Everyone knows the historical and cultural richness of Sierra de Espadán Natural Park, and the vast environmental heritage of the area and, more specifically, the villages of the Espadán-Mijares Community. Its beauty and that of its people isequalled by its extensive gastronomic offering replete with an infinity of flavours and aromas that makes its cuisine stand out as one of the area’s most prized assets.
With this guide, we will take a closer look at the Community’s excellent popular gastronomy, a Mediterranean mountain cuisine whose traditional recipes have been passed down from generation to generation and have acquired their own identity, rich in flavours and forms, and based on excellent produce with a clear main protagonist: virgin olive oil.
The interior of the province of Castellón is a vast pantry full of produce grown in orchards, groves and fields, which, combined with the effort of its people, provides the ingredients for traditional dishes that satisfy the most demanding palates.
In few places in the world does rice cooking deserve so much praise and recognition. High-quality local products, such as the already-mentioned olive oil, vegetables and meats, accompany and enrich all kinds of rice dishes, whether oven-baked, brothy or containing lobster or cured Iberian pork. Not to mention Castellón’s other culinary delights such as mushrooms, game and aromatic oils. All washed down with medicinal mineral water or remarkable wine.
Raw materials such as cherries, artisan honey and chocolate to flavour and complement hot and cold dishes from all over the area.
And indispensable on the dessert menus of the municipalities of the Community are such typical sweet treats as "congretes" (anise- flavoured pastries), "orejitas" or "orelletes" (palmiers), "coca mal feta" (sponge cake), "roscos de San Antonio" (doughnuts), "higas de Albardás" (fig fritters), "cocas" (sweet pies), "pastissos de moniato" (sweet potato pastries), among many others.
We invite our visitors to enjoy the culinary pleasures offered by the villages of the Espadán-Mijares Community, adapted to the most exquisite environment.
The gastronomy of Aín includes dishes such as cabbage or rice stew, or "puchero", and sweet treats such as "orelletes, buñuelos de rollo" (rolled doughnuts) and fig doughnuts.
The area is also known for its cherries.
Alcúdia de Veo
The cuisine of Alcudia de Veo is representative of the typical Mediterranean mountain cuisine of the municipalities of the area. Its game meat, mainly wild boar and thrush, are the protagonists of many of its dishes, such as its "olla de pueblo" (local stew).
Desserts such as the typical "orelletes" and "buñuelos" sweeten the palates of locals and visitors.
Mediterranean mountain cuisine is traditional, a gastronomy very rich in natural ingredients.
Particularly notable are hearty dishes such as cabbage stew with beans and potatoes, cardoon stew, brothy soup and the renowned Valencian paella, which includes vegetables, meat and snails.
The inhabitants of Argelita sweeten their palates with pastitas de cabello de ángel y boniato (pumpkin and sweet potato jam pastries), "higas Albardàs", among many others.
The gastronomy of Ayódar, like other mountain cuisine, consists of rich and hearty dishes in which vegetables from the municipality’s market gardens and meats predominate. Cod pottage, beef or wild boar stew and rabbit with mushrooms are all good first courses. Mushrooms and fungi collected from the area’s forests also have great gastronomic appeal, as does its wide variety of berries.
Borage is used as an ingredient in its most typical sweet treats.
Like many other villages in the area, Espadilla also boasts a traditional Mediterranean mountain cuisine, based mainly on produce from its market gardens and game. Visitors can savour dishes such as "olla descalza", "olla casera", wild boar stew and game.
The most representative dish of Fanzara’s popular cuisine is cabbage stew. Other typical dishes of this village are cardoon or other vegetable stew, rabbit and chicken paella, the typical Valencian paella of the interior, roasted meat with oil, homemade sausage and oven-baked rice.
Among its typical desserts, particularly outstanding are its "magdalenas", "clarianas", "rosigones", almond cake and pumpkin and sweet potato jam pastries, typical of Christmas.
Fuentes de Ayodar
Among the typical dishes of this locality, "fritura" with ingredients such as blood sausage with onion or rice, fresh pork sausages and ribs and pork loin stand out.
Among its sweet treats, its "bollos de migas" and "congretas" play a leading role, but one of the most delicious and spectacular desserts from Fuentes de Ayódar’s traditional cuisine is "higas Albardàs".
Ribesalbes has a rich gastronomy based especially on the typical products of the locality such as "tordos con cebolla" (thrush with onions), "olla de penques, bollo de tomate y verdura", pumpkin and sweet potato jam pastries, "rosquillas de San Antonio", "torta de almendras" and "mona de Pascua" (Easter cake).
Typical dishes of this town include the traditional "olla de pueblo", grilled chops, Valencian paella of the interior, delicious "buñuelos". "Orelletes", "llesquetes d’ou", "coca mal feta" and "rosegons" are other sweet treats typical of Sueras.
The typical local stew, paella and poor man’s rice, as well as a great variety of grilled meats and sausages, make up the traditional Mediterranean cuisine of Tales, but it is one dish above all others that particularly stands out: beef and potatoes.
"Rollo de almendra" with "carabassat" (candied fruit extracted from the pumpkin), "buñuelos" with fig and "orelletes" are some of the traditional sweet treats that can be sampled in Tales.
The gastronomy of Toga is based on Mediterranean mountain cuisine, fresh and hearty dishes where vegetables and meat are the main protagonists. Typical dishes such as the local stew of vegetables and pulses and paella with snails particularly stand out.
Among the sweet treats that deserve mention are "higas Albardàs", delicious "buñuelos" filled with dried figs and pumpkin jam pastries.
Torralba del Pinar
Torralba del Pinar’s cuisine offers a wide variety of dishes and desserts such as snail and wild boar stew, "gachas", rabbit with garlic, preserved fried meats and "bollo de Torralba". Traditionally, its menus include "olla de matacerdo", cabbage stew with rice and potatoes and "calabaza torrada" for dessert.
Torrechiva offers typical homemade cuisine based on natural products, with a predominance of meat. Particularly notable are dishes such as homemade stew, oven-baked rice and garlic soup.
Popular sweet treats include "bollo de chicharrones, bollo relleno, bollo de agosto" and "pan bendito".
The cuisine of Vallat is representative of typical Mediterranean mountain cuisine. Particularly popular is produce from the market garden and game, with which the locals prepare dishes with strong flavours and aromas, hearty broths and energy-giving stews. There are no houses without homemade stew, rabbit or paella.
Typical sweet treats include rolls that are eaten during festivals.
The cornerstone of the cuisine of Villamalur is the Mediterranean diet of the interior, based on natural produce from the municipality’s own market gardens. The local stew, vegetables, olive oil and meat predominate. During hunting season, game, particularly the abundant wild boar found in the area, is used in many dishes.
Its large expanses of cherry trees make its fruit the main ingredient for desserts.