It is a topic which is presented in numerous and heated after-dinner conversations in Spain, and specially on the region of Andalusia: is there any difference between porra and salmorejo recipes? The debate is, literally, set on the table by an enthusiastics dinner guests; on one hand who argue that both recipes are the same and on the other hand who think that there are real differences on the ingredients or method, or both of them, to make matters worse.
The truth is that the controversy about the topic Porra Vs Salmorejo there is no unanimous opinion. There are opinions for every taste and so many recipes as people prepare these delicacies and as customs by family or area.
If we start with the easy, which everyone agrees is that the origin of salmorejo is located in Cordoba and porra was born in Malaga. However, there is a war inside the province of Malaga about porra’s birth: some people say Antequera, the famous one, and others ones argue its origin is in Archidona.
Another clear point in the controversy is the main ingredients of both recipes come from a humble origin, where the farmers found a way to cook without fire and with fresh products. So, thanks to the ingredients and methods we are closer to know the meaning of its names. On the one hand, we have porra that refers to utensil used to mash the ingredients, while salmorejo means sauce -currently called emulsion- of water, vinegar, oil and salt.
Those who argue that porra and salmorejo are clearly two different dishes, the controversy revolves around two key points: ingredients and texture.
According to the chef Aitor Perurera: "They are two different things, in terms of ingredients and textures; each recipe has its root and origin. Salmorejo has garlic, bread, olive oil and a little vinegar and porra has pepper also. "
This is the mainstream opinion among those there are different between both recipes. But there are also people think texture is different. Salmorejo needs less bread, which makes it lighter cream. In the porra add more bread and has a denser consistency. As told a man from Antequera: they know it is ready when you put up a spoon on the plate and it remains alone.
And the icing on the cake of the controversy: there are differences in the support of both creams. For lovers of porra must garnish the plate with tuna and hard-boiled egg, while for those who like salmorejo prefer accompany with ham, and a hard-boiled egg also.
In the opinión of Mr. Bruno, chef and manager in the Da Bruno restaurant chain, the differences between both recipes are a matter of taste and habit of the cooker. The most important thing -Mr. Bruno says- is to have quality ingredients, because when a dish is not cooked, it must to take care especially with the raw material. This meaning it is absolutely necessary a good and very ripe tomatoes, in order to give better color and taste to the dish. Also play an important role the oil, which will be extra virgin olive to get a delicious result.
In traditional cuisine it is really complicated to say which theory is the absolute truth; so the controversy is going to be on the after-dinner conversations every summer.
What do you think? Are there differences between porra and salmorejo?