Cochinillo of Segovia

In February 2002, the conjoined states Castilla and León acquired the mark of quality for their cochinillo (cooked piglet), so the Cochinillo de Segovia is officially its own thing. This dish is without a doubt one of the most typical of Segovia, and its specific characteristics give it a level of quality that is unbeatable by other producers. For a cochinillo to qualify for this mark of quality, it must be born in a registered producer that is dedicated to the breeding of these piglets. Their mothers must be fed the best quality grains so that they produce the richest milk, which is the only sustenance that these piglets consume before they are harvested at the maximum age of three weeks. The animal must be white, with no distinguishable gender, and it must weigh between 4.5 kg (10 lbs.) and 6.5 kg (14.3 lbs.) before it is harvested.

The product is sold in two ways: fresh, or grilled in a traditional wood oven. The cochinillo must weigh between 3.8 kg (8.3 lbs.) and 5.8 kg (12.8 lbs.), and it must be sold whole. When it is raw, the it should be white, smooth, clean, and uniform in color on the outside and pink, pearly white, or a pale red on the inside. It should be firm, but it should not be hard either. It is not allowed to be sold frozen.

The specific characteristics of this mark of quality extend to after the pig is grilled; it is only allowed to be cooked whole, with only water and salt. The cochinillo must be branded along the spine from the base of the neck to the tail, resulting in a fine, golden, crispy skin. The meat should be juicy, tender, easy to chew, and very tasty.


In general, the grilled cochinillo has always formed part of the traditional Castillian food since the time of the Roman Empire, and it is highly possible that the tradition existed even before then, but no documents exist that could validate this statement. In the 20th century, one of the main champions of the dish was Cándido López Sanz, a Segovian chef, also known as the “Mesonero Mayor de Castilla” (“The Mayor of Castilla”). He popularized the dish in the Inn of Cándido, in the middle of the Plaza de Azoguejo, next to the Roman aqueduct of the city.


Assosiation for the promotion of Cochinillo Segoviano

C/ Los coches, 1 Segovia – España
Tel: 921 43 18 61
Fax: 92144 07 18
[email protected]

About the author