TOURSPAIN

We’re going to explain why in 2016 you’ll find the best “pairing” of culture and gastronomy in Toledo. The city is planning a series of culinary events to celebrate its designation as Spain’s gastronomic capital. To begin with, the best idea is to get a Toledopass Gourmet and experience for yourself the Spanish custom of “going out for tapas”. For a set price you can have a drink and a choice of tapa in a selection of venues throughout the city. Here are some more ideas so you can make the most of Toledo’s reign as the gastronomic capital.

Products with Designation of Origin Would you like to know which are the best local products? Manchego cheese; saffron and onions from La Mancha; oils from the Montes de Toledo region, wines from Ucles and Méntrida; serrano ham, and more. In Toledo you’ll find a whole range of quality products that you can take home with you as a gastronomic souvenir. As you can see there’s a little of everything, and if you prefer something sweet, the area’s also famed for its marzipan in a multitude of different shapes: figurines, coils, “pastel yema”, “pastel gloria”, “empiñonada” (studded with pine nuts), “marquesa” and many others. Events and gastroroutes not to be missed If you’re a fan of gastronomy, we recommend noting in your diary the culinary events to be held this year in Toledo, such as: the “Puchero” and “Cazuela” (typical local casseroles) festivals in the province between February and March, the competition entitled “Tapeando por Toledo” (“Out for tapas around Toledo”) in June, and the “Tapas Festival” along with “De cócteles por Toledo” (“Out for cocktails around Toledo”) in November. A multitude of restaurants and bars take part in these gastronomic events and offer their best products at special prices. Other options in the surrounding area –in Toledo and in other provinces in Castile-La Mancha– include visits to a winery and a chance to see how Manchego cheese is made. The typical dishes of Toledo The variety of meats and pulses in this “imperial” pantry create a dilemma when it comes to choosing a typical dish from among the many on the city’s mouthwatering menu. So we’ll describe just a few of the specialities you’ll find in most restaurants and let you decide for yourself. “Sopa castellana” (Castilian soup) would be an excellent starter –this is a broth served in an earthenware bowl and made from garlic, ground red pepper and cured ham, to which is added bread and eggs. Toledo has its own special version of rice, with chicken, conger eel, squid and wild mushrooms. If you choose “cochifrito” you’ll be served lamb or pork, stewed and then fried with olive oil and herbs. If on the other hand you’re tempted by “carcamusas”, you’ll discover the flavour of pulled stewed meat with tomato and peas. But if there’s one thing you should taste on a visit to Toledo, that’s stewed partridge, with its delicate flavour enhanced by aromatic herbs. Somewhat more sophisticated is venison with wild mushrooms or pears, which is made by frying the meat in butter then basting it with brandy. Places to eat and gourmet locales In addition to the large number of bars and restaurants in the historic centre of the city there are outdoor terraces all along the banks of the Tagus and in the Santa Teresa neighbourhood. El Carmen de Montesión and La Casa del Carmen are two acclaimed restaurants with a Michelin star very close to the city. Another gastronomic landmark in Toledo is the San Agustín market, beside the Plaza de Zocodover square.

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