When we talk about La Rioja, its fantastic wineries come to mind, but Riojan gastronomy is a true universe to discover apart from its wines.
To begin with, Riojan gastronomy is related to Basque, Aragonese and Navarre gastronomy. In Rioja recipes we find many dishes made with pepper or paprika. The region has always been abundant and fertile in certain ingredients and that has its impact on gastronomy. In the same way pastry plays a very important role due to the conventual tradition of the region.
Wine, as we have commented today, we will put it aside to speak more extensively about that unique Riojan jewel. The Riojan gastronomy, formerly not so well known, now has a privileged place in the kitchen.
Legumes are typical of this region, as a result we have, for example, the world-famous Riojan lentils or pochas. Other intrinsically Rioja dishes are thistle with almonds or lamb.
The Pastry is very important in La Rioja also called Golmajeria due to its Arab origin. The almond is often the main ingredient and in this region we can find the Fardejos de Arnedo or the puff pastry with almond cream from the Soto de Cameros area. Due to the religious and Jacobean tradition of the area, religious-themed sweets such as the hangings and the muffins of Santo Domingo de la Calzada stand out.
Riojan gastronomy is influenced by French cuisine that was gradually percolating along the Jacobean route. In this sense, the influence is in stews and stews. One aspect of Riojan gastronomy that we cannot forget is its taste for ingredients with cultural tradition.
In this region there are many thematic festivals such as the Chorizo Festival, the bread festival or even the vegetable days in Calahorra. Rioja gastronomy needs time to discover itself. We also want to remember the first edition of the “MAMA” Festival, which we celebrated in Ezcaray in 2019 and that this year due to COVID we have not been able to celebrate its long-awaited second edition.
Rioja gastronomy needs time to discover itself. It is not about a plate or two … they maintain a culinary tradition that is worth knowing. In a weekend we will not be able to cover everything, but we should try to try all the dishes that we can. Many are unknowingly on our menu of a lifetime. Caparrones … peppers stuffed with meat ….. stewed with red wine …. the list is endless and something we know is worth it.