Because Madrid was the capital of the vast Spanish empire, it absorbed immense influences over the centuries on the artistic, cultural and political levels. Its gastronomy did not escape this impressive wave of flavours.
Capital of flavours
In addition to being the centre of the Hispanic world, Madrid benefited from its geographical location, where cow thistle, olives, melons and strawberries found a perfect niche for an extraordinary explosion of delicious dishes that have made it famous throughout the world.
Madrid cuisine is also rich in vegetables and fruits that are essential in many of its preparations. It is here where we find world-renowned delicacies such as melon with ham and strawberries from Aranjuez. Likewise, acorns and almonds are the base of many desserts. Its chickpeas are essential in stews such as “cocido madrileño” and “judiones de la Granja”.
The Madrid menu abounds in pickled vegetables such as gherkins, marinades, olives and aubergines, all of which are very popular in tapas and salads.
Sea and land
After the reconquest and establishment as the capital of the kingdom, Madrid quickly became a place of great consumption of game meat and offal. This gave rise to a large number of dishes such as “gallinejas”, tripe, “entresijos” and “zarajos”, among many others.
In addition to its beef and pork dishes, Madrid is famous for its pheasant, wild boar, fallow deer and partridge dishes, which also developed into an extensive supply of sausages.
Although Madrid does not have a coast, it has many typical dishes based on seafood, especially cod, shellfish, squid, sardines and trout. These are all salted, fried and grilled dishes accompanied by prawns with garlic, in “gabardina”, grilled and in “malagueña” style.
Tapas and restaurants
Madrid's gastronomy goes hand in hand with its tapas and restaurants. The so-called "Madrid tapas" is part of its culinary tradition, and many of its tapas, accompanied by a good wine or beer, have become world famous. They attract a large number of tourists eager to try the fine and exquisite gastronomy of the Spanish capital.
Among its many tapas are grilled ears, “entresijos” and “gallinejas”, garlic prawns, cod croquettes, omelette skewers, squid sandwiches, potato omelette, “Pavia soldiers” and fried eggs.
The popular Madrid inns, and later restaurants, shaped the birth of an extraordinary gastronomic menu. The popular Madrid stew made with vegetables, beef, sausages and vegetables, the famous Madrid-style tripe, garlic soup, sea bream, Tio Lucas-style beans and San Isidro salad stand out.
It should be noted that in Madrid are many restaurants with the highest international distinction thanks to their exquisite dishes, prepared by some of the most renowned chefs in the world.
Fine pastries and an excellent catalogue of drinks
You cannot talk about Madrid without mentioning its exquisite sweets and its excellent-tasting drinks.
Since time immemorial, Madrid's confectionery has stood out for its interesting menu, which is usually served on very specific dates, either on pilgrimages or at festivals.
For example, its nougats, donuts, violet candies, marzipans and biscuits stand out, as do preparations made with chocolate and, of course, the world-famous “churros”.
The menu of drinks consumed in Madrid is also splendid, especially during the hot summer months. Madrid is surrounded by three wine regions with more than 20,000 hectares. This has made it one of the most important wine production centres, from which its famous red, sparkling and white wines are exported, all with a designation of origin.