THE TRADITIONAL COOKING OF THE ARAGONESE PYRENEES

The specific characteristics of Pyrenaen cooking can be summed up in two words: sobriety and ingenuity. Sobriety due to a nature which is not especially generous, as they had to survive with what was grown there; and ingenuity precisely to prepare delicacies with products that are rejected in more fertile areas.

Dishes such as “crespillos” and “chiretas” return to the restaurants, and others, which had not lost public presence, such as “Migas” (breadcrumbs), “recaos” or assorted “asaduras”are increasing their prestige. That popular diet, which is based on bread, potatoes and vegetables, complemented with whatever there was - mainly pork, with game, lamb and the little used veal, used almost as festive exceptions -, has changed to a diet where fish i no longer limited to trout and cod, modern culinary formulas are adapted and, for exemple, the already mentioned “crespillos” are enhanced -a friend dessert, where a borage leaf is fried hidden inside a sweet dough – or the “chiretas”, a peculiar product made of lamb and rice, which is difficult to prepare but delicious to taste due to the wisdom it encloses.

Dishes such as escarole with Binies apples (traditional in Ansó) are recuperated, which today are considered as modern, just like the salads with different wild helbs, such as golden thistle, “letacines” or watercress, reimported by the French and normal in the eastern area. But there are also bread by products - “migas” or breadcrumbs, the multiple souops and simple slices of bread with garlic -. the beans, rapidly implemented after their arrival from American, creating the famous beans of Embun and Biescas can also be mentioned.

Few fish were enjoyed, except for the river trout or the omnipresent cod, sublime in “ajoarriero” or to accompany different stews. The game did not remain in the mountains, either, although now civets, wild boar, cold meats an poultry stews are being recuperated. The protein was provided by the pig and the lamb, which gave rise to dishes such as the “tripiligates”, “chiflainas” or mountain asparagus, based on tails of ewe lambs.