Millions of people all over the world have seen Extremadura but they don't realize it... Why is that? Because they've seen the spectacular landscapes of Los Barruecos and the region's historical cities of Cáceres and Trujillo in the TV series Game of Thrones. Now that we've situated ourselves, shall we discover its rich gastronomy?
This vast region of Spain, similar in size to Switzerland and The Netherlands, is located inland on the Iberian Peninsula on the border with Portugal. It's home to many of Spain's most emblematic products and has a culinary repertoire that includes game, freshwater fish, and traditional dishes such as migas de pastor (breadcrumbs cooked with garlic, chorizo and pimentón) and caldereta de cordero (lamb casserole), as well as fresh foods like fruit, vegetables, mushrooms...
The conditions in the southern part of the region are ideal for breeding Iberico pigs and for making 100% Ibérico acorn-fed hams with the PDO Dehesa de Extremadura seal. Peppers are grown in the northern part of the region. After they're picked and dried, they're ground into pimentón from La Vera, one of the favorite ingredients of chef José Pizarro, who's from Extremadura and is based in London.
Extremadura is the land of cheese, delicious ones like Torta del Casar and Queso de la Serena, soft cheeses made with raw sheep's milk, and the aromatic Ibores cheese, made from raw goat's milk. The region is home to exceptional lamb and beef as well as extra virgin olive oils, where the Manzanilla Cacereña variety is especially popular. PDO Gata-Hurdes and PDO Monterrubio extra virgin olive oils are highly appreciated due to the use of sustainable agricultural practices.
If we travel through provinces like Cáceres and Badajoz, we can sample excellent canned fruits and vegetables, traditional sweets, chocolates, and honeys, and also enjoy one of its magical fruits: cherries from Jerte. Lastly, a question for wine lovers: What is the winemaking DO in the region? DO Ribera del Guadiana. And an interesting fact: the second-largest cava producing area in Spain after Catalonia is in Extremadura, in the town of Almendralejo.
Text: Rodrigo García Fernández /@ICEX.
Translation: Samara Kamenecka /@ICEX.