Huelva and its Andalusian style gastronomy: seafood, top quality ham and treasures of the sea and the land
e invite you to get to know the Andalusian city in the company of its cured ham, seafood and dreamy beaches. What can we say about Andalusia? It’s synonymous with song, flamenco, the coast, tourism and tapas – lots of tapas! But Huelva has all that and more to enrich the visitor’s experience. Enjoying Huelva province is to get to know its fine sandy beaches, see its white villages, visit Doñana y Matalascañas Park, experience its brotherhoods, visit Canela and Cristina Islands and … eat, eat and eat lot of ham with wine.
Getting to know the gastronomy of the Huelvan Costa de la Luz is to unite the taste of the sea with tourism and visit Ayamonte, Isla Cristina, Isla Canela, Cartaya, Punta Umbría or Matalascañas; it is to drink down the Huelvan coastal atmosphere and its local essence. It’s worth making a stop along the way and tasting the most distinguishing produce of these coastal zones, especially those from the sea. These are valuable fishing enclaves that attract tourists, but have a local gastronomy that can be a pleasant surprise, both for its good ham and for the quality of its seafood.
So if you fancy enjoying Huelva in the purest Andalusian style, take note of these recommendations.
Cured Ham and company
So, why is its ham so irresistible? No one says no to a ham tapa, do they? In Huelva, as well as being an Andalusian tapa par excellence, the ham also has its own name: Jabugo. Made from black Iberian pigs who live freely in meadows and feed on acorns, its taste, colour, appearance and texture have made it a popular delicacy on tables across the world, and the only one of its kind. We recommend you try it while you’re in the region. It’s delicious freshly cut and accompanied with a good wine; the best of the best.
In addition to this delicious ham, visitors to Huelva can also enjoy top quality pork loin, chorizo, salchichón and especially the region’s traditional morcilla sausage. Morcilla is an essential ingredient in vegetable based soups and stews that are prepared in homes and restaurants. Other dishes that stand out include the broad bean dish called habas enzapatás, the Lenten soup called potaje de vigilia, chick peas with spinach and many other delicious casseroles. Regional vegetables and top quality olive oil make it possible to prepare dishes such as gazpacho and salmorejo. In addition to excellent garden produce, you can also enjoy amazing seasonal mushrooms, particularly the traditional gurumelo. Meat and game also have a significant presence on Huelva’s tables, the exceptional leading players being lamb and pork.
1. CALDERETA DEL CONDADO
From the Huelva countryside, specifically the Palma del Condado municipality, comes this succulent recipe for suckling lamb accompanied by ham and streaky bacon. This dish must be slow cooked so that the suckling lamb does not disintegrate while cooking.
2. REVUELTO DE TAGARNINAS
Golden thistle is also a very typical dish in Huelva. This simple recipe has prawn, ham and egg as its ingredients. This surf and turf combination makes for an authentic gourmet dish.
Delicious seafood of the region
Let’s not lose sight of the tasty treats that come from the sea. Man cannot live by ham alone! Indeed, in Huelva, seafood occupies a place of honour in gastronomy. Perhaps the best known and most renowned species is Huelva white prawn; one of a kind and probably one of the best in the world. And let’s not forget that Sanlúcar de Barrameda prawns, famous the world over, are fished in the same province and can be enjoyed in the Andalusian capital’s many bars and restaurants. Another species that visitors must try is lobster, which achieves authentic excellence on Huelva’s tables. Furthermore, the presence of the Atlantic Ocean guarantees the supply of top quality fish. The enormous variety available creates all kinds of dishes and very special recipes, such as skate with paprika, tuna with tomato (and many others ways), sargo in onion sauce or grilled, sword fish, sardines a la pimientilla, rice with clams or cockles and delicious traditional molluscs from the Andalusian Costa de la Luz.
1. RAYA AL PIMENTÓN
Skate is a cargilaginous fish that, though it does not enjoy much prestige, is truly exquisite. Making this humble dish with skate bought at the port fish market, practically freshly caught, transmits all the flavour of the fishing village.
2. COQUINAS DE HUELVA AL AJILLO
Garlic clams is one of Huelva cuisine’s most classic recipes and, whether it be a tapa, small plate or main course, appears on the menus of most of the region’s restaurants and tapas bars. The only difficult part of this excellent dish lies in getting all the sand out from inside the clam.
Baked goods from Huelva, like those from the rest of Andalusia and most of Spain, have a strong Arab influence, which can be seen in the habitual use of dried fruit and honey to make desserts. Cocas are traditional in many of the province’s localities, such as Lepe or Ayamonte, among others, and places are known for delights such as rosco de nueces (walnut ring-shaped pasty), torta de Pascua and mazapán de castañas (chestnut marzipan). All the specialities can be found in the cake shops and bakeries of the city of Huelva. Finally, Huelva province is also home to some excellent white wines and liqueurs of the highest quality.
A perrunilla is a convent sweet that could be defined as a kind of tea pastry or biscuit, but that is made with the unmistakable style of Andalusian cuisine. Pork fat, eggs, flour, lemon peel, spirit and powdered cinnamon are the ingredients of this simple and delicious recipe.
Andalusian and Huelva traditions
And now a word about the riches we can find inland. The Andalusian tradition can be strongly felt in Huelva when we eat salmorejo, gazpacho or any dish garnished with the delicious produce from its garden: broad beans with garlic, lemon, vegetable soup or meat and vegetable stews, and the most traditional cuisine based on game.
For drinking in Huelva, which is a land of excellent grapes, we recommend its high quality white wines and liqueurs. Its olive oils and vinegars are also starting to win awards and an interesting gap has been opened with regard to other international products, with Huelva’s products coming to rival those from other Spanish communities in categories such as oranges, asparagus, oils and other garden produce that is having a greater impact. We end our culinary experience with a good dessert and tears of joy: torta de Pascua, polea, huevos nevados… join the queue!
Where to stay
If you want to enjoy Huelva, there’s no better option than Fuerte Hoteles, which is why we recommend that you stay at the Hotel Fuerte El Rompido, which enjoys a spectacular location that dominates the entire natural landscape of the River Piedras. Added to this is an Andalusian aesthetic architecture that is in harmony with its environment. Here you can enjoy an 8.7-mile-long virgin beach and also have the Sierra de Huelva nearby, where you can make use of all the open air trails, helping you to stay in shape while being in nature.