The coasts of Cádiz are bounded by the Atlantic Ocean in the West and by the Mediterranean Sea in the East. Cádiz is a hinge between both. At just 14 km from the African continent, its 285 km coastline with golden sand beaches makes everyone fall in love with it.
These waters bring us almadraba red tuna – one of the most renowned treasures of the province, fished by hand in almadrabas – a millennial fishing technique. It’s a unique product, highly valued even on the most demanding markets, like a Japanese one. This Cádiz coastline has had a fishing tradition since the dawn of time. Its fishers have lived in harmony during millennia with these tumultuous waters of the Strait of Gibraltar. Seas with a taste of tuna, like melva (frigate tuna), or its close relative – caballa (mackerel). All of them constitute the raw material of the salting and preserving local industry – most outstanding for its great quality and tradition.
These waters are full of all types of fish; for example – rockfish. Another family to highlight is estuary fish, which is bred in these small natural saltwater lagoons next to the sea that originate in certain coastal areas such as San Fernando, Chiclana… Sole, gilthead bream and sea bass are the most characteristic species here. In these estuaries, rich in biodiversity, salt extraction is combined with fish farming. Salt harvesting is a traditional activity in the Bay of Cádiz that had languished in recent decades, but is now reviving round the Fleur de Sel, which has an elegant taste, very different from common salt.
There are many seafood species that populate the coast of Cádiz, especially molluscs and crustaceans. The prawns from the West Coast are unique, especially those of Sanlúcar, which live in the mouth of the Guadalquivir River, famous among Spanish consumers for their quality.
At last, regarding the sea, it’s worth highlighting the emerging wealth of seaweed and marine plankton. Among the best known and most unique seaweeds are ortiguillas, a type of anemone with a deep taste of the sea. Plankton, a great novelty and culinary innovation, brings a vibrant marine flavour to recipes, as announced by Angel León, known as the chef of the sea.