Nutrition Alphabet: The gastronomy of Cáceres

    The Alphabet of Nutrition travels the provinces of Spain to learn the basics of their gastronomy. On this trip, the microphones of “El Bisturí” start the letter C, Cáceres, characterized by the pastoral and livestock culture that has left its mark

    “As in Badajoz, here in Cáceres, pork and its derivatives are very present”, highlights Laura González, Nestlé’s head of health and nutrition.

    She highlights the Montánchez ham, which she says has a unique nutritional characteristic, a high content of oleic acid.

    “This type of breed, due to the living conditions and the quality diet it carries, has a high content of monounsaturated fat, that is, oleic acid. This is a main and healthy fat, representative and found, above all, in olives “, she details.

    Also present (the pig) in typical recipes such as the Extremadura pestorejo, made with the jeta, the snout and the ear of the pig. It is cooked on the grill or in the oven, explains González, and is seasoned with spices such as chorizo, garlic, onion and, of course, paprika de la vera.

    This can be accompanied with a zorongollo, a salad of roasted peppers, garlic and oil, “very traditional from Extremadura.”

    However, although the presence of pork and its derivatives are present in “many recipes”, one of the flavors that “most represent Cáceres” is the paprika de la vera.

    “This condiment is used in many recipes and preparations, such as sausages. Their fame and prestige are so recognized that they even cross borders “, she indicates.

    Fruits, tasty and sweet

    For González, the citizens of Cáceres are “lucky” to be able to enjoy both the flavor of the Jerte cherries and the cherry blossom in March.

    Besides being healthy, they are “very tasty and sweet.” The nutritionist suggests some recipes to increase the consumption of fruits.

    “A great way to increase consumption is to prepare a delicious cherry gazpacho, which is refreshing, light and nutritious. We only need cherries, apples, lemon, vinegar and water ”.

    In addition to cherries, the expert talks about tomato and fig soups, a fruit that is also grown in Cáceres.

    “If you are not used to using figs in your recipes, I highly recommend it. The fig vichyssoise is very good and starting the day with a special breakfast with yogurt, cereals, figs and lemon cream will help you get out of the monotony, “she offers.

    For cheese lovers

    Another typical product, says González, is the wide range of “high quality” cheeses that the land of Cáceres offers.

    Among them, for example, the Casar cake stands out, a natural cheese made with sheep’s milk, with an intense flavor and the “most popular”.

    Its uniqueness lies in its shape and texture. It has a round, yellow rind that contains a white paste with a creamy texture. It is perfect for spreading and if you are one of those who enjoys intense flavors, this is your cheese. “

    Among other well-known and recognized, the nutritionist also names the Ibores cheese, creamy and buttery, made with raw goat’s milk and matured for 60 days.

    Taking advantage of stale bread.

    A typical recipe is Extremadura crumbs.

    Its main ingredient, stale bread crumbs, soak for about 2 hours.

    The rest of the ingredients may vary, but they are basically garlic, derived from pork, flour and olive oil.

    In addition, it is usually accompanied with bacon, sardines, pepper or chorizo.

    “Obviously it is a strong and caloric dish,” she warns.

    Freshwater fish

    In González’s words, the supply of fish is much smaller compared to pork, but we can find traditional recipes with river fish, such as tench, a freshwater fish.

    It can be cooked in different ways, she mentions, pickled, “perfect” for hot months. They can also be cooked fried.

    Other fish that we can find, González explains, are trout and cod, with which you can make “an infinity of tasty stews.”

    “With tench or carp you can make a peculiar dish that is fish mojo”, she adds.

    Sweets of the land

    As for sweets, the nutritionist points out the almoharines, a fig bonbon that can be filled with truffle, praline, hazelnut cream or liqueur, and covered with crunchy chocolate.

    More options, González details, are the alfajores donuts, of Arab origin.

    “It has the peculiarity of mixing the salty taste of the dough with the sweet from honey, and being baked”.

    There are also the florets, which refers to the flower and derives from the shape of this dessert.

    Typical, says the expert, of the feast of San Blas, which is celebrated in February and is cooked to entertain the bride and groom the days before a wedding, communion or even other festivities such as a baptism.

    “In general, conventual confectionery is very popular in this area, such as repápalos with milk, sapillos or perrunillas, buñuelos de viento or pestiños”, she concludes.

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