Finding gastronomical inspiration in sunny Andalusia reveals unique and surprising flavours from the land and the sea. Whether you’re at a local tapas bar, stop at a chiriguito by the beach, or try a renowned restaurant, there are plenty of opportunities to experience Andalusian cuisine throughout the entire region.
The many traditional gastronomic creations, featuring local ingredients from the rich soil and the generous Mediterranean, and generously drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, are truly a feast for all senses, asserting Andalusia as one of Spain’s top foodie destinations. Here are just a few of the typical dishes:
Especially eaten in summer, this cold soup is highly appreciated and cools down the fiery temperatures of the south. Traditionally, cucumber, garlic, onion, pepper, and tomato are pound in a mortar. Later, after the addition of soaked stale bread, olive oil, salt, water and wine vinegar are added. The final touch is a garnish made of the same ingredients: chopped cucumber, onion, pepper, and tomato.
Fried fish, pescaito frito, is a staple on many a Costa del Sol restaurant menu. What particular fish it is depends on what local fisherman bring. Catches of the day, however, tend to include boquerones (anchovies), cazón (dogfish), and sardinas (sardines). The fish is always fresh and crisp, not oily. In most cases, it is battered and then fried in extra virgin olive oil.
Migas started out as breakfast leftovers but, over time, this ancient dish similar to North African couscous evolved into a popular lunch or dinner option. Made from a base of bread crumbs, it differs throughout the region, still often features bacon, sausage, olive oil, garlic and dried red pepper. It is best over an open fire or hot coals, giving it that distinctive smoky flavour.
Gambas al Pil-Pil
Prawns served with a spicy sauce are what the Andalusians know and love as gambas al pil-pil. The salsa is made up of a combination of garlic, paprika, chillies, and white wine. Cooked in an oven-proof dish, this starter arrives to your table sizzling.
Polvo translates to powder or dust. This soft, crumbly Andalusian dessert contains flour, milk, sugar, olive oil and nuts is simple but absolutely delicious. A traditional holiday sweet that is now available year-round, polvorones reflect the Moorish influence in Andalusia.
Cover photo from Visit Costa del Sol