Eating out in El Rompido (Huelva)

El Rompido does not stand just for beach and climate, but also for a long and rich tradition of gastronomy that can be tasted anywhere in the destinations along the Huelva coast: Ayamonte, Isla Cristina, Lepe, Cartaya, Punta Umbría, Moguer, Palos de la Frontera, Almonte and Huelva. And, of course, El Rompido.

Huelva has two stars that shine with their own light. Jamón – for the simple ‘ham’ does it no justice – and seafood. Two authentic luxuries that perhaps aren’t that very well known.

If the cooked joints of the mountains have fame and quality, then no less a reputation attaches to the seafood that is landed daily in the ports of Isla Cristina, Huelva, El Rompido (Cartaya), Ayamonte, El Terron (Lepe) and Punta Umbría. The riches harvested off these coasts have special characteristics that distinguish them from any other.
Gastronomia en Huelva. Gamas, JamonThe king prawn or what’s known as the white prawn of the coast is unmistakeable by the rosy pink colour of the meat in cooking and the immaculate white that makes the limbs stand out. Lobsters, crayfish, Norway lobster and a mollusc of truly immeasurable gustatory properties, la coquina, Donax trunculus, the humble clam.

In the restaurants of El Rompido it is simply obligatory for visitors to try the fresh seafood that comes from the ports of the area, grilled or fried on the premises. The seafood is an integral and essential part of all good cooking, and good eating, along the coast. And retain in your memory a cephalopod popular throughout the province: el choco, cuttlefish. It is from this cephalopod that the inhabitants of the capital, Huelva, get their nickname of ‘choqueros’, and, like the aforementioned clams and shellfoods, it is often prepared in a rice broth very similar to the cuisine of the Portuguese who, with the eastern Spanish, have elevated the gastronomy of Huelva to dizzying heights.

In the matter of pastries and other delicacies, the sweetened fruits and meringue-like ‘enmelados’ (with honey) are, without doubt, the most exquisite. Nor should we forget the desserts made with the regional almonds. From the stuffed pastry nicknamed locally ‘la coca isleña’ , clearly originating from Mallorca, to the Torta Real (royal tart, or cake) de Cartaya or the honey-flavoured scones called bollullos, the almond has been and remains an essential element in the desserts and not a few stews from the province.

On the other hand, we also have the sizeable strawberry harvest from the Huelva coastline, particularly at Palos and Lepe. Fresh or in a preserve, they can be an excellent final taster in any meal.

Considering the wines, there is a Denominación de Origen (appelacion contrôlée) which is awarded to fruit wines, young wines aged in the traditional manner of full-bodied wines, sherries of fino (delicate), oloroso (dark and sweet) and soleras (vintage) of a quality that is beyond question.

You’ll also come across liquors such as the ‘brandys’ (coñac) of La Palma, brandies with an international standing, or those called ‘aguardientes’, pure liquors steeped in a high level of aniseed (anis, like Pernod) and taken as a digestive after a good meal.

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