Almeria is cuisine is imaginative, autonomous, varied and original. Peppers and the products derived such as pimenton are the base of a culture that has reached our days. Pimenton is still served today in many restaurants.
Tapas are a culinary tradition in Almeria; they are free when one orders wine, beer or mosto in practically every bar in Almeria. There are a great variety of tapas: swordfish, rice (paella), marinade anchovies, fried squid, fried marinated dogfish, snails, grilled ribs, cherican (toast with many different toppings popularly pronounced as "cherigan"), potato salad, ratatouille (Spanish: tabernero, pisto and fritailla), grilled shrimp, grilled cuttlefish, cuttlefish in sauce, migas (typical local dish), vaporised mussels, mojama (dried tuna fish), gurullos (typical local stew), trigo (typical local stew made with wheat), lomo en orza (conserved: ham fried in its own fat), grilled ham, patatas bravas (potatoes in hot sauce typical from Almeria), potatoes with ali-oli sauce (olive oil and garlic), bread slice with varied toppings (sometimes very sophisticated), pipirrana (octopus with olive oil dressing and finely cut peppers), patatas a lo pobre (softly fried potatoes in olive oil, sliced finely with peppers and onions), fried fish, ajoblanco (typical from Almeria: cold soup with olive oil, garlic, crushed almonds, sometimes accompanied with melon or grapes), and many more types of tapas.
The tradition of Tapas
As the legend goes, Alfonso X el Sabio (the wise) in the XIII Century ordered that in the taverns of Castile, wine would not be served unless it was accompanied by food, so the alcohol would not go to their heads. The tapa (which means in Spanish "lid") would be put on top of the glass so that flying objects would not fall in the drink. The tapa accompanying the wine would generally be a slice of ham, chorizo, or other kinds of sausages or cold meats and sometimes a piece of cheese. Therefore the tapa would be placed on top of the glass or jug as if it were a lid, but of course full of food to soak up the alcoholic drinks.
Places to go for tapas:
1. Fishing port area. (San Roque Church).
2. Around Real Street - Trajano Street - Cathedral - Plaza Vieja. Reference: Fish Fountain (Nicolás Salmerón park).
3. Following Squares: Flores Square, San Pedro Square, Urrutia Square and Virgen del Mar Square.
4. Around San Sebastián Square - Puerta Purchena - Paseo de Almeria.
5. Around the Abastos Square (central market) and Celia Viñas High School.
6. Around La Rambla.
7. Around Cable Inglés - Sea Promenade.
Old home-made dish, very typical of Almeria, as Migas are also known in Seville and Castilla La Mancha, but they are made of bread. In Almeria, Migas are made of hard grained wheat. Migas are accompanied with "toppings": radish, herring or fish, blood sausage, chorizo, fried peppers and small pieces of fried pork fat. Migas are prepared in warm coastal urban areas when it rains and the weather is cool, so to add needed calories.
Los gurullos are an Autumn-Winter stew that is made in hunting season. It is made with partridges, hare or mountain rabbits. It is an artisanal pasta made with hard grained wheat, water and salt. Once amassed, thick noodles are rubbed together by hand in order to produce very small grain-size pasta. Then the pasta is left outdoors to dry on a cloth to make ready for cooking.
Pimenton is a typical dish from Almeria of humble origin; it originated in times of need in Fisherman neighbourhoods. It is a light, aromatic and healthy Mediterranean dish which is easy to prepare: first make the sofrito, lightly fry chopped onions, tomato, garlic and dried peppers (the dried peppers have been previously crushed with salt and cumin); secondly Separately, boil water in a pan with parsley, roasted and peeled peppers and fish and third add the sofrito and separate the pan from the fire, the mixture should not boil. This typical dish from Almeria can be served as a soup or with potatoes.
This is the most typical and emblematic dish in Almeria. It takes at least a day as the chickpeas have to be left in water and the shell removed from the wheat. Removing the wheat is done on the street lifting and letting the wheat grain fall. Once the shell is removed, it is boiled for half an hour, removed from the stove and covered with a cloth so that the wheat grains may continue expanding. The stew is made with a piece of spine, pig bones and tail, fresh fat and a hand full of fennel and blood sausage. There is also the possibility of adding beans instead of chickpeas.
Fish and Seafood
Fish and seafood have always been present in Almeria is gastronomy. With more than 200 kilometres. of Mediterranean coast, there is a great seafood variety: groupers, bogas, horse mackerel and red mullet as well as clams, mussels, shrimp, squid and cuttlefish. These delicious varieties of seafood become delicious "fritura de pescado" (fried fish), which is served in many restaurants in Almeria. Sweets and desserts The traditional sweets and desserts are still made at home and there are still many restaurants where you can be offered homemade desserts and sweets during high-season. At Holy Week, "borrachillos", "papaviejos" and "buñuelos rellenos" are typical and at Christmas: turrones, mantecados and alfajores.