Alcalá's cooking has all the ingredients of Andalusian's: Gazpacho, fried fish, the stew with pringá (It consists of roast beef or pork, cured sausages such as chorizo and morcilla, and pork fat; people break off pieces of crusty bread and use it to pull away a little meat, sausage, and fat; then, they mash the bread in the meat and eat it. It was called food), the sopeao [a singular version of gazpacho], the tomato soups, spinach, rice with partridge, migas[breadcrumbs fried with different ingredients] and more than a hundred dishes with various forms of elaboration.
It would be very difficult to find a special dish. But within Alcalá's way of cooking, if we can find some dishes or products with a special sign or touch. We are talking, for instance, to the different pucheros, cocidos (different kinds of stews), and rice dishes. Or, for example, the elaboration of the pork scratchings that at some of Alcalá's butcher's shops reach a certain level of sublimity.
Another point is bread. Alcalá has always been named as Alcalá of the Bakers. Its history is backed by the uncountable flour mills located at the Guadaíra's bank where the wheat was ground by the millers, and later this flour was used to make bread. This bread was manufactured with varied shapes and sizes (and names!): Bollos, teleras, roscos and regañás, molletes, picaítos, cuarterones, medias de canto, medias bobas, medias acarrilladas..., in more than half a hundred bakeries. Many of these pieces can be considered like specifically from Alcalá, conforming an own sign of identity.
This bread is kneaded with a special component: Water. This water comes from Alcalá's springs and was also driven to Seville through the wrongly-called "Caños de Carmona" (Carmona's Pipes) through subterranean channels.
Finally, before getting into other matters and gastronomic specialties, we should mention, because of its importance, the multiple factories dedicated to olives dressing, more popularly known as "olives stores" ("almacenes de aceitunas" in Spanish). There were many types of olives that were dressed: manzanilla, gordal, pitted olives, stuffed with pepper, azofairon olives... Alcalá, along with Dos Hermanas, exported olives to the United States, Venezuela, Cuba, and, of course, sold them for Spanish consumption.
Alcalá has also famous restaurants that offer some dishes elaborated on the basis of a traditional cooking but with modern and innovative touches of the new cuisine. It has always two characteristics: Andalusian and Mediterranean Cooking.
It deserves special attention, not only regarding the great variety of sweets made in our town, but also because we can be proud of autochthonous varieties and products; we are talking about two specialities, famous "tortas de Alcalá" (Alcalá's cakes) and "bizcotelas rellenas" (a kind of filled pastry). These two gastronomic delights -known in many places of Spain and abroad- are consumed by every kind of people and personalities.
Tocinos de cielo (sweet made with egg yolk and sugar), mantecados de Viena (they are a kind of Spanish shortbread, very similar to polvorón; the name mantecado comes from the manteca de cerdo ibérico -fat of Iberian pig- with which they are made), signos, cidra (sweet made of pumpkin and syrup ) and egg ring-shaped cakes, piononos, meringues, medialunas, cream... There are up to hundreds of pastry cooks varieties, a part of our confectionery, elaborated by famous Alcalá's confectioneries with magic and professional hands. A special little case is made up by sweets made by the Sisters of Santa Clara (St. Claire) Convent: suspiros (sighs), corazones (hearts), bocaditos (little mouthfuls)...
Alcalá has, therefore, a complete gastronomic menu worthy of the most demanding palates.