Region of Murcia: Mediterranean type of diet

2021-08-24 362 Views

Taking care of your nutrition has never been so easy and delicious! The Murcia diet consists of many delicious and healthy dishes. Here you will find recipes from vegetables and fruits which are gifts of local vegetable plots and gardens, as well as seafood from the local bay. Such food promotes good health and likewise convinces of the correctness of the well-known phrase “We are what we eat”.

Along with taking care of the body health and preventing excess weight, the Mediterranean diet helps to refresh the state of mind. Several studies have shown that this diet improves even cognitive functions.

Feel again the taste of life in the homeland of wine!

And what is wine, if not the highest manifestation of joy? Toast and celebration are the perfect addition to any good meal… And given the antioxidant properties of wine, it is undoubtedly the best elixir of youth. A glass of good red wine brings health benefits. Due to its antioxidant power, moderate consumption of this drink also helps to reduce depression, prevent breast cancer, dementia and prostate cancer, as well as cardiovascular diseases.

Wine lovers will find their favorite place in the Region of Murcia, as there are three AOs (Appellation of origin of goods) – Bullas, Jumilla and Yecla, where the main character is the Monastrell grape.

Costa Calida is a region of 1,001 tastes

The Region of Murcia is an intersection of cultures, manifested in its cuisine. For centuries, this area was inhabited by Iberians, Phoenicians, Byzantines, Carthaginians, Romans and Arabs. They brought new dishes, knowing how to make the most of local products and taking advantage of the sun, soil and water of the region.

The privileged location of Murcia on the coastline and the rich inland of the region, full of small farms, swamps and rare forests, provide a variety of products, so the local cuisine includes many mixed traditional dishes that create a delicious palette of flavors.

The Murcian traditions coexist with new ways of perceiving the cuisine, in which recipes are invented and renewed. Despite the differences between these approaches, both have a common basis: the use of products of the highest quality. The combination of tradition and modernity results in an indescribable interweaving of gustatory hints.

Products with AO

In the Region of Murcia, there are AOs, as well as geographical indications that show the high quality of many food products. If you are looking for a diverse assortment and unsurpassed taste, then you will find it here.

Gourmet travelers lose their heads from the variety of dishes and raw materials that are used for their preparation. The products have absorbed all the flavors of the lands of the Region of Murcia and give the dishes a special hint that is difficult to find outside the borders of this area.

  • Olive oil. The oil plays an important role in the Mediterranean diet in general and in the Murcia diet in particular. Olive oil of various varieties (couchillo, cornicabra, picual) has different hints of herbs and spices, so it should be chosen according to the idea of each dish.
  • Rice of Calasparra. The first rice in the world to receive AO.
  • Fruits. The sun, soil and water of the region make local fruits a real gastronomic treasure. Many of them are included in the “Clean Agriculture” program, within a framework of which a minimum amount of pesticides is used. Apricots, cherries from Jumilla, table grapes and oranges are illustrious representatives of the fruit products of Murcia.
  • Vegetables. No wonder the region is called “the bins of Europe”. Moreover, as in the case of close relatives – fruits, “Clean Agriculture” is used across the region, especially when cultivating tomatoes, lettuce, peppers, broccoli and pumpkin.
  • Sausage of Lorca (Imperial de Lorca). A delicacy with a characteristic taste.
  • Jamón serrano.
  • Pear of Humilla. Freshly picked from the tree, cooked with wine or canned – you will definitely drool.
  • The spice is obtained by grinding red pepper and is sweeter than its American counterpart. The product has AO and is used to give color and flavor to any dish.
  • Cheese of Murcia. Made from goat’s milk, this cheese has a bold individual taste.
  • Cheese of Murcia, aged in wine. This is a relative of the previous version; it matures in local wine, which gives its skin a reddish color.
  • Hard goat’s cheese, covered with a layer of olive oil and almond flour.
  • Bullas wines. White, pink and red.
  • Jumilla wines. Ten types of wine: four red, two pink, two types of clairet, one white and one natural sweet wine.
  • Yecla wines.
  • Local wines. The wines from Cartagena are not inferior to the wines of the neighboring regions either in taste, color, or aroma.

Must-try tapas

By tradition and thanks to the always good weather, residents of the Region of Murcia like to get together in companies. One of the meeting places is the bars, where you can enjoy an almost unlimited variety of tapas.

  • “Marinera”. “Russian salad”, which is served on a crispy (ring-shaped) breadstick, and is crowned with marinated anchovy on top.Octopus. One of the best ways to serve it is baking in the oven. The secret ingredient for this is beer, wine or cognac to give an incomparable taste and texture.
  • “Seahorses”. Deep-fried shrimp, which are sold strung on skewers.
  • “Michirones”. Beans cooked with paprika, bacon, ham, chorizo and a small amount of spices. This hot snack is served in an earthenware dish. It warms you up perfectly in winter, especially when accompanied by a glass of wine.
  • “Married couple”. A light snack of smoked and marinated anchovies.
  • Salt-cured delicacies. There are a thousand ways to taste them: caviar and mojama with fried almonds, salted sardines with migas or pipirrana, tuna with raw beans and tomatoes, preferably Águilas or Mazarron.
  • Cheeses with AO. Starting from cheeses made from goat’s milk, aged in wine or almonds, to fried fresh cheese.
  • Shrimp from Mar Menor. They are smaller than other types of shrimp, but with a richer color and taste.
  • Snails “chupaeros”. Snails fried with tomato or in sauce from tomato, paprika and almond.
  • “Murcian ratatouille”. Its origin goes back to the Muslim heritage in the region, and all the ingredients are products of the rich bins of Murcia. Made from fried onions, peppers and eggplant with tomatoes, it can be consumed by itself or with scrambled eggs.
  • The Murcian meat pie is a local delicacy. It consists of puff pastry, meat, chorizo, boiled egg and spices. Another type of pie has a filling: pepper, tomatoes, boiled egg and tuna. There is also a salty-sweet Cierva pie and puff pastry pies with veal boned in sugar.

Dishes eaten with a fork and knife

There is not one but a thousand of traditional dishes in Murcia.

  • “Murcian salad”. This is an ideal combination of peeled canned tomatoes, boiled eggs, not bitter onions, olives, and tuna. It is perfect for the summer period and for lovers of healthy, but delicious dishes.
  • “Cantonal” salad. A traditional salad from Cartagena, in which salmon, cod and Atlantic pomfret are mixed with capers, onions and olive oil.
  • Grilled vegetables. A colorful dish with the best vegetables of the region.
  • Zarangollo. Omelet of zucchini and onions with the addition of olive oil.
  • Eggplant with cream. Béchamel sauce, ham, shrimp and eggplant.
  • Rice dishes. With rabbit meat and snails, with vegetables and cauliflower, with seafood, with lobster, etc.
  • “Caldero”. Rice cooked in fish broth with the addition of Murcian red dried sweet pepper. Usually the dish is served on two separate plates: rice on one and fish on the other.
  • “Migas”. There are two ways to prepare the dish: (1) from flour, butter, water and dried garlic and (2) from the crumb of stale bread. It is served with sausage products, garlic, pomegranate, grapes… even with chocolate.
  • “Roast”. From lamb or goat meat, this is a differentiating feature of Murcian gastronomy.
  • Fish in salt. Rockfish or sea bream is covered with coarse salt on a baking sheet and immediately sent to the oven. The fish is served already cleaned and boneless, and this ritual is performed when the dish is served directly.

Dishes eaten with a spoon

Reading the menu of some Murcian bar or restaurant, a stranger may be perplexed, but whatever they choose, they will definitely like it.

  • “Empedrado”. A dish of completely vegetable (and mineral) origin, typical for high-altitude villages, based on beans, rice, tomatoes, garlic, onions, peppers and potatoes.
  • Soup with meatballs. Based on chicken broth with chicken and pork meatballs and with Murcian sausages.
  • Gazpacho Murciano. Stew of game meat and snails, served on a wheat tortilla. There are other options, for example, with chicken or rabbit meat.
  • Stewed wheat dish. A rich dish, the recipe of which resembles other typical stewed dishes from legumes, vegetables and spices, as well as with the main additional ingredient – presoaked tender wheat that gives the dish a hint similar to pasta.
  • “Jallullo”. Thick flour puree made of flour, butter and salt with the addition of morcilla and longaniza.
  • A stewed semi-liquid dish made of rice, beans or chickpeas, blood sausage and various parts of a pig, such as the spine or legs.
  • “Gypsy ragout”. Assorted chickpeas, pumpkin, string beans, pears, ripe tomatoes and onions seasoned with paprika, saffron and mint.
  • Rabbit meat with typical vegetables and snails for this area. Small balls of dough are added to the mixture.
  • “Andrajos”. Stew, the main ingredient of which is the meat of a hare or rabbit, and the broth is prepared with a sauce of tomatoes, peppers and onions. The name of the dish comes from the strips of dough that resemble torn pieces of cloth.

Desserts that everyone should try

At the end of the meal, you should add a sweet note or you can enjoy a dessert between meals.

  • Fruits. Melons of Torre Pacheco, peaches of Cíes, nuts of Alcus, apricots, cherries of Jumilla, grapes and orange are the treasures of the region.
  • “Paparajote”. A lemon tree leaf is dipped in a batter made of flour, egg, milk and lemon zest, which is then fried and sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. However, the leaf itself is not eaten.
  • “Asian dessert”. Two in one – dessert and coffee, with the addition of condensed milk, brandy, cinnamon, lemon zest, a couple of coffee beans, as well as a few drops of liqueur 43.
  • “Mantellina”. A typical Totana drink prepared from water, honey, lemon juice, sweet wine (or nutmeg) and dry anise.

Discover our wines!

The region of Murcia has excellent climatic, soil and human resources for growing grapes and producing quality wines. The diversity of soil and climatic conditions facilitates producing a wide assortment of red, pink and white wines

The territories intended for vineyards, totaling 35,437 hectares, are mainly located in the areas of three AOs: Bullas, Jumilla and Yecla. In addition to these, there are three protected geographical indications in the Region of Murcia: Cartagena, Abanilla and Murcia.

The wines of the Region of Murcia have the characteristics of the Monastrell red grape variety, perfectly adapted to the ecological conditions of these lands. Its small, dense clusters produce wines with a rich color and texture in a very wide and high-quality range, which includes young, aged, natural sweet, liqueur and sparkling wines, sometimes combined with additional red varieties: Garnacha Tintorera, Cencibel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Garnacha, Merlot, Syrah and Petit Verdot. They are also used for the production of varietal and monosort wines. White wines are made from Macabeo, Airén, Pedro Ximénez, Malvasia, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscatel.

The use of innovative methods of winemaking has resulted in creating new wines – fresher, fruity, well-balanced and better utilizing the properties of Monastrell grapes without losing its individuality.

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