Dining in Spain is an outer body experience; it’s an experience that goes beyond the palette and creates an indescribable sensation. Where aroma and taste marry the lush and historical filled streets, dining in Extremadura puts you in touch with your senses and engages a feeling of nostalgia while taking in 'old Spain.'
Extremadura region is pure foodie-heaven! The natural and high quality products used are out of this world as it's a region is known for: olive oil, cheese, jamon, paprika, honey, cherries, and more.
Roaming the floral and herb cobblestone lined streets of Extremadura made you take a moment, breathe, and realize that you are breathing in the foundation of our history. The feeling is overwhelming; however, if you get a chance to explore I highly suggest you do so. Below are a few favorites of the Extremadura region.
Tapas Tour in Plasencia:
If you’re a lover of ‘farmers markets’ and wide open spaces then you’ll love Plasencia. The walled market in on the bank of the Jerte River and is full of live. The city itself is surrounded by local eateries, ancestral homes, and significant religious buildings.
In Spain, it's very common for people to meet to "Salir de Tapas", which means 'to go out for tapas.' This is a great way to socialize while trying multiple tapas. You can find many places that will offer a tapa with your beverage for 1.30 euros that serve not your typical olives, but more extravagant options such as a mini-burger, caramelized goat cheese toast, and more. To get a great overview of the local flavor I advise taking a tapas tour with Jose Luis Munoz of L&P Travel.
The tapas tour will introduce you to a favorite – the artistry of ‘tapas.’ A traditional tapas is a light bite that is served with your drink of choice. Light bites can range from olives, salmi, jamon, to avocado toast with cod and truffle oil.
On the tour we checked out three local tapas locations that each had it’s unique flair.
Cafeteria bar Espanol Restaurante where we dished on delicious ‘Solomillo iberico con salsa de Torta de la Serena,’ a thin slice of tender pork covered with spreadable cheese.
Our next stop was Plaza 30 where Carlos, the owner, transformed what used to be a casino into a chic place to gather for tapas. Tentempie, where we had a smorgasbord of tapas that are influenced from all areas of the world.
"I'm always reading, buying books, and getting inspired for new items," explained Rodrigo Hernandez Rebate. "I'm inspired by a few chefs. It's more about the new chefs verses the older chefs it’s about mixing, experimenting, and finding new items.”
The tapas tour is great for anyone that wants to immersive themselves in the culture while dining on fine light bites. It’s a great way to kick off a trip to one of the best gastronomic parts in the world – Extremadura!
Another important region of Extremadura is Caceres. It showcases a mix of what Spain is founded upon: Roman, Islamic, Northern Gothic and Italian Renaissance styles. A stroll through Caceres will be a stroll of seeing many different contextual styles before you. Caceres is one of the best preserved towns from the Middle Ages on Europe because of its great legacy. A trip to Cáceres is worth it both for the historical factor but also because it was voted as the Spanish capital of Gastronomy in 2015. In Caceres you will notice a mix of Arab, Jewish, and Christian influences.
Quesos del Casar:
Founded in 1985, Quesos del Casar A mere 30 minutes out of Plasencia is the lovely factory for making delicious varieties of cheese such as the Viejo Maestro, Villa Noble, Torta del Casar and more. Its' widely known for its' Torta del Casar, which is a cold spreadable cheese that takes two months to make.
"For us it's very important to produce a good cheese with good flavor and aromas" Ricardo Vivas, sales and marketing director of Quesos del Casar states. "This is why we use all natural products that are local to uphold this standard."
What started as a mistake is now a culinary gem. Torta del Casar is known to be one of the most prestigious cheese in Spain.
Quesos Del Casar
Carretera Casar-Arroyo, s/n
10190 Casar de Caceres
Dining in a Parador, a converted monastery, castle, historic building is quite common in Spain. It’s a beautiful thing to have historic surroundings while enjoying a lovely meal to be from the region. At this particular parador of Caceres, we were seated on the lovely terrace and anxiously awaiting for our meal which was a combination of traditional dishes and gourmet delicacies. For starters we were able to enjoy a lovely chilled gazpacho which had a sea of flavors that were nice and soothing to the palette in the warm heat. Nontraditional dishes such as a mini slider and chicken teriyaki were also served. To finish we had the traditional Iberian Pork which were oozing with flavors beaming off the plate.
Stepping into Mérida is like taking a step back in time. The soil, the pride, the energy of Mérida breathes Spain as it boasts some of the best preserved Roman monuments in the world. Make sure you give yourself ample amount of time to see the preserved history set right before you, there I plenty of it as it is the capital of Extremadura!
Merida is home to the Amphitheater, The Roman Theater, famous bridges, temples, reservoirs, and more.
The Roman Theater is a magnificent work of art. Streaming from 15-16 BC the theater is one of the most visited monuments. The remains have been preserved and are still being used to this very day during the summertime. The Roman Amphitheatre is located near the Roman Theater and is lined with elaborate décor with grandiose precincts and carvings in stone. Primarily dedicated to "the games," shows with gladiators and wild animals, the amphitheater was the center of entertainment then and still holds the legacy today. While roaming the streets of Mérida, drop into The House of The Amphitheater and The National Museum of Roman Art.
The lush countryside and walls of Trujillo are overflowing with historical gems. In the main square of Trujillo you'll see the statue of Francisco Pizarro, conqueror of Peru. A person of discovery at heart, he took part in various Spanish missions of exploration and conquest and even discovered the length of the Amazon River. Next to the beautiful statue is the breathtaking Church of San Francisco. Trujillo is a magical place that is beaming with historical sites and energy.
Making exceptional products is what Extremadura is known for. Habla, derived from its original meaning, ‘to speak,’ will leave you at a loss for words – where the wine speaks for itself. Built solely off of a dream the inspiration for the brand stems from the story of Miguel Angel considering Moses his most perfect creation. The complexities from Habla wines will nicely spread over your palette and leave you with a nice feeling of pleasure.
The Habla vineyard is located in the beautiful city of Trujillo and is an ‘avant-garde’ winery. Breaking away from traditional winemaking, Habla uses modern day technology to ensure it produces top-tier Spanish wines that are impeccable. Habla del Silencio, a smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, won best Spanish wine in 2014, 2015, and 2016. One of its wines, Habla de ti also won best Spanish white wine. for habla de ti.
The winery itself is a masterpiece of contemporary architecture and stands apart from the rest of its competitors as its on 1,500 acres with 200 acres dedicated to the vineyard. With the beautiful city of Trujillo as the background, guests will enjoy the modern establishment that is surrounded by greenery and also take in the beautiful specimens of “Pura Raza Española” (PRE) horses of the stud JT, one of the most prestigious in the country. Habla, a strong brand, a memorable wine, wrapped up in a sleek package.
"As a tribute to the Renaissance genius, we gave to our winery and our wines the Spirit of Continuous Perfection," which is seen through each and every wine at Habla.
A-V, Km 259
10200 Truillo, Espana
+34 927 659 180
From dining in the paradors to the lush greens of the city, Extremadura is a city that creates endless picturesque moments. The fact that Extremadura has 300 days of sunlight per year, which produces exceptional vegetables and raw materials is fascinating. The beauty of the natural products from the region highlight the flavors held within the dishes. So, grab your pan con tomate and a cafe con leche and enjoy - you won't be disappointed.