The traditional gastronomy of Guadix has a high quality and it is varied. It is the result of the different cultures settled in this area throughout human history. Traditional sweets should be mentioned, which were born from the Al-Andalus cuisine and were recreated in the convents. Nowadays, they continue being cooked in the sweet and cake shops and in the bakeries of the city.
· The tocino de cielo,
· Pestiños (honey-coated fritter),
· Roscos fritos (fried doughnuts) among others.
The first contact with the traditional gastronomy of Guadix would start at breakfast. Traditional churros with chocolate are still being made by hand in the churrerías of the city and it will help us to start the day in a positive way.
At lunch and/or dinner, there is nothing better than taste any of the traditional dishes, cooked on a slow heat in the kitchens of Guadix restaurants. It is mainly based on products obtained from pork, like the olla or the potaje. Homemade cold meats, cured hams, lomo (loin) de orza and also the local cheese and wine are also traditional in Guadix.
Apart from that, some traditional dishes should be mentioned:
· Migas de pan (it is made with old bread soaking in water, oil, garlic and salt).
· Conejo en ajillo (fried rabbit with green pepper sauce, almonds, fried bread, garlic and vinegar).
· Andrajos (pieces of thin pastry).
· Papas a lo pobre (fried potatoes with onion and pepper).
· Gachas (a mixture of flour and red pepper soup).
· Choto en ajillo (fried lamb with red pepper sauce, almonds, fried bread, garlic and vinegar).
· Talbinas (a mixture of flour, sugar, pieces of bread and honey cane)
· Pimentón con sardinas (paprika soup made with dried red peppers, roasted green peppers, onion, olive oil, fish soup, potatoes and sardines).
· Zalamandroña o rin ran (it is a salad made with dried red peppers, dried tomatoes, cooked onion, dresses olives, boiled eggs, desalted cod, olive oil and salt) .
· The traditional olla de San Antón (it is made with cooked pork legs with dried red peppers, almonds sauce and ham).
· Sustentos (a mixture of flour and pieces of potatoes, chorizo, bacon and blood sausage).
Other traditional dishes are: the Guadix soup, the roasted peppers and tomato salad … and some desserts like rice pudding or custards.
All of these dishes are accompanied with homemade bread, elaborated in the bakeries of the city. Most of the bakers are in the Barrio de Cuevas, who are adapting to the changing needs of the labour market. However, some of them keep and use the wooden stoves and knead the bread with masa madre (natural yeast dough), maintaining the texture and taste of the traditional bread. In addition to the bread production, other dishes are also elaborated in their wooden stoves, such us: tortas de chicharrones, tortas de calda, tortas de manteca, roscos de vino, roscos de manteca, roscos fritos, mantecados and so on.Particularly noteworthy is the “tapas” culture that predominates in the Guadix bars, where small samples of the Guadix cuisine are offered. They are served as snacks or accompany a good wine of Guadix, a beer or a soft-drink in the late morning or evening, which is a great way to have a good time with your friends and/or family.
The “pig-killing” and the homemade cold meats.
The “pig-killing” is a very popular custom already made in the Celtic period. One or more pigs are slaughtered for making cold meats and give provisions to the family for a whole year. This was a ritual that old Christians of Guadix, Moorish after the Reconquest, carried out for making their Christianization public.
It is made one a year, in the coldest months in the year (in December, from the Constitución and Purísima celebrations, on 6-8th, to San Antón celebrations, on 17th January). It is made even several times a year in some homes: twice in the winter (for cured hams and cold meats) and a third time in the early spring (for meat and also cold meats if it is cold enough).
Traditionally, the slaughter was carried out by matarifes or mataores (slaughterers), who often went to the houses in a group of three. They had a capacha (a sparto basket) containing the necessary tools, such as knives, hooks, blowlamps and the proper clothing (a shirt, a plastic trouser and waterproof boots). The remaining tools were provided by the home where the slaughter was made, as for example, the table, the through, poles, hot water and gas for the blowlamp, among others.
Once the pig is slaughtered, some samples are taken and analyse so that the veterinarian certify the pig is healthy. Later, the different products start to be elaborated. It is often a women work, which lasts about two or three days. After that, the drying process and the preservation in salt and/or olive oil take place and everything will be ready to eat.
All this work time is also a meeting time with the family and friends, who meet in these days to help in the making of pork products and also to taste them. Therefore, this ritual takes a festive and family tone. Fire is an important and used tool in the pig-killing because all type of work is carried out around it. Moreover, it is the means whereby the first pieces of meat seasoned with garlic and ground pepper are cooked, accompanied by a great young wine of that year.
The homemade slaughters contributed to the family companies’ start-up, which nowadays elaborate pork cold meats and dry their cured hams by hand. They are unique products because of its careful production process, traditional taste and its quality.
Many products are obtained from the pig, such as:
· Blood sausages
· Potato chorizos
· Iberian spicy sausages
· Butifarra sausages
· Cured hams
· Loin and cutlets of the orza (glazed earthenware jar)
· Lard and chicharrones (for making cakes, biscuits and Christmas sweets)
· Soap, etc.