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Del cerdo hasta los andares

This popular saying makes reference to the fact that we use up absolutely everything from the pig. From the head to the tail, there are many recipes that can be prepared with the different parts of an animal that occupies a highly prominent place in Spanish cuisine.

Let’s start with the head, where we have the snout, the cheeks and the ears, which can be cooked in different kinds of stews (in Galicia they are big fans of the “cachucha”, or head), in fried tapas or in a sauce. The brains and tongue are very important in popular cuisine. The more gelatinous parts are used for preparing cold cuts, such as the sausage made from wild boar or pork head. The dewlap is used in stews and roasts, and the lean parts of the neck are very tender and used for mincing and also for grilling.

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gastronomía curativa

When medicine for ordinary folk was merely a fantasy, it was commonplace for people to go en masse to convents and monasteries in search of the skilful healing arts of the monks, who treasured their recipe books. These included delights for the most discerning palates as well as remedies for the body’s ills.

Since the rules of the church did not allow them to open up the human body for diagnosing ailments, at least they could offer the sick a series of gastronomic or herbalist recipes to alleviate their suffering.

A recipe based on bull’s prick, fox’s testicles, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and cow’s milk cured King Enrique IV, which the royal physicians had not managed to do. A dish of sautéed mutton with chilli pepper, too, saved many a monk from freezing to death in his icy cell.

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Dieta Mediterranea

Everyone is well aware that the Mediterranean Diet delivers major benefits for human health and also contributes to maintaining sustainable farming and to protecting the environment. It is more than a nutritional guideline; it is a lifestyle and a cultural legacy that in Spain we are lucky enough to enjoy. In fact, UNESCO has recognised the Mediterranean Diet as one of the representative elements of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

This lifestyle proposed by the Mediterranean Diet can be summed up in ten points:

1. Using olive oil as the principal added fat.

2. Eating food of plant origin on a daily basis (fruit, vegetables, pulses and nuts).

3. Bread and cereal-based foods (pasta, rice, etc.), preferably whole-grain, should be present in our daily intake.


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