From Land and Sea: The Marinera Murciana

Una Marinera Murciana with beer

MURCIA is known as the garden of Spain due to the agricultural influence in the region. Its impact is evident when you discover the Murcian cuisine. Murcia’s rich gastronomic heritage stands out due the blend of the fresh produce grown in the region and its location on the Coast of the Mar Menor and the Mediterranean Sea. Nothing represents Murcia quite like the quintessential tapa: the Marinera Murciana.

The Marinera Murciana is a cherished fixture in the menus of bars and cafes throughout the region. Whether you are walking through the plaza in Murcia City or along a seaside promenade you will see locals enjoying a caña (a small beer) and a marinera as they soak up the sun and watch the world go by.

What is a Marinera?

It is made up of three fundamental elements: ensaladilla (salad), an anchovy and a crunchy breadstick. A simple but delicious combination.

Ensaladilla a la murciana or ensaladilla rusa is placed on top of a crunchy rosquilla (artisan bread stick) which is then topped off with the anchovy which takes centre stage on top of the ensaladilla. The breadstick cradles the ensaladilla without crumbling or getting soggy and after a bit of practice you can pick it up and eat it with ease!

No Perfect recipe, Only perfect Enjoyment

While you will surely overhear, and maybe even take part in, debates about the best recipes for a Marinera in true Murcian style the only important thing is the quality of the ingredients used and that you thoroughly enjoy it.

The Marinera is more than just a tapa, it is a symbol of Murcia representing both the land and the sea, a tribute to the regions agricultural and fishing traditions. The Marinera encapsulates the essence of Murcia’s history and identity.

rosquillas de pan
Rosquilla de pan, artisan breadstick. Image: Shutterstock/Manu Padilla

Let’s eat

The Marinera Murciana is usually served with a cold beer as an aperitif, it can be eaten alone or with other classic tapas such as olives, fried almonds or even zarangollo. So the next time you find yourself in the Region of Murcia eat like a local and try a Marinera Murciana and let me know what you think.

For more on this delicious tapa click here

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Written by

Catherine McGeer

I am an Irish writer who has been living in Spain for the past twenty years. My writing centers around the Costa Cálida. As a mother I also write about family life on the coast of Spain and every now and then I try to break down the world of Spanish politics!