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The Maestrazgo region has an excellent gastronomic heritage based on agricultural and livestock products. Today these products, produced since ancient times, are still produced according to traditional recipes. In Maestrazgo there are numerous companies dedicated to the transformation of pork products, especially hams, but other products are also produced, such as cured pork loin, chorizo, sausage, salami and loin sausage. Pork “preserves” can also be purchased, where the loin, ribs and sausage, once fried, are covered with oil to guarantee their preservation for a longer period of time.

In the Bajo Maestrazgo area, the cultivation of olive trees stands out, from which an exquisite and refined oil of the empeltre variety is extracted, which is protected by the Designation of Origin “Aceite de Oliva Virgen Extra del Bajo Aragón”.

We also have wine. In the town of Las Planas de Castellote a small company produces the only wines made in Maestrazgo from Tempranillo, Garnacha and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, using only its own vineyards. They make young red, white and rosé wines, but also a good crianza and a reserva.

We cannot forget the bread and pastries of the area, which has been able to combine tradition with modernity. These sweet artisans elaborate delicacies such as tortas de alma, sequillos, mantecados, mantecados, almendrados, misterios, carquiñoles, mostachones, harinosos, torticas finas or almojábanas.

To accompany the pasta, there is nothing like the rich, healthy and natural honey produced by several companies in the territory, which offer various types of honey: rosemary, thyme and thousand flowers…

But if there is any gastronomic product that represents Maestrazgo, it is Tronchón cheese. It has been made since ancient times and, although it is not possible to establish the date when it was first produced, we know that in the 17th century it already enjoyed a certain fame, since in 1615, when the 2nd part of “El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha” was published, it was mentioned in a couple of chapters. This indicates that Cervantes was familiar with Tronchón cheese, and given how slowly news traveled at that time, it must be assumed that he was already a celebrity at least a hundred years earlier. Three varieties are produced: cured goat cheese, sheep cheese and semi-cured sheep cheese.

The Ingenious Hidalgo Don Quixote of La Mancha

Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

(Chapter LII, towards the end):
"... he gave him the acorns, and more a cheese that Teresa gave him for being very good, which was superior to those of Tronchón. The Duchess received him with great pleasure..."

The Ingenious Hidalgo Don Quixote of La Mancha

Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

(Chapter LXVI):
"If you want a little drink, though hot, pure, here I bring a Calabaza de lo caro, with I don't know how many slits of Tronchón cheese, which will serve as a striking and thirst-awakener, if you happen to be sleeping."
"... they hit bottom with all the spare in the saddlebags, with such good breaths, that they licked the sheet of letters, just because it smelled of cheese."