The exquisite gastronomy of Granada is closely linked to its strong historical ties to its different inhabitants, who created a rich range of flavours that, like the region’s art and architecture, make it a special place in every way.
Another factor that has a very strong impact on the cuisine of Granada is the rugged geography of its mountain range. This translates into an enormous variety and richness of ingredients that allow for exquisite particularity in one’s culinary creations.
This rich variety is something that Granada has in common with Malaga and Almeria. That is why Granada's cuisine relies heavily on these areas.
From the orchard to the table
The Granada countryside abounds with many garden ingredients that have enabled the preparation of a large number of typical dishes.
Its green beans, almonds, asparagus and spices such as pepper and cumin are associated with pork and potatoes to create the dry broad bean “gazpacho” and “patatas a lo pobre”. Also noteworthy are “migas” with fried pork, “potatoes in glory”, almond soup or the popular “zalamandroña” salad.
Obviously, the referential fruit is the pomegranate, whose trees cover the territory and gave rise to the name of the city. Other notable fruits are persimmons, hackberry and quince.
Sea and land
In terms of both seafood and game animals, Granada offers delicious dishes that are representative of its culinary traditions.
Among its best-known stews are “migas” with bacon and anchovies, “saladilla” with broad beans (traditionally eaten on Saint Caecilius's day), the pot of San Antón and the Sacromonte omelette.
Of its meat products, without a doubt, Trevélez ham is one of the most requested and popular. It is eaten fried with broad beans or as tapas.
Other dishes are kid with garlic, “asaíllo” chicken, fried trout, sardine “moraga” and various preparations with cod. Among them, the “gurupiña” stands out. It is made with potatoes, flour, dried pepper, mushrooms and onions or chanterelles.
During the harsh winter months, it is traditional to eat “maimones” soup, a high-calorie stew that includes pieces of ham, croutons, green paprika and hard-boiled eggs.
Another very popular winter dish is crouton porridge and spicy porridge.
Sweets as elaborate as the Alhambra
Something that makes the people of Granada proud is its extensive and varied menu of sweets, which are so complex and enriching that they are worthy of the Alhambra and are closely linked to the celebrations of saints' days and the strong subsequent influence of the Christian reconquest.
Among the most outstanding sweets of its fine confectionery are sponge cake from Zafra, “moles” eggs from San Antón and “pestiños” from La Encarnación.
Likewise are “alfajores” from Albaicín, puff pastry from San Jerónimo, donuts from Loja, “tocinillos” from Guadix, “empanadillas” from Santa Catalina and the “homol” egg from the Hermanas Recogidas.
Other traditional sweets are the holy bones of the nuns of Santa Isabel, porridge, “pestiños” from Vélez and Salobreña, “soplillos”, Alfacar rolls, butter buns, “mohín” casserole, “nochenueno” of the Eastern Mountains and Almuñécar “merengazo”.
Granada's fine confectionery also draws on many of the nearby regional and provincial influences. That is why, among its extensive range of sweets, other preparations appear, such as “pionono”, a sweet that is typical of the population of Santa Fe and that Granada adopted as its own.
One cannot miss the sweets and preparations made from pomegranate, as well as other typical fruits of the region such as quince, rowanberry and hackberry.
Granada's confectionery also includes interesting mixtures such as toasted bread with cane honey and its traditional molasses.