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Tips on how to eat like a local in Castilla y León

Castilla y Leon is the largest region in Spain. There are nine provinces inside Castilla La Vieja (as it used to be known), and we simply cannot write about all the typical dishes you can find here because we would need another blog to do so.

View of Burgos, one of the cities in Castilla y Leon
View of Burgos, one of the cities in Castilla y Leon

This region has vast fields but no access to the sea. Cold during the winter, and hot during the summer, some parts of this region are perfect for breeding animals like pigs and sheep. That is why some of the best Jamon is from Salamanca, and Segovia is famous for its Cochinillo, the Chorizo de Cantimpalos (also from Segovia) is one of the most popular chorizos around the world as well as the famous Queso Zamorano (a kind of cheese) in Zamora. You can’t leave Avila without trying a Chuleton, León has an amazing Cecina, you should have some Torreznos in Palencia or Soria, and the Lechazo in Burgos and Valladolid is a must.

Are you vegan? No worries! You can find some of the best legumes in this region. The weather and soil conditions make this part of the world unique for growing Alubias de Ibeas (Burgos), Alubias de la Bañeza (León), Judías del Barco de Ávila, Garbanzos de Fuentesaúco (Zamora) and Lentejas de la Armuña (Segovia) for instance. All of these have their own Certificate of Origin which guarantees their quality and flavour. Travelling around Castilla y Leon, you will find many dishes that use these legumes as an ingredient.

Even though some of the best fruits are collected in the south of Spain, the cherries from Caderechas (in Burgos) are delicious in spring, as well as the pears from El Bierzo.
And you can’t leave Castilla y León if you haven’t tried the famous Vinos de la Ribera del Duero, made in the zone in between Burgos, Soria, Segovia and Valladolid. Aside from these well-known wines, you can find about 10 other kinds of wines with Certificates of Origin in this region, such as Vino de Toro in Zamora and Valladolid or Vino de Rueda in Valladolid, Segovia and Ávila.

Tips and Tapas recommends:

Main dishes:
Pork or sheep (Chuletón, Lechazo, Cochinillo…). Typical legumes from the region (see above). Sopas de Ajo.
Something you should definitely try:
Jamón from Salamanca, Morcilla from Burgos, Cocido Maragato in León, Caracoles (snails) a la Palentina, Lomo embuchado in Soria, Cochinillo in Segovia, Judías del Barco in Ávila, Lechazo in Valladolid, Arroz a la Zamorana..
Something to drink:
Wine from Ribera del Duero or any other D.O (Certificate of Origin).
Something sweet:
Yemas de Almazán in Soria, any kind of Pastas.

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