The gastronomy of Salamanca is the story of a cultural bridge between Castilian, Leonese and Extremaduran cuisines. Livestock, the wine industry and abundant fields of cultivation, especially cereals, are its culinary pillars.
At the beginning of the 17th century, the culinary importance of Salamanca already stood out due to the publication of the book by the famous chef Domingo Hernández de Maceras, The Art of Cooking, which highlighted the gastronomy of Salamanca.
However, despite its enormous gastronomic heritage and some extremely popular and delicious preparations and dishes, by the beginning of the 19th century, Salamanca's cuisine was considered "poor and cheap" compared to those of other regions.
Fortunately, over the years, Salamanca's gastronomy gained great importance thanks to the spread of its recipes, the interesting mix of flavours among other neighbouring kitchens and especially the excellent preparations and stews that crossed its borders.
Cereals, cattle and fishing
In addition to the extensive and abundant fields of cereals, whose wheat production translates into some of the best breads in all of Spain, Salamanca stands out for its livestock and dairy industry, which allows for the production of highly appreciated cheeses.
Salamanca cattle produce an excellent quantity of sausages. By-products such as sausage from Salamanca, “farinatos”, cured ham, chorizo from Candelario and “chorizo cular” are some of the most popular.
All these magnificent by-products are an essential component of delicious preparations such as “tostón”, roast suckling lamb and “hornazos”, a pie made up of a hard-boiled egg, chopped chorizo and pork loin.
Its cattle and goats comprise dishes such as “picadillo de carne”, “migas de rico”, “morucha” meat, the popular grilled lamb chops, lamb stew and roast kid. Chicken stuffed in Salamanca style and stews made up of turkey are also popular.
The land of Salamanca is very generous when it comes to river fishing. That is why trout from the Tormes river is usually the most consumed fish, along with cod, which is usually prepared canned in the Bejarano style.
Land with prodigious vegetables and greens
Something that empowers Salamanca as an authentic cradle of flavours is its excellent legumes, especially chickpeas, beans, broad beans and lentils. All of them are the main ingredients in a large number of dishes that are very famous throughout the region, such as its exquisite “cocidos”.
Among the most outstanding dishes with vegetables on the Salamanca menu are ham tips, broad beans in Salamanca style, stir-fried potatoes with chorizo and the famous “Calderillo”, a traditional stew of beef and potatoes accompanied by onion, bay leaf and red peppers.
Another highly appreciated dish is “zorongollo”, which has a strong influence from Extremadura cuisine.
Rice and salads
Like many other Spanish cities and provinces, Salamanca is famous for its rice dishes, especially “chanfaina salmantina”, which is made with poultry and lamb.
In addition, its exquisite salads stand out. Among them is the “serrano lemon salad”, made up of lemon, oranges, fried or boiled egg, salt, chorizo, red wine and olive oil.
It should be noted that Salamanca also has a small but famous olive oil production centred on the banks of the Duero river.
Sweets made with flavour and tradition
Salamanca has a rich heritage of desserts with highly appreciated and popular confectionery preparations such as the “maimón” bun, the yolk “chochos”, the rice and sugar “tortilla”, puff pastry and donuts. Thanks to almonds, very rich desserts are made. Among them are “amarguillos”, which are cookies made from almonds, almond nougats and caramelized almonds.
Other sweets include “buñuelos”, “repelaos”, which has a very particular flavour resembling “perronillas”, and marzipan. There are also wafers and especially “mantecados”.