Named as Spain’s Gastronomic Capital, Toledo, located in the heart of Spain just southwest of Madrid, has symbolizes the integration of three very different cultures’ history, artistry, and most importantly, culinary/food habits.
Between March and February this year, the gastronomy event started with the “Puchero” and “Cazuela” festivals celebrated local, artisanal casseroles that were made by restaurants and shops in town.
As for summer food festivals in this city of three cultures, in June, a culinary event called “Tapeando por Toledo” (“Out for tapas around Toledo”) allows the whole town to come together to celebrate their rich gastronomic traditions and practices in public space. Also, the “Tapas Festival” along with “De cócteles por Toledo” (“Out for cocktails around Toledo”) will occur sometime in November to close out the year right before Christmas time.
Regardless of what time of year you may come to visit this stunning city, be sure to try the following dishes in Toledo that are centered around fresh ingredients, tradition, and diverse culinary practices throughout this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
A warm, meaty stew that is a staple in Toledo and the Castilian region of Spain, this thick soup is especially comforting during cold, winter days. As Toledo is located in the mountain ranges, it is no surprise that stews are a food staple in this medieval city with perfectly preserved Roman ruins.
Slowly cooked to perfection, simmering in tomatoes, peas, and white wine, Spaniards usually serve this classic dish in a cazuela (a small clay dish) with a side of crusty bread. To enjoy this dish como un Toledano (like a Toledo native), try this dish at a traditional spot located at Bar Ludeña, Plaza Magdalena, 10 with glass of red wine in hand.
Staying true to Toledo’s caza or game meat tradition, another meat stew that is a definite must-have in this town is Perdiz a la Toledana. To start off cooking this stew, thinly sliced onions are sauteed with red partridges, along with white wine and whole heads of garlic. Traditionally, this hearty bird stew is served with a side of potatoes to absorb all the delicious flavors the meat has taken in during the long cooking time.
A dish served throughout various homes and restaurants throughout the Castilian region, venison is a game meat that is often slow roasted in red wine and served with a side of local vegetables.
Most famous in Toledo, this simple dessert is made of only three ingredients, which are almonds, sugar and egg yolks. If you happen to visit Toledo during the Christmas season, be sure to appreciate the various shapes this traditional dessert takes on forms such as dragons, Toledo’s cathedral, and other mystical creatures that highlight the province’s local artistry. The top place to try this traditional dessert is called Confitería Santo Tome, located at Plaza de Zocodover, 7.