Traditional Riojan Cuisine
If you mention La Rioja today, people immediately think of its high quality wines. La Rioja is a universally-known name thanks to this much-loved product, but the pairing between Rioja wine and local food is also an art that raises the pleasure of good food and good wine to the very highest level.
Traditional Riojan cuisine is essentially based on produce from its lands and the skill of its people; a huge range of high quality products that are as varied as its landscape and climate, which have given Riojan cuisine its tremendous personality and diversity; natural and simple, rich in resources and highly regarded.
Asparagus and peppers, vegetable menestras, potatoes with Riojan chorizo, meat braised in red wine, roast lamb, fresh fruit and delicious desserts make up a symphony of typical dishes which, with the personal finishing touch of each chef, either in one of our excellent restaurants or in every home kitchen, offer a real treat for the senses.
Every town or village has its own traditional product that forms the central ingredient of its most typical dishes, and they are also paid homage to at some of the festivals dedicated to showcasing regional produce. An example of this is the Festival of Rincón de Soto Pears and the week dedicated to vegetables in Calahorra.
Going for pinchos, or tapas, is another deep-rooted custom in our region, whether at lunchtime or the early evening. In fact, any hour of the day is a good time to stroll down one of our streets replete with bars offering a range of delicious specialities, meticulously put together and known by some unusual names, and always served with the finest wines.
La Rioja is a paradise for people who enjoy good food and wine. Most of the people who visit us for the first time are attracted by the well-justified fame of the extraordinary wines reposing in our bodegas, and it’s easy to understand this interest. But once they are here, they are perhaps even more impressed —because of the surprise factor— by the quality and variety of our cuisine; simple, yet based on a wide variety of resources, and so unique that it is capable of seducing the most discerning of palates. Our superlative produce, combined with the skill of our finest chefs, turn all our visitors into ambassadors for the excellence of Riojan cuisine.
The differences between the mountains of La Rioja and the lowlands bathed by the River Ebro, both of which boast distinctive natural produce that are as varied as the terrain and the climate, have over the years produced two different types of cuisine which today have become amalgamated as a result of emigration from the villages to the cities. This has made our cuisine even more rich and varied although each individual area still retains the typical characteristics that have embodied its cooking down the years.
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Fuente: Turismo de La Rioja
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