Gastronomy 

From caldereta to zorongollo

Extremadura's cuisine is simple and varied, its intense flavour and the quality of its typically-local raw materials have made it one of the most-admired of the Iberian Peninsula.

  1. Come to Extremadura
  2. From caldereta to zorongollo

Delicacies from Extremadura which you sop up with bread

Extremadura's cuisine is simple and varied, its intense flavour and the quality of its typically-local raw materials have made it one of the most-admired of the Iberian Peninsula.

Extremadura is a gastronomical and natural paradise that is sure to surprise you. Because a host of recipes inherited from olden times have been passed down from generation to generation to our days, and now delight us with their exquisite flavours.

The lamb stew or caldereta de cordero, for example. Originally a shepherd's dish, it has reached our times without losing its essence and become one of the region's most emblematic dishes. The basic products used to cook this recipe are lamb, liver, onion, garlic, red pepper, paprika from La Vera, oil, vinegar, water, salt, wine, a few grains of pepper, a slice of bread and a large bay leaf. In this case the pot where the dish is cooked is especially important, as the iron cauldron or 'caldero' takes its name from the recipe.

Another lamb-based dish is chanfaina, a speciality of Fuente de Cantos. It is said that shepherds used to prepare this dish when the lords ordered them to kill a lamb for roasting. The shepherd would give the best parts to the lord and keep the rest to make the chanfaina: sautéed liver, lung, heart, kidneys, tripe and a piece of skirt steak chopped into small, regular pieces, cooked with oil, onions, garlic, bay leaves, pepper, a chilli, a pinch of fresh tomato purée and white wine. If you happen to be in Fuente de Cantos on the last Sunday of April, you will be able to take part in the Chanfaina Festival, a Festival of Tourist Interest in Extremadura.

Zorongollo. At first glance it may seem like a simple roast pepper salad, but actually the recipe is actually more complicated than that. In order to cook them properly, the peppers have to be painted with oil, salted and placed in the oven until they are no longer terse. But it is much better if they are cooked directly over fire, on hot coals. The tomatoes and garlic have to be roasted in the same way. After roasting, they are placed in a saucepan and covered until they are cold, and then peeled and torn into strips. The tomato and garlic are crushed in a mortar. The finishing touch is the dressing, which is made of the juice from the tomato and garlic, olive oil (also local) and a pinch of salt. At this point all that remains is a little patience on the part of the diner, as the mixture cannot be eaten until 24 hours have passed, when the zorongollo has macerated.

 

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