The food of 'La Mancha'




Cuenca is on of the largest municipals of Spain, situated in the north in the autonomous community of Castilla-La Mancha at an average altitude of 946m. Cuenca is a capital of the homonymous province with a population of over 57.000 inhabitants. Its extensive municipal, of 911.06 km ² is one of the largest in Spain.


Manchego cheese


Manchego. Outside of Spain the best know Cheese, comes from the vast plain that extends over the provinces of Ciudad Real, Albacete, Cuenca and Toledo, where the Manchego sheep graze.


The AOC Cheese (appellation d'origine contrôlée = controlled designation of origin), is produced in this region and also matured. Using pasteurized or unpasteurized sheep's milk and natural rennet.

Manchego curado - at least two months maturation.

Manchego viejo - 9 to 12 months maturation

Manchego con aceite - is placed in olive oil, thereby the very dark bark.

Every manchego cheese got a traditional motifs printed into the bark. Some of them are: Zamorano Zamora, Cadis, Araceña in the Andalusian province of Huelva, Calahora and Castelleño.

Sopa de Ajo 


The garlic soup is a type of Castile and Leon soup typically containing mostly water or broth, bread (usually stale bread left over from previous days), paprika, bay leaf, garlic and olive oil. It`s a soup of humble origin, being as popular dish all had multiple variants, depended by the economy of the family and the cooking tastes. So it is common that is added to other ingredients such as eggs, sausage, fried pork bacon or ham. In some areas of the center of Spain in Castilla, León and Madrid and northern Spain the soup is a dish associated with Easter kitchen.



The Ajoarriero is a typical paste made of potatoes, garlic, egg and olive oil. All ingredients finely crushed in a mortar, which is added to foods , especially fish or as a 'Tapa'. The original regions are: Aragon, Navarra, Cuenca, Castile and Leon, the Basque Country and Region Requena-Utiel.

One of the best known is cod ajoarriero.



The zarajos are considered very typical and traditional appetizer and Tapa prepared with marinated lamb intestines which is then wound onto a branch and fry in olive oil or roasted in an oven until they are dorados. Sometimes choosing a piece of meat to be included in the branch. It is an appetizer that is served hot , freshly cooked and accompanied by some slices of lemon to counteract the dryness of frying . In some restaurates used in the preparation of a snail broth. Due to its appearance and taste will be considered an acquired taste food.





The morteruelo is a stew that is made with pork liver and sometimes added other small game meat and poultry as pork tenderloin, chicken or goose, rabbit. Spices and breadcrumbs, all well crushed in a mortar so that the result is a paste. The name comes etymologically from the use of this cookware for elaboración: (Mortor = span. Mortero).

The similarity with the foie gras is mentioned by various authors.



Migas is a traditional dish in Spanish cuisine. Originally eaten as a breakfast that Made use of leftover bread or cakes , today , migas is a fashionable first course served for lunch and dinner in restaurants in Spain .


Andalusian crumbs

The ingredients of migas vary across the provinces of Spain . In Extremadura , this dish includes day- old bread soaked in water , garlic , paprika , olive oil, and contains spinach or alfalfa, Often served with pan- fried pork ribs . In Teruel , Aragon , includes sausage and bacon crumbs , and is Often served with grapes .

In La Mancha , the crumbs Mancha is of a more elaborate preparation , but basically contains the same ingredients as the Aragonese migas . In Andalucia , migas is Often eaten with sardines as to cover , in the form of fried breadcrumbs . In some places the dish is eaten on the morning of the killing ( butchery ) and is served with a stew Including curdled blood , liver , kidneys , and other offal , traditionally eaten right after butchering a pig , a sheep or a goat . Often Migas is cooked over an open stove or coals .

There is Also a kind of crumbs That Uses only flour and water with no bread Which can be found in Almeria and Murcia in southern Spain .

Pisto Manchego


The pisto manchego, is a Spanish version of a vegetable ratatouille, it`s a traditional dish in Spanish cuisine and consists of a variety of vegetables slowly fried and cooked for a long time. The Vegis variety composition, possibly those more accessible during the season in an orchard. The nickname comes from La Mancha Manchego, although you can see prepared along almost the entire Spanish territory.

Gazpacho Manchego


The gazpacho manchego or Galianos are Castilian dish , specifically of La Mancha, consisting of a soupy stew served hot with pieces of cake crumbled Manchego cenceña. The stew meat is accompanied by smaller pieces such as rabbit, chicken , hare or partridge . In some areas they also added mushrooms ( oyster , or chanterelles poplar ). Due to its geographical proximity and climate , this dish is also popular in the interior of Alicante , especially in the regions of Vinalopó and also reaching Alicante coastal towns which are made with fish and seafood. In the province of Valencia is cooked widely also in the regions of Valle de Ayora, the Coast , Requena -Utiel and Navarrés Canal , where it is sometimes changed the name of La Mancha, by the place where cooking ( gazpacho ayorino , enguerino gazpacho). Though the preparation of the dish is basicly equal. 


Cenceña - Or unleavened bread is unleavened bread made without yeast. Its dough is a mixture of a cereal flour with water, to which you can add salt. This mass is given the desired shape before submitting it to cook on high heat. The flour used is typically from wheat, barley, maize or other cereals.





The gingerbread or alajuz is a sweet cake shaped , typical of Castilla , typical of the province of Cuenca, a paste traditionally made with almonds , breadcrumbs and toast , spice and honey thoroughly cooked fine, two wafers covered by both sides of the cake, at other times used nuts and sometimes pinions instead of almonds.


Its name comes from the language of its inventors , the Arabs , al- Hasu which means 'fill' .

It was also a typical dessert of Tudela , and its recipe almost the same as that currently underway in Cuenca. This dessert almost lost and are only written references to its existence. 



The Torrezno, of the word 'torrar', from Latin. Torrēre wich means roasting or bring something to the fire until it is colored, are pieces of belly bacon cut into strips and usually pan-fried, sauteed or grilled until dry and crisp and golden brown on the skin side, which makes them appealing to consumers. They are often eaten as a tapa or as a garnish.