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In a country which takes its food culture as seriously as Spain, to be chosen as Capital Gastronomica (Gastronomic Capital) is an honour indeed. And gastronomy is often quoted as a main reason why visitors choose to come to Spàin for their holidays, whether weekend breaks or summer vacations.
Beating other finalist city Cuenca (Castilla La Mancha), which was also competing to earn the title, Huelva will be Capital Española de la Gastronomia for next year. The city will succeed Toledo, the gastronomic capital for 2016.
The Atlantic port, capital of Andalucia’s western-most province, is often overlooked due to its comparative lack of star attractions – compared to nearby Seville, with its palaces, cathedral and famous tapas culture, Huelva doesn’t even make it onto most tourists’ itineraries.
But as any foodie worth their salt will tell you, this coastal, plain and mountainous province boasts the finest jamon iberico de bellota (acorn-fed cured Iberian ham) in all of Spain, while its ocean waters produce fish and seafood the likes of which is also hard to beat, such as coquinas (small clams), gambas blancas (white prawns), mojama (dried tuna) and choco (cuttlefish) – such is the love of Huelva’s inhabitants for the cephalod that they are known as choqueros.
Further inland you will find the DO Condado de Huelva with young white wines (vino joven), orange wine (vino de naranja), while the town of Lepe is famous for its strawberries
Last year, the city was justifiably proud when it won its first Michelin star – Acanthum, where chef Xanty Elias serves innovative fish dishes, joined the list of 13 illustrious restaurants in Andalucia recognised by this highest accolade. Some of his dishes include choco with yoghurt, and ensaladilla of potatoes, prawns and melva, a type of mackerel.
For more information, and details of activities and events to be announced soon, see Huelva Capital Gastronomica