SPOON AND LADLE DISHES

Top 10

Reading the menu in a Murcia bar or restaurant can be, to say the least, perplexing for a foreigner. You could submit the waiter to an intensive questioning, play eenie meenie miney moe or have a look at our glossary, but really don't worry! Whatever you choose, it's sure to be the right decision.

01

SPOON AND LADLE DISHES

ARROZ CON HABICHUELAS OR EMPEDRADO

Those who aren't fans of meat are in luck. In Murcia we have dishes composed completely of vegetables (and minerals), just like this one. Traditionally made in the cold high fields, this dish contains beans, rice, tomato, garlic, onion, peppers and potato, and will leave you with a full stomach and a smile on your face.

02

SPOON AND LADLE DISHES

CALDO DE PELOTAS

This consists of a light chicken broth served in a small bowl and accompanied by reasonably sized meatballs made from chicken, pork and local embutidos (cold meat) which give it an exquisite flavour. It should be eaten when it's steaming, perhaps with a bit of lemon or even some of the Region's red wine sprinkled on top. Although it is prepared the whole year round, it is a typical Christmas dish and is great for warming you up during winter.

03

SPOON AND LADLE DISHES

GAZPACHOS

This is a stew made from game meat and snails and served on a wheat flour pancake. A typical of Jumilla and Yecla, this is a dish with a great deal of substance that should be accompanied with a good local wine. Other versions use chicken or rabbit meat instead which result in a less intense but nevertheless still exquisite dish.

04

SPOON AND LADLE DISHES

GUISO DE PAVO CON PELOTAS

Spoons come in useful in this slow-cooked stew consisting of potatoes, turkey and embutidos. The secret lies in using a meat that has little fat in the preparation of the meatballs so that they stay tasty and firm. Quality ingredients and lots of care go into its preparation.

05

SPOON AND LADLE DISHES

GUISO DE TRIGO

The recipe is always the same: high quality ingredients, with centuries of culinary tradition and lots of care going into its preparation. This is a filling dish whose recipe resembles other typical stews with their vegetables and spices but with an added bonus: tender wheat which has been previously soaked, giving it a similar taste to that of pasta. Mamma Mia!

06

SPOON AND LADLE DISHES

JALLULLO

There is a saying that goes 'toda olla es vil si le falta el pernil' (all stews are useless if the leg is missing). And so, following this ancient commandment comes this dish in which the main ingredient is pork. The slaughter of this animal, also known here as cochino or chino, apart from being almost like a ritual, provides numerous delicacies. Morcillas and longanizas cooked in flour, olive oil and salt make up this dense flour purée which is brought to life by the pieces of meat within. You just might have to undo the top button of your trousers!

07

SPOON AND LADLE DISHES

OLLA FRESCA O DE CERDO

Rice, beans, chickpeas, black-pudding and different parts of the pig like the backbone and trotters make this half-soup half-stew an authentic delicacy. It is said that this dish might have been created to expose the false converted Jews, but all we know for sure is that nowadays the only thing this stew might tempt is your palate.

08

SPOON AND LADLE DISHES

OLLA GITANA

Simple yet abundant with ingredients, this dish wins over all those who try it due to the variety of products it uses that come from the fertile, irrigated farmland of Murcia: chickpeas, Totana pumpkin, green beans, pear, ripe tomatoes and onion, all seasoned with peppers, saffron and mint. All of the flavours of the region of Vega del Segura on your plate.

09

SPOON AND LADLE DISHES

GUISO DE GURULLOS

Like many other gastronomy dishes from Murcia, this dates all the way back to the Roman and Arab eras. In this dish rabbit meat, typical vegetables of the area and serranas, exquisitely tasting snails, all go together perfectly. To all this is added gurullo, the curious name used for small flour dough balls which were used instead of rice in times when it was scarce.

10

SPOON AND LADLE DISHES

ANDRAJOS

Originating from the ancient ancestry of the North East area of Murcia, this typical dish was created during the Roman era to deal with the high amount of hares and rabbits that inhabited these lands. This stew's main components consist of these aforementioned animals as well as a broth in which fried tomato, peppers and onion are left to cook. Its interesting name comes from the strips of flour dough which are cooked with it and look like pieces of broken fabric.

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