10 must-try dishes from the Valencia area
There is so much more to Moraira and the Marina Alta than beautiful beaches.
The area has a rich history influenced by Moorish invasions and migration from North Africa. This is reflected in its gastronomy so today we’re taking you on a little tour of 10 mustr-try dishes of our area : paellas, orange-based dishes, horchata etc.
Get a taste of our Marina Alta, try one of these Valencian must-try dishes.
The Paella Valenciana
Did you know ? The paella, this emblematic spanish dish, is an authentic Valencian recipe. It was actually invented in Albufera, on the outskirts of Valencia city. If you are going to try a paella in Spain, our area is the best place to do it ! There are hundreds of different variations of the paella but the most authentic (and popular) one is the Paella Valenciana.
The recipe ? Rice, broad beans, chicken or rabbit meat, white beans,saffron and a touch of rosemary. Some people add artichokes and even snails ! Snails were traditionnaly used in poorer families that couldn’t afford meat but the tradition still remains.
The Denia Red Prawn
The red gold of our area. Its high price might surprise you ( up to 200€/kilo) ! This exceptional prawn has indeed been voted as one of the tastiest in the world and is sold at premium prices in the best restaurants in Spain. Production is limited and highly controlled which explains the price tag.
The best way to try it ?Less is more..let the flavor shine through. Olive oil and a touch of salt, that’s all you need.
Lesser known than the paella, the Fideua is an essential dish of the Valencian gastronomy. The rice is replaced by angel’s hair pasta and is cooked with sea food, fish and some lemon juice.
Did you know ? Rumor has it that the Fideua was invented by a savvy cook working on a military ship. The captain had a legendary appetite and passion for paella and wouldn’t leave much food for the rest of the crew. The cook replaced the rice with pasta (which the captain didn’t like) and the whole crew finally had a decent meal.
Freshly squeezed orange juice
If you drive through our area you will notice the very many orange tree fields. Oranges are the Valencian emblem and are a key ingredient of many local dishes. It doesn’t get fresher than this !
The best time to try one ? At the end of the summer and throughout September, that’s when they are juicy and sweet.
The Puchero stew
The Puchero Stew is traditionnaly a winter dish served around Christmas time, altough you can order it all year round. Puchero is a true family dish that is slow cooked for hours on a Sunday morning.
The recipe ? Chickpeas, chicken, pork and beef meat, rice, turnips, a couple of carrots and some boiled potatoes cooked in a rich creamy broth.
Historically, cocas were made from scraps of bread dough and covered with sausages and vegetables. They could also be recycled as a dessert by sprinkling some sugar and honey on the dough.
Nowadays Cocas is a popular snack and you can be as creative as you want with toppings. The most popular ones : spinach, anchovies, oil and salt, blood sausage and tomatoes.
Aïoli is a staple of Mediterranean cuisine and comes from the catalan ” Ai y Oli” : Oil and Garlic. The Spanish version of Aioli does not contain eggs and has extra garlic, which gives it a more pasty texture.
Aïoli is usually offered as an aperitivo with bread, olives and tomatoes.
Although delicious, aïoli is not “kiss-friendly” so keep that in mind XD
The Agua de Valencia Cocktail
If there’s one Valencian cocktail you need to try it’s Agua de Valencia. This cocktail was created in 1959 by Constance Gil at the “Cerveceria Madrid” in Valencia. At first the cocktail was very confidential but in the 70’s it’s popularity boomed. Nowadays it is one of the staples of local bars.
The ingredients ?Fresh orange juice of course. Add cava or champagne, gin and some vodka.
Beware of the misleading sweetness of Agua de Valencia…it is a strong cocktail 😉
Horchata is a popular drink in the area since the XII century. This drink was probably introduced to locals by Moorish invaders or migrants from Mali and Nigeria.
Horchata is prepared with macerated and sweeten tiger nuts and is served ice cold. It has a milky texture and the taste reminds us of an almond or nut milk.
You will love it or hate it but you definetly need to give it a try.
Funny name for a pastry isn’t it ? You can’t try Horchata without some fartons. This puffy pastry covered in powder sugar has been designed to be dipped into a large glass of ice cold horchata or hot chocolate. This is the traditional snack for Valencian kids and you will find them in most bakeries.
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