Feria Word of the Day: ARRANQUE (Roteño)

Arranque on Rota's Feria with a glass of dry Sherry

Arranque Roteño: it is a dish half way between gazpacho and salmorejo cordobez, made out of Tomato and bread, and you eat it as a dip of chunky soup. Delicious either way. 

4-5 red medium-size tomatoes

3-4 garlic cloves

3-5 Italian green peppers

Extra Virgin Spanish Olive oil


1 Stale baguette bread, cut in to little squares, you may not use all, depends on the juiciness of the tomato.

The old fashion and traditional way to make it is in a "Lebrillo", a unglazed ceramic bowl, rough to the touch, which helps catch the food for pounding it in to a pulp. It acts like a huge mortar, and it is also a very cute serving plate.  You just have to add one ingredient at the time and mash it with a large pestle, adjust the seasoning with salt and oil and you are done.

If you don't live in Andalusia, you probably don't have a Lebrillo, so here is the modern version of it.  Although I may have to say it is never de same.  Texture is important, it has to be chunky,  not smooth or you will end up with another dish similar to Salmorejo Cordobés (cold tomato soup).

Blend green peppers and garlic cloves in a food processor, add the tomatoes and blend carefully. Next add breadcrumbs, olive oil and salt to taste. Don't over process, it must stay chunky. Chill in fridge about 30 minutes to allow flavors to develop.

Serve it in a smaller bowl with a slice of crunchy bread, that can be used as a spoon or a spoon.   You can also serve it with crudités  for a festive look and a glass of dry cold sherry wine.

It is a traditional food only from the Village of Rota.  It is interesting, you can drive 20 minutes to Jerez or El Puerto de Santa Maria, and there is no Arranque.  In Rota, it is eaten almost year round, except when tomatoes are not in season. It has been my comfort food during feria, and it is traditional Sunday of Feria, the last day of feria, when most casetas/tents offer their guests a free bowl of Arranque. I'm usually making the line for arranque more than once until there is no more.  It is soooo good.

Mmmm arranque, served in a lebrillo

Oh no, I ate it all!

Arranque Roteño is also the name of a summer Flamenco festival that the town of Rota hosts.  The Peña Flamenco El Viejo Agujeta invites prominent flamenco singers to delight the village, and yes, you guessed it, at the  festival you are greeted at the door with authentic Arranque roteño in a small ceramic bowl for you to keep as a souveneer. 

Great flamenco Artists at the festival

Arranque at the Arranque Roteño festival

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