In this section we look at typical dishes from the Toledo region and
recommend some restaurants in the city.
Toledo is the leading Spanish province in small game hunting and one of the richest for large game also,
and inevitably recipes are influenced by this and also the region's long tradition of
cattle-breeding, yet show Moorish influences as well.
Garden vegetables should also be mentioned because of their variety and quality.
Quails and partridges are some of the most extraordinary
pleasures for delicate palates, and one of the most typical dishes in Toledo is the perdiz roja estofada, or stewed red-legged partridge, prepared with great skill and simplicity: with garlic, bay leaf and pepper.
Other quail dishes include cordoniz a la toledana (quail Toledo-style),
and also partridge served with white beans, Perdiz con Pochas.
Also very typical are roast meats, particularly Cordero Asado, roast lamb,
and also cochifrito, deep-fried lamb made into a stew. Other dishes are
sopa castellana (a type of garlic soup), migas (fried breadcrumbs
seasoned with garlic and paprika), trucha a la toledana (trout
Toledo-style), venado con setas (venison with mushrooms), jabalí
(boar) and tortilla a la magra (potato-omelette with lean ham). The gazpacho of La Mancha is a very
rich winter stew. It is, as with all Manchegan dishes, a most revered recipe,
appearing in Don Quixote by the name of "Galianos". Its
preparation is long and laborious, almost ritual. Much more widespread and
endlessly imitated is the so called pisto manchego, which has achieved a
kind of national status. It is a medley of chopped tomatos, zucchini or
courgettes, green peppers and is often accompanied with eggs. It is quite similar to the perhaps better-known french
Common Manchegan delicacies to be found in local restaurants offering typical
dishes are asadillo de pimientos rojos (roasted red peppers); salpicon
(minced beef with an onion sauce salmagundi); the popular ajoarriero ,
and tiznao, both prepared with dried, salted codfish. Queso Manchego,
a very mature cheese made purely from sheep's milk, mixed with cow's milk, or
cured in oil, is always appetizing, and is one of the most popular of
As for confectionery, Toledo marzipan, made with sugar and almond, is evocatively Arab and is famous all over Spain.
It is produced here in extraordinary quality and exported internationally.
There is also a rich choice of mantecados (a kind of shortcake),
Bollos al Aceite (buns fried in oil) and fried honey-dipped pastries, as
well as the bizcocha manchega (a pancake soaked in milk with sugar,
vanilla and cinnamon), and the bizcocho borracho (rum-soaked sponge
cake). Miel de la Alcarria is a locally produced honey.
Finally, the most famous wines of this region are known under the
denominación (Spanish equivalent of the French appelation contrôlée) of La
Mancha and Valdepenas, as well as the perhaps lesser-known Mentrida.
For an excellent glossary of Spanish food, check out Go
Spanish Food Dictionary