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The Food of Granada – Part 2

We continue munching our way through the fantastic food of Granada and will taste even more delightful dishes that have helped to form the cuisine of this great historical city in southern Spain. We start the second part of our culinary journey with a dish called Olla de San Anton.

Olla de San Anton

A highly traditional dish of Granada and the region, the tradition begins with the slaughtering of a pig. This takes place at the start of each year around St. Anthony’s Day. The dish is thought to have its origins in the Spanish Civil War and that reflects the nature of the dish. During the conflict, times were hard for most people and waste was not only a sin, it could not be afforded as people fought over every scrap of food. The pig was revered as every bit of the animal can be eaten, and to go with the scraps after butchery, a stew was concocted with beans and rice. Some of the scraps of pork include the spine, tail, and entrails.

Cuajada de Carnaval

Similar to Olla de San Anton, this dessert is the produce of leftovers but in this delectable sweet the scraps were called mantecados which were Christmas sweets. These mantecados included olive oil, almonds, sugar and cinnamon. The dish also has its own special ceramic bowls that it is traditionally served in, they’re called Fajalauza.

Piononos

A dish that was created to honor a particular person, Pope Pius IX. Its origins are in the small village of Sante Fe and the dessert is a tasty and juicy sponge-like cake that has a topping of toasted cream. This dish is famous in Granada and you can taste it in the many street cafes and small bars dotted all over the city.

Jamon de Trevelez

Possibly the most famous dish/product that originates from Granada and possibly the best. It is a salted and cured ham that comes from Trevelez which is a village in Alpujarras. The meat is so special it was actually granted royal status when it became the private ham brand of the Spanish monarchy.

Trevelez is located high up in the mountains, 1,400 meters above sea level, and it is this air that circulates due to the curious weather conditions that dries the ham. This process imparts a particular flavor to the meat that is highly revered and makes it a jamon that is second to none.

The Jamon de Trevelez is delicious by itself or with some crusty local bread soaked in the region’s fine olive oil. But you can also find this wonderful ham in many of the other dishes of Granada, imparting its remarkable distinct and individual flavor.

Pan de Alfacar

This delicious bread has its traditions firmly in the Muslim era of Granada and is considered to be one of the finest breads in the whole of Spain. The bread has a slightly smoky flavor that comes from the hornos morunos which is a type of Moorish oven. Many of the good people of Granada eat the Pan de Alfacar as a breakfast, simply dipping it in olive oil.

The food of Granada is unique, surprising, tasty and above all mostly traditional, it has taken influences from many ancient cultures and added its own flavors and seasoning. The cuisine is revered in the whole of Spain and is a delight to eat when visiting the city.