Eating while enjoying the setting in Sierra de las Nieves can be an amazing experience. Interspersed between Spanish firs, Portuguese oak and cork oaks in the mountains, the white villages in this region follow ancient culinary traditions.
Local cuisine is based on the various vegetables, fruits and legumes produced in the region, and on the wild herbs growing in the mountains for seasoning. Recipes also include meat, game and olive oil.
Food with Arabic flavours
Guaro is one of the gateways to Sierra de las Nieves Nature Park. This village has managed to keep its Al-Andalus heritage intact. Kid stew, rabbit with almonds and sopa de galipuche (asparagus tortilla and soup) are some of the delicacies you can find broiling in the kitchen.
Bread and vegetable soups are a common dish. Try, for instance, sopa de caldo poncima in Alozaina or seven stick soup in El Burgo. These hearty dishes will replenish your energy reserves before exploring the sierras and spotting a wild goat or a golden eagle.
The region also has fine aromatic herbs to season meat with an unmistakable touch from the mountains. Try rabbit with garlic or kid shepherd’s style (with garlic, almonds and herbs). You can have them all in Casarabonela, where you can also order pipeo de habas (bean and vegetable stew) in an inn dating back to the eighteenth century.
The best snacks to have in Sierra de las Nieves are marinated olives and pork products. They are all artisan foods, just like the wine and grape juice made in Yunquera or Tolox. The latter, peppered with fascinating nooks and crannies, boasts a unique healing water spa – the only one of its kind in Europe.
There are many things to do in Sierra de las Nieves. You can take a splash in the river Verde as it flows across Istán or spend the night in the old hunting pavilion of the Larios dynasty. For an encounter with history, you can visit the Arab castle in Monda, now a hotel, and try the sopa mondeña.
Before leaving, grab a few sweets – made with almonds, chestnuts, nuts and honey – to please your palate. For the experience to be complete, wash them down with eau-de-vie from Ojén.