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Gastronomy in Valencia

Gastronomy in Valencia

Valencian gastronomy is varied, natural and traditional. The fruit and vegetables of this fertile land, as well as fresh fish and seafood, provide the main ingredients of an exquisite Mediterranean cuisine.


1. Rice.

The most characteristic dishes are made with rice which is cooked in a myriad of different ways. The star of the show is the world famous paella. Paella is a kind of stew, cooked with dry rice, chicken and rabbit, bajoqueta (green beans) and garrofón (butter beans). Other traditional dishes are arroz al horno (oven-baked rice), arroz a banda (rice with seafood), arroz negro (rice with squid), arròs amb fesols i naps, a “moist” rice with beans and turnips, and fideuá (replacing rice with noodles).

2. Tapas.

Patatas bravas, grilled cuttlefish, mussels, clams, anchovies in vinegar and cod croquettes... are just a handful of the tapas on offer to enjoy with a cold beer or some sangria. Salted fish is very typical of Valencia, particularly salted tuna, roe and dried cod, used to create such dishes as the traditional esgarraet – red peppers and aubergine, baked with dried codfish and seasoned with olive oil.

3. Fish and seafood stews.

One speciality unique to Valencia’s Albufera Natural Park is all i pebre, a stew with potatoes, peppers, garlic and eels. Also try their suquet de Peix (fish stew).

Fish and seafood stews
Restaurant Guide

The best spots to enjoy excellent gastronomy


4. Fruit and vegetables.

The orange is indisputably Valencia’s quintessential fruit. Although harvested in October and throughout winter, this fruit is actually available all year round. Its exquisite quality and range of varieties make this fruit quite a delicacy. We mustn't forget, however, about the excellent vegetables from Valencia's huerta (market garden), delicious in salads (the typical Valencian salad includes tomatoes, lettuce and onion), served grilled or en bullit (traditional boiled vegetables commonly eaten for supper in Valencia.)

Fruit and vegetables
Guided tours around the Mercado Central

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5. Typical desserts.

Traditional Valencian sweets have a strong Moorish influence, meaning that the use of almonds and honey is very common. Among Valencia’s most popular desserts are rosetones, arrop i tallaetes and arnadí (pumpkin, sweet potato and almond candy). If that’s not enough, buñuelos (a kind of doughnut) are very popular during the Fallas festivities. The most popular dessert of all, however, is the Christmas treat – turrón (nougat candy), made from almonds and sugar. At Easter, it’s very traditional to have monas (a kind of cake) and typical panquemado which is available all year round.

Typical desserts
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6. Wines and liqueurs.

Valencia produces some excellent wines with their own Designation of Origin, including white wines like Alto Turia and Serranía, or red wines, such as Requena, Utiel and Campo de Liria. A typical and very popular liqueur with all Valencians is mistela (fortified wine), a sweet alcohol usually served with desserts. Finally, we must mention the "Agua de Valencia”, a potent combination of fresh orange juice and cava.

7. Horchata.

Horchata is a refreshing brew made from the tiger nut, a tuber grown only in specific types of soil, making it exclusive to Valencia. That’s why it has designation of origin status. It’s typically a summertime drink, usually accompanied by fartons (long sponge biscuits) and comes in three varieties: liquid, iced or mixed.

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