Saint Isidore of the Farmers is the patron saint of Madrid and San Isidro Day is celebrated on 15th May. Here’s our food and wine guide to accompany the festivities, madrileño style!
You may be surprised to learn that the patron saint of Spain’s capital city was actually a farmer - Isidore also happens to be the patron saint of laborers and farmers. The day marked to celebrate San Isidro, a Madrileño born and bred, is May 15th. Here’s your food and wine guide to eat, drink and be merry - madrileño style - in honor of the city and its patron saint.
For breakfast or an all-day brunch, Madrid’s time-honored institutions are your best bet. If you want eggs, try huevos rotos con jamón ibérico, a dish created in Casa Lucio restaurant in 1975 and inspired by Lucio’s grandmother, who would salvage an egg that had dropped to the floor by cooking it on top of potatoes, with jamón ibérico as garnish. Or, Spain’s national dish, the tortilla de patatas - whether you’ll have it with or without onion is a contentious issue that is disputed among Michelin-starred chefs. What they can agree on is that the middle should be gooey! Pair either egg dish with a brut cava from Cava DO for the perfect bubbly balance!
A more alternative - but no less tasty - example of Madrid comfort food is the bocadillo de calamares where fresh squid rings are battered and deep fried and served in a crunchy baguette with mayo or aioli . This is fit for a saint, especially when accompanied by a coastal white wine, like an albariño from the Costa de Cantabria DO.
Hearty lunch or dinner options include the cocido madrileño - a chickpea stew flavored with meats like morcilla blood sausage and vegetables, simmered in a bone broth. Alternatively there’s callos a la madrileña - an aromatic tripe stew with seasoning, such as bay leaves and Pimentón de La Vera DOP. Needless to say, these stews go well with an aged tinto fino from Ribera del Duero DO.
Last, but certainly not least for San Isidro (and depicted in a royal commission painted by Goya in 1788), is eating cookies named rosquillas de san Isidro accompanied with limonada madrileña (a wine-based lemonade, garnished with lemon and chopped apple). Choose from four main types of rosquilla - las tontas (with little on top!), las listas (with a lemony yellow glaze), las de Santa Clara (topped with dry merengue) or las francesas (almond-based). Another pairing for these sweet, spiced and nutty cookies would be an amontillado from Jerez-Xérèz-Sherry DO. So let’s raise a glass to San Isidro!