Thursday, 28 July 2011

Migas- a traditional Andalusian tapa.

Here in Ronda in many restaurants and bars you can order a tapa of Migas. Its one of those dishes that just by its name piques the imagination and Im nearly always asked to explain by visitors what it is exactly. Migas is a truly typical example of an Andalusian farmers dish. Years ago when I first came out to Andalusia, this was one of the dishes that my neighbours would cook, when the store cupboard was bare-or to go alongside the spoils of the Mattanza ( Pig slaughter). They also explained to me that there was another version called Gachas that was made during the civil war, when there was nothing else to be found, made from a simple paste of flour and water, cooked. If they were lucky it was sometimes served with honey or pieces of pig fat. Migas as offered here in the bars as a tapa is usually made from pan duro, or hard bread, crumbled into breadcrumbs, or slithered laboriously with a sharp knife, that is then left overnight slightly moistened with a cloth to cover. The most simple version consists of frying the migas in olive oil and garlic until lightly browned, and then serving them with any number of either sweet or savoury accompaniaments such as fried eggs, chorizos, bits of pork belly, or the sweet version with melon, grapes or even chocolate. Usually though they come served on their own to be eaten alongside other tapas.

Migas are thought to have developed during the time of the Moorish occupation of Southern Spain, being similar in style to couscous. Although apparantly the Christians added pork fat inorder to distinguish their dish from the similar dishes of their Arab and Jewish neighbours. Its sometimes also called Migas del Pastor or Shepherds Migas as it was a dish principally eaten in rural areas. It is a bit of an aquired taste but when done properly can be quite delicious especially on a cold winter evening. If you want to try it yourself heres a recipe from a Ronda cookbook.


1 Kilo of farmer style bread
1/2 a glass of olive oil
4 chorizos
1 bulb of large garlic.

Crumb the bread into small pieces and place in a bowl, slightly moisten the bread with water and cover with a towel. Leave to stand until ready to use or overnight.

In a large heavy frying pan heat the oil and add the garlic and chopped chorizos fry until golden, removing from the oil and set aside.

In the remaining oil fry the bread crumbs until golden, dry and loose. Just before serving add the chorizo and garlic mixture. Serve with marinated olives.

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