Cordovan cuisine is by itself one of the biggest tourist attractions of the city. The Cordovan recipe book is infused with the essence of the different civilizations that have passed through these lands and have known how to make the most of the products from the Sierra and the Campiña region. Córdoba has a big culinary reputation thanks to the extensive offering and quality given by its taverns and restaurants based on a Mediterranean diet, acknowledged by UNESCO as Intangible Cultural Heritage since 2013.
Olive oil is the distinguishing mark of Cordovan cuisine and the foundational ingredient in the majority of its dishes. Introduced by the Romans, the use of olive oil was made mainstream under Muslim rule, in contrast to the use of tomato in the 18th century, when tomato became popular in Spain, turned salmorejo into the champion of the Cordovan recipe book. It is a cold tomato-based cream with olive oil, garlic and bread. The union of sweet and savoury favours is an Andalusian legacy which persists in the popular orange and cod salad. This influence can also be seen in the use of vegetables such as artichokes and aubergines, used in a thousand and one ways in Cordovan cuisine, like the famous aubergines with honey or artichokes “a la montillana” (cooked with wine, garlic and ham). In terms of meat, the most noteworthy is oxtail, another very characteristic dish of Cordovan cuisine, the origins of which are connected with the rich bullfighting history of the city. And let’s not forget the indispensable “flamenquín”, a rolled pork fillet filled with Serrano ham, breaded and fried. Also typical in Córdoba is honey roasted lamb, a Mozarabic recipe brought back years ago by some of the city’ restaurants as well as game dishes, with leading dishes such as venison, wild boar, partridge or wild rabbit. With desserts, delicacies from the Andalusian and Jewish past persist in folk recipes such as “alfajores” pastries, with honey and almonds; sweets created with dough fried in olive oil, such as the “pastel cordobés”, a pastry with spaghetti squash jam, which tends to come with a glass of sweet Pedro Ximénez wine.
All of these dishes come from the fantastic products of the province of Córdoba, protected by seven designations of origin. Four designations of origin protect the excellent quality of olive oil produced in Córdoba, the second largest worldwide manufacturer only behind Jaén: PDO Baena, PDO Priego de Córdoba, PDO Lucena and PDO Montoro-Adamuz. The famous Iberian ham produced in the North of the province of Córdoba is taken from pigs raised in fields with acorns and it is regulated by PDO Los Pedroches. And, to drink, PDO Montilla-Moriles offer a wide range of wines that you can enjoy in the taverns of the city: young wine, white wine with or without ageing, fortified wines (fino, amontillado, oloroso and palo cortado), sweet liqueur wines (Pedro Ximénez and muscatel) and fortified liqueur wines (generoso liqueur wine, pale cream wine and cream wine). The vinegars created using these wines are also protected, in this case by PDO DOP Vinagre de Montilla-Moriles.