Food for Thought 10 Favourite Granada Foodie Experiences
I’m sure you find the same thing, when you visit a place frequently you discover favourite things to do or see….or eat! Over the years of visiting the Lecrín Valley, we’ve accumulated our favourites too. So I thought I’d share a dish of some of our foodie specials with you!
Good things to eat in the Lecrín Valley, Granada
The delicious, cured goat’s cheese made at Queseria “Las RRR” in Maracena, Granada. If possible, we buy a cheese every time we visit Casa Tagomago. “It is an unpasteurized goat’s milk cheese of “Pata Negra” breed named Murcia – Granada, typical of our Granada landscapes. A cheese of very long maturation, despite this, the taste is somewhat creamy, with a wide range of nuances”. Proof of quality and international recognition are the prizes won by Las “RRR” cheeses over the past few year, among them Super Gold in the World Cheese Awards.
Where to find it – The cheeses from Queseria “Las RRR” are on sale in specialist shops in Granada, at their factory in Maracena and at some local village fairs.
A wonderful orange salad, widely served in the Valley and Granada, as well as in much of Andalucía. The oranges grown in the Valley are excellent and although most of them go to juice factories, the table oranges are used in a large range of typical dishes.
Remojón is made in different ways in different villages but we’ve become fans of the way it’s made in the Despensa del Valle in Restábal and in Los Naranjos in Melegís.
Peel and chop oranges in small chunks, do the same with ripe tomatoes, add some onion (more or less according to taste) mix together in a dish, adding some flaked, salt cod, hard boiled egg and black olives (these last 3 are optional) and douse with extra virgin olive oil and some black pepper. A lovely refreshing dish, a meal in itself!
For a different style of Remojón book a meal at Las Albercas de Cónchar, Maria Angustias prepares her orange salad the way it’s done in the village of Cónchar, with dried tomatoes.
Oranges and Cream
Not a typical local dish but another way to enjoy the Valley’s juicy oranges … and oh so easy! For a delicious, refreshing pudding:
Peel and slice oranges, place in a large bowl, cover with pouring cream and sprinkle liberally with grated dark chocolate, stir and refrigerate… and “Bob’s your uncle”!
Now this is the kingpin of winter dishes in Granada. There’s not a home or a restaurant in the Valley that doesn’t serve its version of this delicious, heart warming stew. Based on pork ribs, potatoes, fresh fennel leaves, cardoons, white or kidney beans, morcilla (Spanish blood sausage) and rice. We can really recommend you try it. This kind of soupy stew (cocido or puchero) is a staple part of all Spanish cooking. Made with different pulses, meats and vegetables, each region has its favourite or most popular. “Comer de cuchara” – “ eating from a spoon” is a way of life in the winter months in Spain. Ideal, as far as I’m concerned, as it’s the height of one pot cooking!
Both the Despensa del Valle and Los Naranjos serve Puchero de Hinojos as does Maria Angustias at Las Albercas de Cónchar, (by appointment only)… while you’re there do try her wonderful fried pumpkin. I really couldn’t say which of the 3 versions we enjoy most, they’re all so tasty. So we just keep on trying!
Another typical Granadan dish, not just served in the Alpujarra but it’s a good excuse for driving up to Capileira to try it. Really a version of bacon and eggs but, again there are many ways of preparing it. Pork loin and eggs with green peppers and potato; eggs and morcilla, chorizo, serrano ham and green peppers etc. We particularly like the Plato Mesón Despensa del Valle in Restábal. Fried eggs, local morcilla (Spanish blood sausage) and chorizo, green peppers and the most amazing patatas a lo pobre. These are potatoes cooked very slowly with onion until soft and creamy in texture. Wow!
A Star among Tapas
So often the simplest things are the best, don’t you agree? How about a tapa of Aubergines and Honey? You’ll find this popular dish on many of the tapas menus and we can highly recommend. Made with sliced, fried aubergines and drizzled with sugar cane honey. To try it at home find out how here: – Lite Bites and Starters
Churros con Chocolate
A world famous Spanish sweet treat, you won’t find churros con chocolate in Granada in the summer. An autumn/winter comforter, served in cafés and bars, for breakfast or at tea time, when the temperature drops. In the Lecrín Valley you’ll find several bars serving churros. For a special experience, go to Granada between 5 and 7 pm, to the Plaza Bibarambla, find the queue outside the Cafeteria Churreria Alhambra Café, you can’t miss it. Wait for a table inside, or outside on their heated terrace. Strictly speaking the churros are “porras”, thicker than the classical churro, but these are light and crispy and the chocolate meets any chocaholics standards.
Tip: try and avoid a weekend or fiesta day if you don’t want to queue for too long. Read more in our post The Best Café for Chocolate con Churros in Granada
Another sweet treat, this time exclusive to Granada, more specifically to the historical town of Santa Fe, just 10 minutes from the city. Santa Fe originates from the time of the Spanish reconquest of Granada from the Moors. It was here that the Catholic Kings based their camp in readiness for the final strike on Granada. And here is where the agreement between the monarchs and Christopher Columbus was signed. The Capitulations detailed the terms of royal support for Columbus’s first voyage to the New World.
But back to the sweetie goods, a Pionono is a bite size cake, first baked by local pastry cook Seferino Ysla in 1897 as a tribute to Pope Pious IX. Little did Seferino know how popular his creation would become. Visit their online shop here Cafeteria Ysla More about cakes and popes here:- A Cake Named after a Pope
Roscos and Danielitos
Next up are two small cakes not as sweet as the previous one but equally as tempting. Dunked in coffee, just delicious. Typical of the Lecrín Valley, you’ll find the roscos in the Panadería San Blas on the main drag in Durcal. We recommend the rosco de aceite, it’s lighter than the version made with lard. If you’re lucky, you might get some as a welcome gift when you stay at Casa Tagomago!
Danielitos, so named after Daniel, the pastry cook who created them at his baker’s in the village of Cónchar. Even lighter than the roscos, these resemble puff pastry, another perfect dunking experience.
Tantalising Tropical Fruits
Time for some refreshing fruit. What would you like? Mango, papaya, custard apple, kiwi, star fruits? No, you won’t have to go to an expensive, specialist fruiterer to find these. They grow just 30 minutes from Restábal, on the Costa Tropical. Also to be found in local markets and stalls along the old road down to the coast. Avocados grow in the Valley too, as well as the oranges, lemons, walnuts, almonds, pomegranates, persimmons etc.
Read more in our post Try some tasty tropical fruits
These are just some of the tasty experiences you could have on a visit to the Lecrín Valley in Granada. When you come we shall look forward to hearing what favourites you have discovered.
For any information or detail about what is written here, please do not hesitate to contact us. We will be happy to help.
First published by Susan at Casa Tagomago