Castile La Mancha recipes

flag of Castile La Manchamap-of-castile-la-manchaRegion: Castile La Mancha, Castilla-La Mancha (Spanish)

Capital: Toledo

Provinces: Albacete, Ciudad Real, Cuenca, Guadalajara, Toledo

Castile La Mancha Maps and guides: Get your travel guide here

la-mancha-windmillCastile la Mancha is a large region of Spain often referred to as “New Castile”. It is a vast plain bordered on all sides by mountains and was the land of “Don Quixote” in the famous book by Cervantes.  The area is notable for the windmills that often feature in pictures of the area.

Due to its elevated location the area can get extremely hot in the summer and very cold in the winter as icy winds blow freely across the plains. As a result the area is quite dry and not as fertile as some of its neighbouring regions.

Although the origins of Castile La Mancha recipes and cuisine lie in the humble dishes invented out of necessity by the shepherds - who roamed for days on end, following and protecting their flocks of sheep - the region has also produced some of Spain’s most famous products.

saffron

Most of Spain’s saffron “Azafran” is produced in the region and it has its own Denomination of Origin established in 2001. Spanish Saffron is considered the best in the world and is the most expensive as a result.

For a region that has long been the home to thousands of roaming sheep it is no surprise that cheese is produced here and the cheeses of La Mancha are some of the most famous in all of Spain. Manchego was also invented by the Shepherds and is now exported all over the world and since 1984 has its own denomination of origin.

The cheese is often served with Olive Oil and the region is one of Spain’s leading producers of high quality Oil; only their southerly neighbours in Andalucía produce more.

Garlic is also grown in high quantity and is one of the most essential ingredients in Castile La Mancha recipes, featuring on a daily basis in most households.

One of the most famous Castile La Mancha recipes is Pisto Manchego which is a pepper based stew flavoured with paprika which now has many different versions across Spain. The dish is often served with poached or fried eggs on top and even a plate of Manchego cheese dressed in Olive Oil on the side.

Castile La Mancha recipes

Pisto manchego

Stuffed peppers with rice

Hazelnut cake recipe

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