The gastronomy in the Oriental region of Murcia has its strength in an agriculture of fruit trees, vineyards, and olive trees, which makes it stand out for its indigenous wines. They are not lacking to accompany such dishes as rice seasoned with olive oil.
The Oriental region borders the province of Alicante and is made up of the municipalities of Abanilla and Fortuna. In addition to its vineyards and olive trees, it has date palms whose fruit is unique and extraordinary. It also has almond, peach, apricot, and lemon trees.
Therefore, it is easy to imagine the richness of its juices and desserts based on these fruits. In the same way, it has richly seasoned main dishes, in which olive oil and wines are not lacking.
Wine from the Land of Abanilla
The gastronomy in the Oriental region has Wine from the Land of Abanilla
(VdlT). These are wines defined as such by their specific characteristics determined by the environmental and growing conditions, as established in each geographical indication.
This protected geographical indication designates them as wines originating from the Abanilla and Fortuna wine region. They are elaborated wines whose alcohol content establishes a minimum of 12 degrees for reds and 11 degrees for rosés and whites.
This protected geographical indication is applied to distinguish a product whose characteristics and quality are specifically due to the geographical area in which it is cultivated and transformed.
In its traditional cuisine, standouts are sausages, “tortilleras”, “gachasmigas”—rice with rabbit and snails that, although prepared in all the regions of Murcia, in the Oriental region has an exquisite flavour given to it by the seasoning that its spices provides.
To the “gachasmigas”, based on flour that is prepared to make it look like breadcrumbs, pieces of sausages are added in some cases, while in others it can be bacon, according to the taste of the diner. The “gachasmigas” have previously been seasoned and fried in olive oil. They are usually accompanied by grapes, olives, figs, and even the rich dates of the region.
In the gastronomy of the Oriental region, sausages are made up of meats and herbs. Certain spices deserve special mention, among them garlic, bell pepper, and paprika, as well as ginger, nutmeg, and the herbs of thyme and rosemary, which provide special flavours.
Among the cured sausages are “salchichón” and “chorizo”, or those that are previously cooked, such as sausage and blood sausage. In both cases, they represent typical foods of the gastronomy of the Oriental region and are central ingredients in many of the dishes of the food of this region.
The quality of this food stems from its being stuffed into a natural casing that makes it possible to cure it and, therefore, conserve it for long periods of time.
Gastronomy in the Oriental region has, among its specialties, fruit-based desserts from its fertile orchard. This is undoubtedly one of the qualities of the region provided by its apricots and its appreciated and unmatched dates.
Its traditional desserts are very abundant and appreciated by the families of the region and visitors. Its delicious and unforgettable “buñuelos”, muffins, “monas”, and “almojábanas” make up a traditional quality pastry.
The “Almojábana”, whose original name, Almuyábbana, is Arabic, consists of a mixture made with cheese, eggs, olive oil, water, salt, and honey that gives it its special flavour. They are eaten baked.
In terms of pastry, the “magdalena” (or madalena), which is made with flour, eggs, sugar, butter, yeast, and lemon or orange zest, which gives it a characteristic aroma, also stands out.
The “buñuelos” are very popular and especially enjoyed by little ones because they are coated with sugar. They also contain flour, eggs, cheese, sugar, water, and salt and are usually served accompanied by a cup of hot chocolate.