Thursday, November 13, 2014

From "sausage of the poor" to a gourmet experience

El farinato is one of the gastronomic symbols of the province of Salamanca, and in particular, Ciudad Rodrigo and its region. This sausage is made with breadcrumbs, lard, oil, salt, flour, onion, paprika and other spices. At first glance it may be confused with ‘chorizo’ (sausage) for its shape (the sausage is in a casing which is attached at the ends forming a horseshoe-shaped string, which facilitates storage) and colour (brick red). 

Because of its simple (and cheap) ingredients el farinato has been bearing the nickname ‘’the sausage of the poor’’ for a long time. Lately, many people started once again appreciating el farinato because of its distinctive taste (very different from that of a 'regular' sausage). It is admired across not just traditional but also modern and innovative kitchens that are now treating el farinato as a gourmet delicacy. In fact, the Council of Salamanca has just published an edited version of a cookbook including different recipes for more ‘innovative’ farinato created by the renowned chefs in the region. The book proposes a variety of recipes, from the traditional farinato with scrambled eggs to more unusual combinations such as farinato skewer with prawns, cheese curds, bacon and fried eggplant. Many people consider el farinato to be a delicacy but we need to remember that even though it is delicious, its high fat content makes it a real calorie bomb. 

The production of farinato is concentrated mainly in Ciudad Rodrigo, although it is also produced in the northern parts of Extremadura and Portugal. Ciudad Rodrigo has an important historical and artistic heritage and is well known for its carnival (el Carnaval del Toro). It is situated to the west of the province of Salamanca, 86 km from Salamanca and 25km from Portugal. Its approximately 14,000 inhabitants are so proud of their sausage that they are sometimes called ‘los farinatos’. They also include it in the names of their events such as Farinato Sound (music festival) and Farinato de Hierro (adventure ace). 

In this Spanish TV program you can watch how el farinato is made. 

And here's the recipe for scrambled eggs with farinato. Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. There were two food stations at San Francisco restaurants; sliced roast chicken and a beef brisket with mashed sweet potato served in a cast iron casserole! The beef was really tasty and tender.