CULINARY Andalusia

Thinking about Spanish cuisine, thoughts arise about dishes such as paella and whole pigs on a spit, grilled sardines and a good plate of ham are also included on the menu of an average Spanish restaurant. Despite the fact that Spain’s culinary prowess is in many cases based on the cuisine from grandmother’s time, Spanish cuisine encompasses so much more. The best restaurant in the world was Spanish for many years; the name El Bulli will undoubtedly ring a bell with you. Futuristic cooking, with kitchen techniques bordering on science, was invented here in the 1990s. In 2009, the restaurant was named the best restaurant in the world for the fourth consecutive time according to The S. Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants. This set the tone for new fine dining throughout Spain.

Local products

It will therefore come as no surprise that the number of Michelin stars that are awarded each year in Spain is steadily growing. A logical consequence of this is that the culinary landscape is changing, more and more restaurants are looking beyond grandma’s recipe book these days. In addition to the hefty amount of eateries with Michelin stars and forks, there are also many hidden gems that work with the finest local products to conjure up the tastiest dishes. Small restaurants, in picturesque villages, which are unknown to many tourists, but are visited by the locals on a regular basis. It is very normal in Andalusia to have an extensive lunch with family or friends on Sunday afternoon; celebrating life, dressed in the most beautiful outfits.

Hidden gems in culinary Andalusia

We like to tip one of those hidden gems – which is almost only known to the local population – to enjoy a culinary afternoon out during the holiday; Casa Piolas in Algarinejo. The tiny village of Algarinejo is nestled among the olive groves of the province of Granada, the drive up winding mountain roads is a treat in itself. Casa Piolas is located on the main square, near one of the beautiful churches of the village, Iglesia de Santa Maria Maggiore. If the church is open, we advise you to take a look inside, it is very common in Andalusia to walk in to light a candle, for example.

Casa Piolas

The restaurant Casa Piolas is run by the happy owner/chef de cuisine and his wife, together with their kitchen brigade and English speaking service they guarantee a culinary experience that you will not soon forget. All dishes are inspired by the local area, for example an olive tree on the menu (goose liver with a chocolate ‘bark’ on a bed of yellow clay – biscuit crumbs with orange – and fresh herbs representing the branches and leaves). The five different preparations of olives are also a delight for the taste buds. In addition to the à la carte menu in the restaurant, you can order a menu under the name ‘slow food’ of 8 or 13 courses. The 8-course variant can also be ordered vegetarian. With each dish you will receive an explanation of what has been served to you, and where the inspiration comes from. Feel free to ask the service which wine is best to drink with each dish; you will not be disappointed. If you only fancy a cold glass of beer with a tapa, then take a seat at the bar of Casa Piolas, you are more than welcome here too!

Nearby

We would also like to list a number of holiday homes that are less than an hour’s drive from Algarinejo: Casa con Guiño, Finca del Abuelo, Casita Clara and Caseta la Cima.

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