The Alpujarra’s simple and natural cuisine is born of the wide variety of its fruit, vegetables and trees, including walnuts, almonds, figs and olives. It is also the fruit of its herds of goats and extensive porcine production.
Hams from Trevelez
In the mountain areas, the dishes don’t vary much, whereas on the coast one finds more variety. Many dishes, specially the sweets and pastries, are recipes handed down from the Moors whilst the exquisite ham dishes are the introduction of the more recent Christian era. Hams from Trevélez (jamón serrano) deserve a special mention, especially since they make up one of the most important and highly prestigious industries of the Alpujarras, followed by the (mostly rose) wine production from the Sierra de la Contraviesa region, known as Vino Costa or Vino de la Tierra.
Notable Alpujarran gastronomic specialities include the likes of: a range of cured serrano ham and sausages (chorizo and salchichon), spicy chorizo, longaniza pork sausage, morcilla (blood pudding), migas, (breadcrumbs or semolla fried in garlic) gachas pimentonas or gachas de ajo quemado, (a sort of dumpling pudding in stock served with paprika or with scorched garlic), truchas con jamón (trout with cured ham), potaje de castañas (chestnut stew), choto al ajillo (goat kid in garlic sauce), conejo picante (spicy rabbit) and the sopa alpujarreña (Alpujarran soup).
Pride of place, however, should go to the regional plato alpujarreño.
A smorgasbord of excess taking in cured ham, a range of blood/pork sausages, fried eggs, fried sweet peppers, potatoes “a lo pobre” (poor man’s tatties, if you like, with lightly fried potatoes bathed in oil, peppers, garlic with optional egg and sausage thrown in) and, on occasions, the local cheese.
To finish, one of many delicious Moorish pastries: tortas (flat crumbly aniseed cakes), pan de higo (fig bread), soplillos de almendra (almond meringues), roscos (a type of ring-shaped donut) and cuajados (curds), to name but a few.
Semola de Migas
4 glasses of water, 4 coffee cups of semolina flour, salt,
1 –2 cloves of garlic, 2-3 soup spoons of olive oil.
Garnish: bacon sausage, baked onion, baked garlic, fried green peppers, fried dried tomatoes (grapes in season).
Fry the chopped garlic and leave to cool. Then add the warm water and a pinch of salt when the water boils; slowly sprinkle in the flour, stirring with a spatula until it has a uniform consistency.
Cook over a low heat for 30 – 45 minutes, stirring continuously until it forms small golden balls. Serve with the garnish of sausages, fried green peppers, grapes or chunks of melon.