Sierra Espuña
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Espuña gastronomy is simple and its modest components, wisely combined for delighting to most demanding companions at table. Varied and with natural ingredients of great quality, its distinctive characteristic is the flauvor of mixture of orchard and hunting, fruit, oil, flour... To speak of this traditional cooking is to speak of the domestic cooking and the Mediterranean diet, intimately related to the seasonal cycles and festive periods, as well as to basic natural resources.

The special dishes are "potajes": with meatballs, codfish, hinojo herbs and leaves of thistle, beets, etc, and the stews elaborated with season vegetables or rice with snails and rabbit, or the unique rice and mondongo-meat, one of the specialties from Mula.

In winter they emphasize the pork hand sauce, the roasted onion and the stew of meatballs, typical Christmas food in Totana; as well as the Gypsy Pot, with beans, chick-peas… And the Fresh Pot with pork meat in Alhama. The fried dishes with pumpkin, fried beets with dry peppers, the "collejas" omelette, wild asparagus omelette, garlic one, as well as sauces or "mojetes", "garlic potato", "garlic-tomato", soups and "jallullo" in Aledo.

When mixing water, oil and flour themselves properly in a frying pan, we have "gachasmigas", "talvinas" or the humble "Chamorro", typical meals of rainy days and, some decades ago, typical of seasons of harvest and beats.

With the arrival of the winter also the slaughter of the pig practices to obtain excellent homemade cold meat and exquisite "jamones". The slaughter day "fritada" is made: with green peppers, potatoes and fresh meat, bacon, loin, liver and offal. At night, and to finish the day, rice with loin.

With the arrival of spring and Easter, the gastronomy is provided by all types of fish, salt meats and vegetables. The "pipirrana" salad with tomato, the codfish cooked in all its modalities, "me-nestra" of vegetables, the stew of rice with fennels and broad beans, and the stew of wheat are typical dishes in these dates.

The summer cooking is lighter: salads, gazpachos and fruits of the orchard. Some characteristic meals are fried eggs with salty sardines and ñoras, tomato and pepper fried dish and paprika cake.

Desserts occupy an outstanding place. They are elaborated with natural products. They are ancestral recipes like grape syrup, honey syrup, quince jelly, fig bread... Or gornazos in Aledo, garabazos in Totana by San Marcos. In Christmas the most traditional candies are Easter cakes, great variety of rolls like vinegar rolls, egg ones, or anise ones, little cakes like mantecados and escaldados which have forms of moon, suns, stars, made by metal molds –reminder of which our Muslim and Jewish ancestors made–, orange cakes, aguardentaos, chicharron cake, jareros figs with almonds, torrás al horno, roasted milk, rice pudding, mantecados and Easter cakes, in Totana, the alfajores.

Many families turn into conserves or jams the local products, for which they are guided by old recipes transmitted gene-ration by generation. The result: pieces of orange, peach or pear that shine with own light on the dishes.

In relation to drinks, a traditional and typical drink of Aledo and Totana is the mantellina, delicious licor prepared with dry anise, water, honey and lemon.

The weekends it is typical to go the tapeo with friends: anchovies, Russian salads, chips with anchovies, dried salted tuna and roe with fried almonds, soft cheese decorated with olive oil and pepper, fried squids, all these accompanied by a good wine from Pliego or the neighboring cities of Bullas or Ricote

Sierra Espuña