If we made a list of the most important monumental cities in Spain, Toledo will be in our first place. This capital of La Mancha, south of Madrid, and once one of the great bastions of the Spanish empire, boasts not only a unique amalgam of buildings and historical monuments (Discover Toledo on foot with this priority pass), but a rich and varied gastronomy. In this post we discover, why city of Toledo is considered a food paradise and review some of the best examples of typical Toledo food.
Known as “The Imperial City” for having housed the court of Charles I of Spain (V of Germany), Toledo is today one of the most tourist destination in Spain, with an impressive history. This city was also declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986.
Almost a million tourists stay overnight in Toledo and its narrow streets seem designed for them: it is impossible to walk 100 meters without finding a store of swords, marzipan or typical products, many created for tourists. The same goes for food lovers and restaurants: the “regional menu” can conquer a Guiri, but is there anything truly authentic in the city? Learn more about suprising facts about Toledo in this book by Rick Steves. Now lets explore Toledo through its amazing gastronomy….
Top 5 most typical dishes of Toledo gastronomy
The truth is that Toledo has a great culinary tradition. It was there that, in fact, the first cooking treatise in Spanish was published, The Ruperto de Nola’s Book of Stews, in 1529. The four books of the Art of Confectionery were published in 1592 and written by Miguel de Baeza.
Today, fortunately, the kitchen has little to do with what was prepared in the sixteenth century, but Toledo preserves a series of traditional dishes that you must try if you are visiting this historical city.
The cuisine of Toledo is strongly influenced by its surroundings, which is none other than mountains with a huge hunting tradition. That is why in its restaurants we find hunting dishes of all kinds -such as the pickled partridge, the rabbit with garlic or the torta de gazpacho -, but among all the stewed partridge stands out, one of the most popular dishes in the Toledan Kitchens.
This partridge is prepared in a stew with garlic, onion, laurel, vinegar and aromatic herbs such as saffron or thyme. It is served very hot. It is also known as “perdigones” or “Shot (pellet)”,in reference to being hunted dish.One excellent restaurant renowned for its patridge dish is Venta de Aires.This only centennial restaurant located in Toledo is not cheap with average prices of about €25 per person.You can reserve here.
One of the most typical dishes of Toledo that is barely crossed the Tagus. It is a stew of lean pork meat with tomato and vegetables, mainly peas, which reminds a lot of the lean with Andalusian tomato, but with a slightly spicy touch.
This dish is served in tapas or portions in most of the bars of Toledo, although the most famous is the one prepared in Bar Ludeña, where they also tell us the origin of this dish, since their customers were elderly “Carcas” and young women “musas”.
The Cochifrito is a very easy dish to make: it is pork meat cut into cubes and fried in oil with abundant garlic cloves, in such a way that it is very crispy and tasty. If you are ever in Toledo though, Meson del Cochifrito serves excellent rations of cochifrito.
Arroz a la Toledana
This recipe for rice is brutal. It is semicaldoso rice, which is accompanied mainly by mushrooms, chicken and lard, without forgetting a good base that incorporates garlic, saffron and pepper.
It is also optional to add sea products such as squid or conger. It is an abundant and delicious dish. The Restaurant Alma Toledana of Abaceria Hotel offers menus from €18/per person with this rice dish.
If there is a traditional dessert from Toledo that transcends the Castilian borders, that is the Mazapán. It is one of the most typical sweets in Spain, usual as must eat Christmas treats, even in Madrid. The mazapáns do not stop being a crushed mass of almonds with sugar, although there is a whole science behind its perfect elaboration. In fact, the resulting dough is sometimes used as a filling for other sweet recipes.
Tocino de cielo
Although it is a dish perhaps more typical of Andalusia, the tocino de cielo are common in many dessert menus throughout Spain. You can taste and savour this yummy dessert in most restaurants of Toledo.
In case you do not know, Tocino de cielo is based on a lot of egg and a lot of sugar, as well as water and caramel.
It is the quintessential river fish and a very precious commodity in Toledo. Trout has its best season during spring and here they are marinated previously with oil, vinegar and garlic, before passing them through the pan.
Do not fry them too much as they run the risk of drying up. Soft vinaigrette can be perfect to accompany and enhance its flavor. Keep in mind that this is a seasonal fish when you order in budget restaurants like Restaurante Palacios…
The typical cuisine and food of Toledo is based on strong and potent dishes, many of them designed to resist the cold winters.
These are our outstanding recipes of typical Toledo food. The province of La Mancha is not only one of the most beautiful in La Mancha, but one that boasts an excellent palate, so if you visit Toledo and its historic corners we urge you to spend a good part of your time exploring the culinary pleasures that it offers.
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