The Region of Murcia treasures a gastronomy made up of exceptional local quality products. The varied and imaginative recipes reflect the influences of the many communities that have settled in the region over the centuries. The geographical diversity of the Murcia region infuses a huge variety of dishes made from locally sourced produce, like fish and shellfish from the Mar Menor and Mediterranean sea, fruits and vegetables from the countryside, and traditional meats and fine wines which are recognized as quality nationally and internationally. The region produces and exports highly demanded products such as Calasparra rice, wines from Bullas, Jumilla and Yecla, salamis, vegetables, citrus fruits, jams and preserves. All this is topped off by a culinary art of gastronomic excellence in traditional dishes like Caldero, Migas and Paparajotes.
The migration of different civilizations and cultures through the Costa Cálida has left a lasting gastronomic influence, still present in the cooking of today. Hence, we can find clear similarities between current typical dishes and foods from the ancient Greco-Roman times. Many of the traditional crops of the Region of Murcia were used in the Roman era such as the vine, the olive tree, the fig tree and the artichoke. Later, the settling of the Arab culture in the Mediterranean brought a tremendous heritage of flavours and aromas to the Murcian cookbook, with a long list of foods and recipes which were named by the Muslims that still remain the same today. After the discovery of the Americas, a series of products from the new continent were introduced like the tomato and the pepper, which quickly became essential in the local gastronomy.
COSTA CÁLIDA VINEYARDS & WINERIES
The Region of Murcia benefits from excellent climate conditions, great soil and good human resources for grape growing and producing quality wines. There are over 47,000 hectares of land in the Murcia region dedicated to the cultivation of the perfect vine. The three original main areas for wine production on the Costa Cálida are in Bullas, Jumilla and Yecla. Though there is also a strong presence of vineyards in the regions of Abanilla and in the countryside of Cartagena, where they are known as “wines of the earth”. The variety of good soil and the perfect weather conditions enable the production of a wide range of red, rose and white wines.
The typical wines of this area are derived from the Monastrell grape variety, bringing us the popular wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonay. Wine Tourism or “Enoturismo” in Spanish is becoming evidently popular on the Costa Cálida as local vineyards and bodegas, large and small, open their doors and give you a chance to discover, explore and taste their fine wines from the region. The unique experience of Wine Tourism makes an ideal day out, giving you the opportunity to see a new area, learn about how vineyards and wine cellars work, and experience fine wine tasting accompanied by local tapas in a beautiful countryside setting. A bodega visit must be one of the nicest ways to soak up some Spanish culture and tradition.