Huelva has been unanimously voted the Spanish Capital of Gastronomy 2017 by the jury. Cuenca, the other finalist, aroused the jury’s interest which highlighted “the importance of the food originating from Cuenca, the level of hospitality and the quality of the provisions in the city and its province,” and motivated it by saying “If they present their candidacy in 2018, they will have a great chance of winning as they’ve impressed us with their excellent work and the traditional culinary offering with the distinct Manchego flavour.”
For the first time in its history, the award has been given to a coastal city, and in doing so, “the Jury pays tribute to sea food and extraordinary products like the prawns and seafood from Huelva.”
The Jury values and recognises the excellent work carried out by the Huelva City Council in promoting Huelva as a candidate and in achieving extraordinary grass-roots support for the candidacy. Huelva’s strategy was based on achieving unfailing institutional support from the Andalusian Regional Government and all the city councils of the Andalusian capitals.
According to the jury, choosing Huelva brings a new version of our gastronomy and represents “the recognition of sea food, a tribute to the products that arrive at the fish market every morning. After consecutively choosing inland Spanish cities for the last five years, the jury values the importance of the gastronomy based on fish and seafood with their delicious stews and casseroles that make up an essential part of the Spanish culinary tradition.”
The gastronomic trident
From the sea to the mountains, the best introduction to Huelva is Jabugo ham and the cured meats from the mountain range, the white prawns and fish from the Atlantic coast and the small and large strawberries and red fruits from Lepe.
Prawns from Huelva are one of the most appreciated Spanish shellfish and are in big demand from the leading chefs, together with, but to a lesser extent cockles and small baby squids.
If we step away from the typical coastal dishes, influences from other areas are also felt in the Huelva gastronomy. There is an abundance of dishes with garden fresh produce, the incredible world renowned Jabugo ham and lamb and pork.
In wines and vinegar, it highlights the Condado de Huelva Designation of Origin, and curiously the Condado de Huelva Orange Wine, a product obtained from a DO wine with added ethyl alcohol of viticultural origin flavoured with macerated bitter orange peel.