The celebration programme includes a wide range of activities showing the potential of regional and Spanish cuisine.

León, Spanish Capital of Gastronomy 2018

León is taking over from Huelva as Spanish Capital of Gastronomy, with a programme packed with activities showing the culinary virtues of both regional and Spanish cuisine.

The city of León has been chosen as Spanish Capital of Gastronomy 2018. The celebration programme includes a wide range of activities showing the potential of regional and Spanish cuisine.

As many as 155 events have been planned to take place throughout 2018. Tapas will be the star dishes, as the region is known for its delicious bite-size snacks, as well as for its wines.

León has the highest concentration of bars per head of population in Spain: 5.03 for every 1000 inhabitants. In addition, is has 1198 restaurants, including Michelin-starred Cocinandos. Moreover, the region has three designations of origin (DO), nine protected geographical indications (PGI), six quality assurance seals (in Spanish, marcas de garantía, MG) and one collective trademark.

The application was submitted under the slogan ‘Manjar de reyes’ (A Feast for Kings), emphasising its fine wines, fresh vegetables, characterful blue cheese and savoury cecina (air-dried beef).

In a very close competition, a jury made up of tourism professionals, restaurateurs, journalists, and representatives of the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and the Environment (MAPAMA) and Tourspain chose León over Cuenca, partly because it got support from almost 2000 people from the institutional, social, cultural and media spheres.

Leonese foods and dishes

Throughout 2018, there will be conferences, chef talks and presentations of foods and wines. Also, there will be activities aimed at showing León’s typical dishes and drinks to the rest of Spain and the world: stewed omelette, Maragato-style stew, olla ferroviaria (Railwayman’s stew), bacalao al ajoarriero (cod with oil, garlic and peppers), botillo (meat-stuffed pork intestine), cecina, León-style lemonade…

León’s status as Spanish Capital of Gastronomy caught the attention of Spanish and international media, including the Financial Times. Also, ONCE dedicated its lottery draw on 14 April to ‘León, Spanish Capital of Gastronomy’.

The designation as Spanish Capital of Gastronomy was established in 2012 with the aim of promoting traditional and modern cuisine as a tourist attraction in Spanish cities. So far, Logroño (2012), Burgos (2013), Vitoria-Gasteiz (2014), Cáceres (2015), Toledo (2016), Huelva (2017) and León (2018) have been chosen as Spanish Capitals of Gastronomy.