Typical products from Huesca: delicacies that you’ll want to take home with you
When it comes to travelling, no trip can be considered complete without buying the typical products of the place you are visiting. If you’re visiting Huesca, you should do all you can to bring a sample of its exquisite gastronomy back home to your loved ones. Alternatively, you could bring them a traditional souvenir to let them know that you were thinking about them during your time away. The huge diversity of the region’s gastronomy —renowned for its superb wine, cured meats and long tradition of pastries and confectionery— means that you won’t be left short of options. Let’s learn about its typical products and find out where you can purchase them.
Huesca’s culinary delicacies
Any conversation on the typical products to buy in Huesca will inevitably end up on the subject of its rich gastronomy. During your time in the city, you’ll have the opportunity to try a wide range of typical dishes in its series of wonderful restaurants. However, the difficult part is deciding which delicacies you want to take home for a special dinner or to surprise your loved ones.
The Huescan wine par excellence is Somonatano wine, whose denomination of origin (D.O.) is in the region of Somontano de Barbastro. This is a very special place nestled in the heart of the La Sierra y Cañones de Guara Natural Park, which sprawls out at the foot of the Pyrenees mountain range. In this natural park, vines grow on the terraces of the valleys that flow to the north of the Ebro valley. The reds, whites and rosés grown in the region are peculiar wines of high quality and alcohol content. Visit the various wineries on a Somontano Wine Tour and be sure to pick up a bottle or two.
This liqueur has a long-standing tradition throughout the Aragonese region. It is obtained through the maceration of sloes, the name given to the fruit of the blackthorn tree, which turns into an aniseed-flavoured spirit. In the Huesca region, the blackthorn tree is referred to as the arañonera. Pacharan’s alcohol content of 25-30% makes it an ideal digestif. A good artisan pacharán such as the Pacharán Ordesano, made from the sloes of indigenous blackthorn trees that grow in the Ordesa Valley (internal link), would be an excellent gift for a loved one.
Such is the quality of Huesca’s artisan cheeses, you won’t know which one to take home as a present for your friends and family. The most traditional ones are the Pyrenean cheeses from the municipalities of Hecho, Biescas and Ansó. Some of the most renowned cheese shops are Mal de Broto, Radiquero, Flor de Aspe, El Benasqués and Val de Cinca. It is possible to visit many of these shops, meaning you can sample their products in situ and buy the ones you like the most. It’s a real festival for your taste buds!
Huesca is widely renowned for its honey production, with this being one of the most treasured delicacies found anywhere in the province. As is often the case, the secret lies in the care and craftsmanship of its producers. An exquisite natural honey is produced in the Pyrenees, primarily in the Sierra de Guara and the Tena and Canfranc valleys. The Ribagorza honey is highly regarded for its distinct aroma and flavour. Casa Montalbán honey, which is made from a huge range of forest flowers, is harvested and bottled in the Sobrarbe region. Honey lovers simply won’t be able to resist.
Truffles are often referred to as ‘black gold’ due to their exquisite quality. They are one of the jewels in the crown of the Alto Aragón region in Huesca. Such is their importance to the local area, there is even a Truffle Growing Research and Experimentation centre in the village of Graus. Truffle season starts in November, when the harvesting season begins, and lasts until approximately March. Sybarites will want to get their hands on this much sought-after product, which features so strongly in the local Huescan cuisine. In Huesca, the haute cuisine Lillas Pastia restaurant offers a menu in which truffles are the star of the show.
Almúdevar twist, ‘nun sighs’, ‘bells’ and ‘glories’
Pastries are another of Huesca’s strong points when it comes to food. Desserts and sweets are hugely important throughout the province, which is why they are some of the most typical products to buy as a souvenir. The superb pastry shops in Ascaso and Tolosana are authentic museums of the region’s best pastries and desserts.
The Almudévar twist is one of the most famous recipes: a tender puff pastry twist filled with dried fruits, sultanas, nuts and almonds, whose quality is guaranteed with the Food Quality Seal of the Regional Government of Aragón.
The suspiros de monja (‘nun sighs’, in English) are similar to doughnuts, with a soft and light texture. Marzipan chestnuts, Ascaso ‘Russian Cake’ (a traditional almond sponge cake), the ‘Huesca bells’ from the Soler pastry shop and the spongy ‘Huesca glories’ from the Ortiz pastry shop. Why limit yourself to just one?
Traditional gifts from Huesca: handicrafts and decoration
While Huesca’s star products certainly revolve around food, you can also find a wide range of typical handicrafts and decorative items to bring home with you. If you like collecting fridge magnets, keyrings, thimbles or resin figurines, you’re in luck! There are many souvenir shops offering all of these and much, much more.
These souvenirs are decorated with a wide range of motifs. One of the most common images is that of Huesca’s stunning Gothic cathedral. However, if we had to choose one image that is synonymous with Huesca, it is the ‘Las Pajaritas’ statue in the Miguel Servet Park: an original iron and cement sculpture made by Ramón Ocín. These two white origami birds are a real emblem of the city and can be found on all kinds of products, ranging from keyrings to plates and magnets.
The bell of Huesca, the coat of arms, the flag and the image of San Lorenzo (the patron saint of the province) also feature on many souvenirs, which you can take home as a memento of your trip.
Where to buy typical products of Huesca
As we’ve already mentioned, for gastronomic products such as wine and cheese, you can visit the wineries and cheese shops and buy them there and then. In the region’s capital, it is also possible to buy these products in a large number of shops. Luis López Allué Square is one of Huesca’s shopping hubs. In fact, such is its popularity, it is also referred to by locals as la Plaza del Mercado, meaning ‘Market Square’. This square is home to Ultramarinos La Confianza, which opened in 1871 and is considered the oldest foodstuffs store in Spain. If you’re looking to buy some typical Huescan delicacies, look no further than here.
For sweet products, Huesca’s pastry shops are your best bet. We recommend doing your research, as some products can only be found in specific shops. Some of the most famous ones are Ascaso, Tolosana and Vilas. If you’re looking to bring home some beautiful artisan gifts, we recommend checking out shops such as El Rey Monje and El Duende del Coso.
Huesca’s villages (internal link) are also a great place to buy souvenirs, as the products are often handmade and original. Barbastro, for example, is home to a wonderful craft market, while the Plaza Mayor in Aínsa is renowned for its specialised food stores. One such example is Sabores de Pueblo, which sells its own signature cheeses and chocolates. Have you decided what you want to bring home with you yet?