Toledan food was influenced by the cooking of Moors and regions nearby. Nevertheless, Toledan food has long traditions that come with hunting and cattle-breeding which influenced the use of meat in many typical and traditional Toledo dishes. Of course, Toledo shares many of its dishes with other cities in Castile, as well as the whole Spain. If you are going to spend a few days in Toledo, there are dishes I recommend you to try so that you can have a better view of typical food that is eaten in Castilian region and specifically in Toledo.
Carcamusas (pork stew)
is a traditional Castilian dish mostly prepared in Toledo. There are different kinds of meats included in the dish, its pieces are served with fried potatoes in tomato sauce. The meat included is a mixture of different kinds of pork meats (it can be beef as well) like chorizo sausages and loin. It is usually served with bread.
The way to prepare this dish is pretty easy. Firstly, oil, garlic and onions are added into the frying pan. The meats are added after the onions become transparent. Later, tomato sauce and a glass of wine are poured into the pan as well. Then it is cooked slowly and in the end seasoned with different spices.
Even though this dish doesn’t sound like anything special, it is definitely delicious and worth a try. It is said that this meal is perfect for winters but eating it at summers it not a problem at all as well, it can be found in Toledo anywhere in any season.
Sopa de Ajo (Garlic Soup)
It is a Castilian soup which is made mainly of garlic, bread and water. There is a must that all ingredients are good quality ones. This soup is something you shouldn’t experiment too much with because simple ingredients can make it taste very different.
The oil and butter are heated in a large pot, then onions and garlic are added. After that it is cooked on a low heat for half an hour and later other ingredients like the bread, bouquet garni and salt are added into the pot. After bouquet garni is removed, pepper is added and it is ready to be served.
Since this soup contains a lot of garlic, it is perfect for winter to save yourself from all possible sicknesses. It is useful (and delicious) in others seasons as well, though.
is a traditional dish in Spain that was originally eaten for breakfast. Getting rid of leftover bread is one of the reasons why migas used to be prepared. Nowadays this dish can be found anywhere in Spain and there are various ways to prepare it but breadcrumbs remain as the main ingredient.
This dish usually includes ham or chorizo, fatty bacon, paprika and is served with fried eggs. The leftover bread is cut into the pieces and dampened in the water and then left to stand for many hours. After 12 hours migas are being prepared: the garlic and sliced peppers are fried in oil and then drained. Later bacon and chorizo (or ham) is fried in the same oil. At first bread is fried separately (in the same oil) and then the meats are added. Later it is garnished with fried garlic and peppers.
Even though it was a breakfast dish, nowadays it is also eaten at lunch or even dinner. This meal is one of the most typical Spanish dishes and tasting it is a must if you set foot in Spain.
Pisto Manchego (or simply Pisto)
is like a Spanish Ratatouille. Even though this dish is originally from La Mancha, it can be found in all parts of Spain. Main ingredients of this dish are tomatoes, onions, eggplants, courgettes, green or red peppers and olive oil. It is usually eaten together with bread and fried egg.
This dish is prepared by rubbing eggplants, tomatoes and peppers with oil and later putting it all with onions on a baking sheet for roasting. After that, tomatoes and onions are peeled, different kinds of vegetables are chopped and then everything is put into one bowl. The meal is ready after the oil is poured and salt with pepper added.
The way of preparing this dish is pretty simple but as Mozart said, true genius lies in simplicity. Since it is a typical dish from La Mancha, being in Toledo is a good reason to taste it.
Cochinillo asado (roasted suckling pig)
is cooked for several hours in a special oven which is probably the main reason why this meal is mostly prepared for special occassions and gatherings. Suckling pig is very popular and typical in Segovia, as well as other parts of Castile.
The piglet which is seasoned with salt and pepper is roasted in the special oven for a few hours. Before roasting, the piglet is prepared by wrapping ears with foil (so that it is not burnt) and pouring olive oil.
One dish is usually enough for 6 people to eat and it is something that is hard to make at home so visiting Toledo could be a great chance to taste it with your friends or family.
Other Castillian dishes that you’ll find in the menus:
- Caldereta is a goat stew cooked with ingredients like onions, garlic, tomatoes, various peppers and white wine. It originally came from Phillippines.
- Gachas is a very ancient dish which is made of flour, water, olive oil, garlic and salt. The prepared dough is fried in a fat of bacon or chorizo. Very similar to Migas.
- Picadillos is fried pork which is often served with rice and prepared with tomatoes.
- Cochifrito is mostly lamb (pork is used less often) which is cooked and then fried in olive oil, garlic, vinegar and some spices like basil, rosemary, bay leaves and spearmint.
- Olla podrida is a Spanish stew, its ingredients are pork and beans and many other kinds of meat and vegetables.
- Paté de perdiz (Partridge pate) is pork baked in the oven after being minced. It also includes eggs, onions and spices.
- Arroz a la toledana is rice with chicken, wild mushrooms and seafood like conger eel and squid.
- Truchas a la toledana (Trout Toledo-style) is a trout which is prepared with ingredients like vinegar, oil, garlic and spices.
- Hornazo is a meat pie made of pork loin, chorizo and hard-boiled eggs.
- Potaje is a soup of vegetables and legumes.
- Buñuelos is a snack which is made of wheat-based yeast dough with filling and sweet topping.
- Cocido is a stew which is made of various meats, sausages and vegetables.
- Embutido are many different pork sausages, each of them with different spices.
- Arroz con liebre is a typical Castilian food. The basic ingredients of this dish are rabbit meat, rice, onion, various peppers, tomato, garlic, white wine and olive oil.