, simmer for 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with parsley.


SECRETS AND SOURCES

Print

Arte de Cocina (Art of Cooking) Martínez Montiño

Trade and Traders in Muslim Spain Olivia Remie Constable

Web

Culinary Andalusia

Andalusia

Food and Wines of Spain

Traditional Food of Cádiz