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This is the fifth and final part in a series of Spanish to English city guides to León in north-west Spain. In this part we will look at Leonese cuisine. Spain is famous for its wonderful regional gastronomies and León doesn’t dissapoint. If you are lucky enough to travel around Spain you will see and taste for yourself just how different the styles of Spanish cooking are from one region to another. A lot of this has to do with the proximity to the sea or the amount of sunshine and rain, but Spanish people themselves are also quite distinct from region to region and they are all passionate about there own cooking traditions. In the south, for example, you will see a lot of Moorish influences in the food and Galician cuisine is predominantly based around the fruits of the sea. I have presented this guide to León in the form of Spanish English Parallel Texts with a Spanish audio so that you not only learn about Spain and its major cities you also practice your Spanish. Check your listening comprehension against the Spanish to English translation, pick up lots of new Spanish vocabulary and expressions and work on your Spanish pronunciation by trying to mimic how I talk. This lesson is part of the Spanish English Parallel Texts Course and all of the lessons in this course are available completely FREE.

Parallel Texts León Parte 5 Gastronomía

In Spanish:

La cocina leonesa abarca una gama muy amplia de platos diferentes. Hay claras influencias de las comunidades vecinas Asturias y Galicia e ingredientes de excelente calidad están a mano en todas las direcciones, del mar y de la tierra.

La cecina (carne de alta calidad curada) es un producto típico favorito de León y la carne local es fantástica. Las salchichas son muy populares, junto con el botillo (intestino de cerdo relleno de carne), los callos, hígado y pulmones en salsa negra, estofado de corazón, liebre con judías, cordero con patatas y morcilla. Los quesos también son deliciosos, como el queso Armada y el queso azul Valdeón. Otros platos que merecen la pena probar son las sopas de ajo locales, las Mantecadas (que son un dulce) y el Cocido Maragato (un guiso de carne con verduras y garbanzos). El Cocido Maragato es peculiar porque las carnes se sirven en primer lugar. Esta es una tradición que recuerda la forma en que las tropas españolas solían comer sus guisos en tiempos de guerra, comer primero lo mejor por si acaso se les llamara y no tuvieran tiempo de terminar la comida.

El mundo de las tapas en León es un elemento vital de la ciudad y, a diferencia de la mayoría de las ciudades españolas hoy en día, muchos bares dan tapas gratis al pedir una bebida. León es un lugar ideal para “tapear”, esto describe la actividad de ir de bar en bar tomando una tapa y una pequeña cerveza o vino en cada uno antes del almuerzo o como una cena ligera.

In English:

Leonese cuisine encompasses an extremely broad range of different dishes. There are clear influences from neighbouring Asturias and Galicia and top class ingredients are at hand in all directions, from the sea and from the land.

“La cecina” (high quality cured meat) is a typical León favourite and the local beef is fantastic. Sausages are popular, along with “El Botillo” (meat-stuffed pork intestine), tripe, liver and lungs in black sauce, heart stew, hare with beans, lamb with potatoes and “Morcilla” (black pudding). The cheeses are also wonderful, such as “Armada” cheese and “Valdeón” blue cheese. Other dishes worth a try include the local garlic soup, the dessert “Mantecadas” and “El Cocido Maragato” (a meat stew with vegetables and chickpeas). “El Cocido Maragato” is peculiar because the meats are served first. This is a tradition that remembers the way that Spanish troops used to eat their stews during wartime, eating the best bit first in case they were called away and didn’t have time to finish the meal.

The tapas scene in León is a vital element of the city and, unlike most of the Spanish cities now, many bars give their tapas away free when you purchase a drink. León is a great place to “Tapear” – this describes the activity of rambling from one bar to another taking a tapa and a small beer or wine in each just before lunch or as a light dinner.

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