Among the many attractions of the region of Murcia, apart from its natural beauty, its monuments, its cultural traditions, its festivals and its dazzling Mediterranean coast, its rich and varied gastronomy stands out.
The Zarangollo, the Michirones and the Murcian ratatouille are some of the typical traditional dishes that you should try on your next visit to this region.
This is one of the most popular dishes in the region of Murcia. It is easy to prepare, nutritious and very healthy. It consists of scrambled eggs with small pieces of onion and courgette, which are fried in olive oil.
Due to the simplicity of its preparation and the accessibility of its ingredients, it is a very common dish in homes and is part of the daily menu of every Murcian family. However, despite its apparent simplicity, it is a meal with a long history and an interesting tradition.
The zarangollo has its origins in the Spanish Reconquest, a historical period in which Sephardic Jews settled in the peninsula. The original dish was known in those days as “Alboronía”.
The original recipe included aubergines, tomatoes and peppers, ingredients that were replaced by those that the peasants of the area found more at hand.
In Aragon, this preparation was known as “zaranga”, a word that means fried, and included the vegetables available according to the season. Farther south, a similar dish was prepared whose name was “frangollo”, a word derived from the Latin frangere, which means to break.
The union of these two traditions resulted in the zarangollo, in which the predominant vegetables are onion and zucchini, but which can include any vegetable available at the time. The typical zarangollo, however, does not recognize other additions and respects the simplicity of the original dish. It is one of the so-called garden cuisines, made with basic ingredients and which, for centuries, has served as a livelihood for families in the region.
The secret of the zarangollo is the fresh vegetables and a light cooking in olive oil that makes them crispy. It is usually served as an appetizer or accompaniment. In the bars and restaurants of the region, it is common to serve them as tapas on slices of bread. It is also usual in these establishments to add aubergines or potatoes.
This traditional Murcian dish is made up of dry broad beans, stewed with chorizo, pancetta or bacon, vegetables and spices. Simple and easy to prepare, it is one of the most emblematic dishes of the region and is preferably consumed in the cold months.
The secret of the michirones is broad beans, which, when they are no longer tender, are soaked and left to dry in the sun. An Iberian ham bone is usually added to the cooking, which gives them an exceptional taste.
You can add chilies or hot peppers to taste, which give it a spicy touch that many like. Garlic and bay leaf are other main ingredients.
It is a comforting dish that is usually served very hot in clay pots. It is especially delicious when accompanied by bread and a good glass of red wine.
In the so-called Spring Festivals, a popular festival in the city of Murcia, they are the specialty, enjoying great acceptance among diners for the high quality of their ingredients.
The Murcian ratatouille is another of the typical foods of Murcia that has an ancient tradition. It is a preparation typical of the so-called garden cuisine, as all its ingredients are vegetables produced from the innumerable crops in the area.
The Murcian ratatouille is essentially a very simple and easy-to-prepare vegetable stew. Its main ingredients are onions, tomatoes, aubergines and peppers. One variety of ratatouille includes eggs, which makes it more substantial.
All the ingredients are cut and fried separately in olive oil. Later, they come together to be fried for a few minutes. In the case of ratatouille with eggs, they are beaten and added to the cooking. It is seasoned only with salt.