Learn about the tradition of Cristo de la Viga de Villacañas

The Christ of the Beam of Villacañas

Our municipality of Villacañas It has always stood out from the other geographies of Spain for its particular agricultural and industrial towns and for its colorful tradition of the Cristo de la Viga Dancers, festival of regional interest that we celebrate every 1 of May. This tradition of our popular festivals dates back hundreds of years where the following legend is narrated:

It tells that a strong storm hit a ship on the high seas. At the top of the main beam, A Christ appeared around whom eight dancers danced and that of the Porra. At the moment, the storm subsided and the crew were saved by the intervention of the Christ of the beam. According to the tradition, a villacañero He was there and he was the one who brought the cult of this sailor Christ to Villacañas. Historically, the Military Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, had to do with spreading this devotion. The knights of San Juan repopulated our municipality in the 13th century, and they would surely Christianize these dances and organize the brotherhood of the Holy Christ. Hence, the nomenclature of the directors of the brotherhood and their insignia are military: Mariscal, which it is the Big Brother or President (door cane), Captain (It takes a small image of Christ as well as a walking stick), Sergeant major (porta cane and banner), standard-bearer (carries flag and sparkler).

Tradition of the Cristo de la Viga dates back to the Middle Ages

Tradition of the Cristo de la Viga dates back to the Middle Ages

History of the tradition of Cristo de la Viga

Historians of the Autonomous Community of Castilla-La Mancha say that a strong storm hit a ship on the high seas during the Middle Ages. At the top of the main beam, A Christ appeared around whom eight dancers danced and that of the Porra. At the moment, the storm subsided and the crew were saved by the intervention of Cristo de la Viga. According to the tradition, A villacañero was there and it was he who brought the cult of this sailor Christ to Villacañas.

The Christ of the Beam, date marked in red by everyone in Villacañas

The Christ of the Beam, date marked in red by everyone in Villacañas

The party has been going on for more than 500 years, organized by the Brotherhood of the Holy Christ of the Viga marked by the colorful dances of its Dancers, that they carry out dressed in colorful costumes that surprise those who see them for the first time. This dance, which are actually several because it is composed of stick dances, castanets and cord is the most typical and original among all those that are celebrated in La Mancha toledana.

The festive cycle begins on 19 March And it is celebrated in the house of the Marshal of the La Puja Brotherhood, from which the seven dancers will come, the one with the Porra, the saddlebag (carries the dance sticks in some saddlebags and carries the stick of the cord) and the teacher, who directs the dance and teaches at home every Sunday helped by the two boys of the brotherhood.

One of the dances of the Cofradías

One of the dances of the Cofradías

The day of Cristo de la Viga is 1 of May. The costume of the dancers of this day is very showy, elegant and very rich in symbols. It's a real work of art. The dancer wears his costume with great respect and veneration, knowing that he is the bearer of something precious and sacred, proof of it, is that previous days, The costumes are exhibited in the dancers' houses and will be visited by friends and family. The most showy piece of the dancer's costume is the fall, which is a large white bow that is embroidered or painted with floral and religious motifs, girded at the waist and from which the bow ribbons come out, that cross the dancer's back.

The most showy piece of the dancer's costume is the fall, which is a large white bow that is embroidered

The most showy piece of the dancer's costume is the fall, which is a large white bow that is embroidered

At ten in the morning, the Dancers pick up the authorities at the Town Hall and they all move to the parish church "Nuestra Señora de la Asunción", to attend the Solemn function held in honor of the Santísimo Cristo de la Viga. At the end of the Holy Mass and inside the Church the Dancers perform the stick dance entitled La Marcha Real before the Cristo de la Viga. After the religious ceremony of the day 1 Traditional dances are performed in the auditorium of the Glorieta del Prado, before the thousands of villacañeros, absent and visitors, that each 1 May they meet in Villacañas.

During this celebration so beautiful and marked by all, an interesting option is to go for lunch or dinner, or just have a drink, the Scorching restaurant El Capricho de Los Torres, in which they have meat specialties both yearling veal and Iberian field bait pork. further, treasures a peculiar menu where the pistachio is very present, giving a pairing of flavors to the dishes that make this restaurant in Villacañas unmistakable.

Restaurant Abrasador El Capricho de Los Torres

Restaurant Abrasador El Capricho de Los Torres

 

RESERVATIONS

The wetlands of Villacañas

The municipality of Villacañas has a Lagoon Complex made up of several wetlands: Long Lagoon, Laguna de Peña Hueca Nature Reserve, Laguna de Tirez Nature Reserve, Laguna La Redondilla and Laguna La Gramosa. Then, we will highlight the most important of the La Mancha town.

The long lagoon, a natural paradise in Villacañas

Long lagoon of Villacaña

The Long Lagoon, although shallow, it usually conserves its water surface permanently due to the contributions of waste and treated water from the purification station that flows into its large bucket. Its climate is Mediterranean with a continental character. The average annual temperature is 14ºC with annual normal maximums and minimums of 34ºC and 1ºC respectively.. Average annual rainfall is around 500mm and evapotranspiration of 750 mm, which indicates an annual deficit of 250 mm and explains one of the causes of the seasonality of the territory's wetlands.

Regarding its natural values, This natural paradise of Villacañas has the particularity of treasuring a large number of microcrustaceans and algae that live in the waters of the lagoon, thanks to that, wetlands are highly visited by flamingos or shovelers that feed on these small organisms.

History of Laguna Larga

From a landfill to a natural paradise. That was what happened with this wetland in Villacañas. From this municipal term came the 70% of all the doors that were installed in Spain during the real estate boom. But what turned this corner of Toledo into one of the richest towns in Spain, at the same time it ruined a natural heritage that suffered like no one else from the excess of a purely economic and uncontrolled progress.

Long Lagoon was an uncontrolled landfill

The Lagunas de Villacañas even became motocross circuits. Now, a great recovery work by the Global Nature Foundation has restored their status as a natural paradise and with it, flamingos and other birds have not been slow to invade the sheets of clean water today.

Flamingos are one of the bastions of the Villacañas lagoons

«Since these lagoons were recovered, Villacañas receives the visit of 4.000 people every year who come to see payments, flamencos, black storks, porrones», explains Ángeles Pontes, the technician of the Global Nature Foundation in Villacañas. This wetland of Villacañas treasures species such as the albardín or limonio are endemic to this region, that is to say, that grow exclusively in this lagoon and that is why they make it unique in the world.

Albardín, one of the unique species of the Villacañas lagoons

Lagoons attached to the Long Lagoon

The long lagoon of Villacañas has other attached wetlands: the Redondilla or de los Santos lagoon and the La Gramosa lagoon. In them appears an aquatic vegetation of great interest. During periods when the lagoons do not accumulate enough water, the seeds and spores remain hidden in the sediments waiting for the appropriate amount of water to exist for their germination and growth. In this sense, the aquatic flora that can be found in these saline waters, seasonal and ephemeral are: Chara connivens, Lamprothamnium papulosum, Riella helicophylla, Eastern Ruppia drepanensis and Althenia.

Round

The Redondilla lagoon, Santos, It is north of the famous Laguna Larga de Villacañas and south of La Gramosa, another example of an endorheic lagoon. It is one of the most valuable salt flats for its salt crust. One of the problems many of these wetlands faced was the degradation of the saline grasslands on the banks because they were largely private land. That is why one million euros from the Life Project of the European Union was used to acquire more than two hundred hectares and restore the vegetation and ecosystem of those meadows.

The Redondilla lagoon

In these meadows and salt crusts there are animal species that are very difficult to find in other enclaves, that is to say, they treasure their own fauna, like tiger beetles.

Laguna de Peña Hueca Nature Reserve

The lagoon is located in the Mesozoic depression of the Tagus, within the La Mancha plain. This shallow saline lagoon has a maximum surface of 150 hectares. Despite being a punished system, The Peñahueca Lagoon has a high landscape value. Its considerable extension makes it the center of attention of the entire visual basin in which it is located., surrounded by a mosaic of crops fragmented by small patches of natural vegetation in more rugged areas.

Laguna de Peñahueca

Along with the uniqueness of the saline concretions, inside the lagoon there are also small “islas” that provide diversity to the landscape. Definitely, the greatness of the environment is fully appreciated from its extreme northeast, near the hill “Peñas”, from where the neighboring Laguna del Taray can be compared with the singularities of the Laguna de Peñahueca. The chromatic richness that assails the observer during the summer season, make this one of the peculiarities of the lagoon, that make it unique and differentiated from the whole of Lagunas Lagunas.

Laguna de Tirez Nature Reserve

The lagoon of Tirez, which is part of the Villacañas lagoon complex, it is a typical hypersaline endorheic lagoon, temporal, shallow and steppe in character, with an approximate area of 62 ha and flat bottom.

The Tirez Lagoon

It has no direct relationship with any watercourse, its fundamental water contributions being rainfall and runoff waters that provide most of the dissolved salts. During the summer months, water evaporates and precipitation of saline efflorescence occurs, going from lagoon to brine and brackish, to start a new cycle with the arrival of rainfall, that dissolve the salts and incorporate them back into the water of the lagoon. It is about, so, of a fluctuating ecosystem that houses a very unique flora adapted to these changing conditions.

In the same municipality, Villacañas, it's found scorching restaurant El Capricho de los Torres, a perfect place to taste first quality grilled meat from its own aging, Anoja both beef and Iberian pork bait field. further, its avant-garde cuisine maintains the local gastronomy of the area with masterful touches of haute cuisine.

In the same municipality, Villacañas, it's found scorching restaurant El Capricho de los Torres, a perfect place to taste first quality grilled meat from its own aging, Anoja both beef and Iberian pork bait field. further, its avant-garde cuisine maintains the local gastronomy of the area with masterful touches of haute cuisine.

Restaurant Abrasador El Capricho de los Torres
Restaurant Abrasador El Capricho de los Torres

Restaurant in a Place of La Mancha, Villacañas

“All the establishments that are part of the Group are a family, the Burning family”

Scorching consultant chef Carlos Torres Group
Carlos Torres from El Capricho de los Torres and Advisory Chef Grupo Abrasador

Carlos Torres, chef of the restaurant Abrasador El Capricho de Los Torres, located in the Toledo municipality of Villacañas and gastronomic advisor to the Abrasador Group, tells us in this interview what are the keys to success in a restaurant.

Villacañas Natural, Carlos Torres has dedicated his entire life to the restaurant sector: "My professional career began in the family business, created by my father does 37 years, which currently offers hospitality services, catering, wedding organization, events, etc. It all started with a “traditional bar” business, that over time evolved to become a leading hospitality group in the area, after betting on high quality and avant-garde cuisine ”Torres points out.

Trained in Toledo School of Hospitality, this chef has worked in different restaurants and this has allowed him to “learn from the best hoteliers”, as he himself says. He currently runs the kitchen of the Abrasador El Capricho de Los Torres restaurant and is also a member of the Association Eurotoques Castilla- La Mancha, and is part of the Board of Directors of the Provincial Association of Hotel and Tourism Toledo.

Cooks and Chefs of Castilla la Mancha
Carlos Torres with his fellow Chefs and collaborators of Eurotoques de Castilla la Mancha

A lifetime dedicated to the catering sector, Carlos tells us his best kept secrets, because as this businessman emphasizes, "Hospitality is their way of life, his talent, his passion… ”

"Definitely, what I like the most in the world is to make others happy and I achieve this thanks to gastronomy. I do not need anything else"

show cooking Carlos Torres
Show Cooking Carlos Torres and Mari Carmen Ramírez

Carlos, let's talk about your restaurant When was it created and what characteristics does it have?

Burning El Capricho de las Torres, formerly called Torres Restaurant, was built with the aim of giving, especially, food service for companies, always oriented towards high quality hospitality.

After the crisis of 2008, my brothers and I decided to convert the restaurant to a new format of hospitality that, at those moments I was succeeding in Madrid, and that's when we introduced the concept of gastrobar, with the aim of achieving a modern kitchen space more dedicated to gastronomy itself.

On the other hand, in those moments the concept of ember began to take, more and more great recipes were made using this type of technique. It was there when we met the Burning Group, to the Ramírez family. First, we test your product, and from that moment, we realized that the client increasingly demanded that gender, that good product that the Burning Group offered us, and after a few months we decided to associate with them.

Restaurante El Capricho
Carlos Torres during one of his charity dinners

At present, our kitchen could be described as a modern kitchen with certain avant-garde touches and charcoal. And what am I going to tell you, the truth is that we are very happy with the decision we made with the Ramírez family.

In Abrasador El Capricho de Los Torres we can reach the 350 diners in the restaurant area, we also have other spaces such as, for example, the “tapería” area, that we could describe it as the “usual bar space” and, by last, we have the "gastro" zone, where our clients can enjoy rations downtown to share.

That is to say, We have adapted our spaces so that our clients do not come to our restaurant exclusively to eat, but they can enjoy our establishment whenever they want because for that "we are multi-space". (Laughs).

El Capricho Bar
Bar and Cocktail Service in Abrasador El Capricho

Your restaurant has become a success story for Grupo Abrasador, What can you tell me about it?

I would say that this is possible thanks to the dedication and passion that we put into everything we do.. I also think that our personnel management is very important, there is nothing worse than not knowing what you are doing, no matter how motivated you are. You could say that we combine passion with management.

Why is it important to have a good quality policy in the catering sector?

Currently we don't go out to eat, to eat we have left it for the day to day. Now what we are looking for in a restaurant is the experience it offers us but, Of course, if at the moment of truth you don't have a quality product to back you up, customers will not return.

With Grupo Abrasador I know that quality is guaranteed and that gives me peace of mind, I used to go to the butcher shop and they would sell me what they wanted, but now thanks to the product, which is always the same, we managed to build customer loyalty.

Grilled meat of the Iberian pig breeding own scorching
Grilled meats, My grilled Iberian

What differentiates your restaurant from other establishments in the area?

I would say that our identity makes us different. Thanks to this we can serve experiences. We have a clear objective and that is our client. Today traditional hospitality has changed and there are two options: or do you have identity, or you are one more and, It is already very difficult to be the best!

Sincerely, I think you shouldn't try to be the best, you have to try to be different so they don't compare you. When we put our product on the table, no one can compare us to others, because our clients leave with an experience.

Do you have any upcoming goals?

In these difficult times it is difficult to talk about upcoming goals or challenges. In our company we had in mind to launch a new project "agriculture to process pistachio" but this has changed today.

Right now our main objective is to save the year, serve people as best as possible and, especially, take care of our staff. At this time, businessmen have to give the best of ourselves because in the end the team is the 80 percent of work. I think the numbers this year are not going to be good and that's why you have to think about us and take care of our team. Without a doubt, our goal today is more personal than professional..

Now let's talk about your relationship with the Burning Group

How many years have you been associated with scorching brand? 

We met the Ramírez family in the year 2015. And it was in the year 2016 when we join the group. I have to say that this decision has changed our lives, we have changed the concept of thinking, thanks in part to the training provided by the chain. We are a family Y together We have learned to manage teamwork so that everything works out, regardless of the product, which is also very important and, As I said before, diners are delighted (laughs); together with Abrasador we have grown hand in hand both personally and professionally.

Photo in Abrasador El Capricho
Family Photo in one of the Burning Training Days

What do you think are the keys to success of your restaurant?

Passion: working with passion is the key to job success.

Constancy: Pablo Picasso said that we are a 10 percent inspiration and a 90 percent work, So I believe that consistency is one of the keys to achieving that success..

Humility: Absolute truth has no one and thanks to humility we can continue learning. I think we all contribute knowledge and ideas and without humility we cannot learn.

Passion and enthusiasm for work
Carlos Torres serving one of his dishes at Abrasador

Have you had a sales increase in recent years? 

Yes and no, we from the first day we opened the restaurant as a gastrobar in 2014 we have always worked very well, although it is true that when we changed from molecular cuisine to scorching cuisine we did notice that people repeated more.

We have had a very weekend public for a few years, people coming from Madrid, who are used to this type of cuisine, and that's why he likes our restaurant, but now we also have families that come to celebrate any type of event, or simply a group of people looking to meet and choose us.

What values ​​you highlight this Restaurant Group?

Passion, constancy, humility, ability to team up and, especially, I would define them as family, family is the word that best describes them. All the establishments that are part of the group are Burning family and we understand this as well because we all have one thing in common: we don't work just for the money and that's the basis for success. The economic issue is a consequence that comes, that is there, and of course it is necessary, but it is not the primary key.

Oyster Corner in Restaurant
Pilar Torres in the Oyster Corner at Abrasador El Capricho

Hospitality is a way of life and we all love what we do

What you are positioned as in your city?

In Tripadvisor and Google we are positioned as the number one restaurant 2, and our score is 4.6.

¿It is important for a restaurant your online reputation and digitization? Why?

As a person who likes to learn, I have always had an internal debate on this topic. At first I did not bet on this type of tools, preferred offline communication, the word of mouth of a lifetime, but with the passage of time we have realized that the client has changed and this means that we no longer only have clients from Villacañas, We also have external clients from other towns.

Thus, Both me and the rest of the team have learned that having a good online reputation is basic and that the door of our restaurant is not glass, it's digital. When you carefully analyze what you do in your daily life, is when you realize that if you go out to eat somewhere, the first thing you do is call an acquaintance and, Secondly, search the Internet, Read the comments and also read the owner's responses.

Today I understand that digital reputation is so important, how to turn on the coffee maker in the morning, in that order, because if you don't have a good digital reputation you will still be one more, you will have fixed clients, that over time they will get tired, because people demand changes. Definitely, good reviews can help us a lot, but the bad ones can help us even more ... and, yes, online reputation is very important.

Cover Manager with electronic booking book
Cover Manager, one of Abrasador's digital tools with the electronic booking book

And to end, As an advisory chef to the Group, do you think that in the world of restaurants a little more training is needed in the sector? Why?

Of course, in our case a 10% of our annual budget, whatever it is, we dedicate it to training, either books, courses, seminars, gastronomic escapades that serve us as learning… 

Keep in mind that training is basic, there is no life without training, I've been a cook since 13 years and I have never stopped training, because cooking is easy, the difficult thing is to be able to combine all the emotions and manage them within a company. Without training we couldn't do that. So much for the kitchen, as for team management, from a restaurant, or even for digital management ... training is basic.

Carlos Torres chef speaker at the second technical time scorching 2019
Chef Carlos Torres paper

Home meat orders with free transportation

During these weeks we have to stay at home, on the occasion of confinement, we inform you that we can send your meat order directly to home at no additional cost of transport. You know that you have sausage, Iberian Ham, Iberian ham, cheese and Iberian pork and veal Anoja own our farms. You can see all references and catalog directly in the online shop Abrasador.

Beef
Own Crianza meat

These weeks as you know most of the restaurants associated with our brand, remain closed until further notice. And from the middle of May, some of them will start to open and prepare à la carte service with our own grilled gourmet home-cooked meats.

Our meat sales, in a 95% they are through the restaurants associated with the brand and therefore, In recent weeks, much of the Central team has not been operational. And now from May, we have reduced the ERTE to some colleagues to join a few hours and therefore we will be at your disposal to serve you meat directly at home by ordering through the Abrasador Online Store from anywhere in Spain.

Catalog Photo
Photo catalog Scorching meat

For any questions or clarification, you can contact us Monday to Friday 9:00 a 18:00 h or at any other time that necesitéis on phones 925245684, 647 221 393 O 699 450 508 or e-mail pedidos@abrasador.com and we send the order to receive in home 24-48 hours.

And if you prefer that we make it easier for you, you can directly see some of the lots already specified so you don't have to think about which products to choose:

Lots of gourmet meat for home

From Group Abrasador our biggest wish is you are all well and that you can spend the days the best that you can at home and always with a positive attitude. Get through this together and of course will pass an important page in our history, but now we must be strong.

Pistachio art in El Capricho de los Torres

Nowadays, Pistachio is a common nut, present in many dishes. However, make many years was not a well-known fruit among the population since formerly It was regarded as an exclusive product and a high consumption reserved royalty. It originated in Western Asia and its name comes from Pistech, its name in Persian, with trade and property as a value Pistachio wealth and high status.

Its culture was known for Egyptians, Greeks and Romans in the first century and was introduced to Italy and more forward its cultivation spread to the countries of the Mediterranean basin. The crop establishment in Spain is very recent and still no major plantations. Do not However, It can be considered an alternative to other surplus crops dry land in arid and semiarid areas. Currently in Spain a greater area crop is in Catalonia, specifically it is remarkable the province of Lleida as pistachera.

The proportion of nutrients raw pistachios is very balanced: Bring about a 20% vegetable protein, both as vegetables, although lesser amount eaten. They contain a 28% hydrate carbon, that being slowly absorbed by the body seek energy gradual. offer 10% fiber, ideal for helping regulate traffic intestinal. Its a 44,5% fats, formed up to 54% for him monounsaturated oleic acid, that dominates the same olive oil or avocado pulp, beneficial for the heart. As for minerals, after sesame, Pistachio is the richest iron nut and more rich in potassium (1per g 100), making it advisable to blood pressure control

Thanks to its properties, Scorching cuisine Restaurante El Capricho de los Torres, hand of chef Carlos Torres, restless, curious and forged in the best kitchens of Spain, He has given much importance to pistachio on their plates, It is one of the bases of your kitchen. Pistachio common denominator of numbers dishes has become a specialty of the house and a claim for its customers. So much so that this restaurant features dishes like beef tataki with pistachio praline or pistachio mousse with chocolate and pistachio biscuit . innovative dishes to taste in El Capricho de los Torres.

Beef tataki with pistachio praline
Pistachio mousse with chocolate and pistachio biscuit