The star of the Madrilenian kitchen. It is difficult to find the origin of this plate, not only Madrilenian but national too. It is said that it can come from the "rotten pot" or of the Jewish " adafina", but it is more possible than, that as we know today that it was first cooked in the 17th century.

For a long time, the stew was the daily food of the Spanish town, but with the differences depending on the diverse spending power, for that reason it can not talked about an exact or specific recipe. However, there are ingredients in commons: chickpeas, meat, bacon, potato and some vegetable.

Being a little more specific, the meat includes beef, hen, bacon, garlic sausage, blood sausage, ham and pig foot, whereas the vegetables could be potatoes, cabbage, beets, green beans, carrot or golden thistle.

Another important part is the bones, because they give flavor, one of veal cane and sometimes of ham, when it is not had a ham tip. Occasionally, and by influence of La Mancha, it is usually added a little mint. Once in the table, all these ingredients will be served following a rigorous order, in the first place the soup, later the chickpeas with the vegetable and finally all the meats.

The recovery of the homemade traditional gastronomy, has made that today the stew is offered in numerous Madrilenians restaurants. The Hotel Ritz even introduced it once a week in its menu.



It has already been said that the stew was a national plate of all the seasons, but evidently, in Lent, their components broke the abstinence tradition, for that reason the Lent stew was invented, extended by all the peninsula, but whose origin is attributed to the Madrilenian town.

It is a chickpeas stew, where the codfish replaces the meat and the vegetables are reduced to spinaches and potatoes. Its processing is very simple, it only requires good hand and a little affection.

In the first place, the chickpeas with garlic, onion and a leaf of laurel are cook. In a frying pan, a lightly fried in oil with the spinaches and paprika, adding next the codfish (that will have had in soaking one night whole so that desale). Once braised, add the fried lightly to the pan with chickpeas next he potato. Finally the firing, a divided hard egg is added and it is ready to be served.



Next to the stew, it shares the head of Madrilenian typical plates. The tripes are offered in all numerous premises that boast to go of traditional and in bars.

The base of the plate is evidently the "tripes", that is to say, cow gut (it can be of lamb or pig), that accompanies itself with garlic sausage, blood sausage and bacon or cow hand or muzzle in some occasions. The essential complement is a little paprika and a sharp one, almost always bobby.

The secret of a good processing is a perfect cleaning of the tripes, that will be made in several waters to which it will be added some salt and vinegar, and a perfect later baking.

Once they have cooked, add the garlic sausage, blood sausage, salty bacon (or ham tip), bobby and paprika and, covered them with water and take them to boil again. Once perfectly cooked, it is advised to let them rest a day and to serve them warm up on the following day.



Well-known in all the country, and more concretely in both Castiles, it is said that its origin is Madrilenian, from where it was spread widely to the rest of the country.

The garlic soups, today offered in a mud pan, are prepared with oil where pricked garlics are fried, adding a spoonful of paprika, thin slices of bread, some water and salt. Today, in restaurants it is added not only a beaten egg but also a garlic sausage and ham tips, depending on the quality of the establishment.



Typical from several Spanish regions, the Madrilenian snail came from the numerous vineyards of the zone and it was, and continues being, object of a very special treatment that consists of a sauce with oil, flour, ham or garlic sausage, cumin, garlic and something of sharp, "bobby" for example.

Of course, before cooking them, they must have spent a day of fasting and a deep cleaning. This plate is usually not offered in restaurants, but it is frequent in bars of covers.



Another of those great specialties of the most popular kitchen of Madrid at the moment is fried tripes of lamb in own fat. The specialized establishments are characterized by their particular aroma, recognizable from a certain distance and its pure-blooded atmosphere.

The tripes are eaten on a good loaf or slice of bread. These popular "lamb tripes" are very expensive, however in this same type of establishments, "entrails" (also lamb visceras) are served more economic than "tripes".



Although its origin is attributed to a lady from Navarre, who prepared this plate with the only thing she had at home to satisfy the necessities of the soldiers of Zumalacárregui, its in Madrid, where it receives a special protagonism.

With egg and potato, the picaresque Madrilenian, impelled by the poverty and the lack of oil in the years of the postwar period, added onions to save a little oil at the time of frying potatoes. Today, it is very common to have a snack consisting on a piece of potato omelette and a coffee or a beer at noon.

Although it looks very simple it is very popular and what is more important the potato omelette is an anwer to the demand of a picaresque way of saving oil. This "tortilla" has nothing to do with the omelette, except for the name.



Madrid, located right in the geographic center of the country is therefore the furthest point from the sea and nevertheless, today it is the best port to be considered.

The first fish that appeared in the Madrilenian tables were, evidently, coming from the fecund neighboring rivers. But when Madrid became the capital of the country fish began to appear.

The sea bream is the "Madrilenian of all the fish of the sea". It generally comes of the Atlantic Ocean and the Cantabrian Sea, but in nowhere it is so tasty as it is in Madrid. Just so simply served on a dish with lemon, grated bread, onion, garlic and parsley.



Except for red cabbage, typical on Christmas Eve, and those used to accompany the Madrilenian stew, it can not be said that Madrid has a great greengrocer tradition.

Nevertheless, the establishment of cooks coming from the north of Spain, had introduced them in a great number of menus. And the same thing happens to the influent arrivals from the south, that are reflected in the eggplants and muffled and fried marrow.



The great Madrilenian specialties are associated to certain parties and celebrations.

Thus, on the Three Wise Men Day a twisted roll is eaten with a surprise in it; in the Holy Week the famous "torrijas" consisting of a fried slice of bread with milk or wine, sugar and zinamon are very popular; on Saint Isidro Day the typical doughnuts and on all Saints Day the saint bones as well.

Somehow it is possible to be said that, for every time of the year the Madrilenians have their "candy".



Like a good Castilian province, Madrid has always destined a great part of its territories from culture to the vineyards, until the phylloxera, at the end of the 19th century ended great part of them.

Forgotten some earth vineyards, the recovery of traditions and the desire of some owners of a wine cellar, who stayed faithfuls to the tradition, obtained that, in 1990 the wines of the community received the denomination of origin "Wines of Madrid".

The production is concentrated in three very concrete zones: Arganda, Navalcarnero and San Martin de Valdeiglesias. In most of the restaurants, you can find wines of other denominations but not Madrilenian, although, day by day its comsuption increases.

However, in the gastronomical stores you will not have any problem to get some bottles.


frebut6.gif frebut5.gif

Copyright © 1998 - 1999 by JLL & JRP

All rights reserved.