The originality of Zamora’s cuisine resides in basic
condiments, like garlic and paprika which enliven typical dishes like arroz
a la zamorana (rice with offal) or bacalao a la tranca (codfish with paprika),
as well as in the traditional regional meats and cheeses of outstanding quality:
Ternera de Aliste or veal with its official certification of quality; Lechazo
de Castilla y León or the exquisite and very juicy milk-fed lamb meats of the
region which also have a quality seal of geographical indication; and Zamora’s
delectable cheeses which are principally made from the indigenous Churra and
Castellano breeds of sheep and are regulated by the D.O.: Denominación de Origen
Protegida Queso Zamorano. Many regional cheese-makers now enjoy the national
and international recognition they deserve in the form of numerous prizes they
have won in recent years. There are three D.O. regulated wine-making districts
which have nothing to envy of the more well-known regions of Spain: Toro, Arribes
and Tierra del Vino. We must not fail to mention other high-quality products of
the area like chickpeas from Fuentesauco; peppers from Benavente; the meaty white
beans and the honey of Sanabria; Zamora chorizo sausages; the flour, which comes
from a long flour-making tradition and also has its own quality seal, gives an
unmistakable aroma and texture to our breads; a myriad of edible wild mushrooms
from our forests considered among the best in the country, to name a few.
To satisfy your sweet tooth, like any other region of Spain, Zamora has its own sweetmeats which include aceitadas cookies with anise which used to be eaten only at Easter but can now be found year-round; the rebojo cakes both soft and hard; the amarguillos with almonds; the bollo coscarón cakes with pork rinds and nuts; the caprichos de reina bonbons; traditional doughnuts and doughnut shaped breads and monastic sweets that usually accompany our romerías.
Easter is the most relevant event of the year in our city of Zamora, not only from a religious perspective but also socially and culturally speaking. Not surprisingly, a wide range of culinary products which identify and enrich our region’s gastronomy are associated with our Passion Week. Almendras garrapiñadas (candy-coated almonds), aceitadas, torrijas (French toast), bacalao a la tranca (codfish with paprika), sopas de ajo (garlic soups) and potajes de bacalao (chickpea codfish stews) are prepared above all on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. Finally, we must not forget the infamous dos y pingada, two eggs with fried bread and ham: the obligatory dish of Easter Sunday.