Gibraltarian cuisine is the result of a long relationship between the Andalusian Spaniards and the British, as well as the many foreigners who made Gibraltar their home over the past three centuries. The culinary influences include those from Malta, Genoa, Portugal, Andalusia and Britain. This marriage of tastes has given Gibraltar an eclectic mix of Mediterranean and British cuisine.
Below are some examples of typical Gibraltarian dishes.
Popular local pasta dish of Italian origin consisting of penne in a tomato sauce with beef or occasionally pork, mushrooms and carrots (among other vegetables depending on family tradition) and topped with grated "queso bola". The origin of its name is unknown, however, one theory is that it comes from the Italian arrosto (English: roasting) as similar dishes are eaten in Italy using roast pork instead.
Fideos al horno
A baked pasta dish very similar to Maltese imqarrun which consists of macaroni, bolognese sauce, and various other ingredients including egg and bacon that vary according to family tradition. The macaroni is usually topped with a layer of grated cheese or béchamel that melts during the baking process and aids in binding. Even though the dish's main ingredient is macaroni, the name fideos al horno is actually Spanish for 'baked noodles'.
is very similar to the Italian Farinata
This is a locally baked pancake-like dish, the Italian farinata, also known in Genoa as fainá. It is made with chickpea flour, water, olive oil, salt and pepper. The word calentita comes from the Spanish word caliente, meaning hot or warm and has an oily texture. It was probably first given this name during the early 1900s and perhaps earlier when street vendors would shout out "Calentita!", informing people that it was fresh out of the oven. The last calentita street vendor, Paloma, is still remembered locally by the older generations. Calentita is considered to be Gibraltar's national dish.
A bread-like dish similar to the calentita. Sharing its Italian origins, it is a descendant of the Genoese dish with the same name - "panissa". Unlike calentita the ingredients are first cooked in a pan to form a paste which is then left to set. When the polenta-like dough is set, it is cut into small strips and fried in olive oil.
Bollo de hornasso
A sweet and dry bread similar to the Spanish hornazo. It is made with self-raising flour, sugar, eggs, butter or margarine and aniseed. Bollos de hornasso are eaten around Easter just as in Spain, but in Gibraltar they are also popular during Christmas. Gibraltarian hornassos can normally be distinguished from the original Spanish hornazo as they do not tend to be decorated with hard-boiled eggs (however, Gibraltarian families of Spanish descent may still decorate them in this manner). It usually glazed with beaten egg and sometimes decorated with hundreds and thousands.
A sweet fruit and nut bread eaten at Christmas time. The term pan dulce means "sweet bread" in Spanish, but its origins may lie in Italy with the Genoese pandolce or Portuguese sweet bread. Its main ingredients can include lard, margarine, sugar, self-raising flour, blanched almonds, raisins, sultanas, pine nuts, candied peel, eggs, aniseed and anisette among others. It is sometimes decorated with hundreds and thousands just like the bollo de hornasso.
sliced in half
A thin slice of beef surrounding breadcrumbs, bacon, eggs, olives, vegetables and herbs. These can be baked, fried or cooked in wine. Rolitos is another dish of Maltese origin, similar to braġjoli. It is also known as beef olives in English, even though some families prefer making them with pork or even chicken. The word rolito comes from the Spanish word rollo meaning 'roll', as the meat is rolled to hold the other ingredients inside.
The japonesa (English: Japanese lady) is a sweet fried doughnut filled with a custard-like cream. Japonesas are usually enjoyed at teatime or as a snack. They are traditionally coated in syrup or granulated sugar. The origin of its name is unknown but resembles the Japanese dorayaki.