Typical Valencian Food

19 August 2015 2 Comments Category: blog, Fleur Van de Put, Living in Spain

What do we eat and drink in Valencia and when? Are the habits so different from what we are used to in our own country? It was not always easy to adjust to a new culture, but I also learned to love it. In Valencia Spain we have five meals each day: at 8am we eat a small breakfast Desayuno with a coffee and something sweet, at 11am we eat our Almuerzo, a sandwich (for some accompanied by their first beer or wine), at 2pm we eat our lunch Comida, which is a warm meal and the main meal of the day, 5pm we have a Merienda, with a small tapa or sandwich for the children, 10pm we eat our light diner Cena, a salad or egg omelette with bread.

orangesOranges from Valencia are known everywhere in the world. The name Late Valencia has nothing to do with the region of Valencia. These oranges grow everywhere in the world and also on the back lands of Valencia. We have a typical Valencian cocktail that we call Agua de Valencia (water of Valencia). It is a cocktail with fresh pressed orange juice, Cava (the Spanish sparkling wine), orange liquor like Cointreau, Vodka and sugar. It tastes really great and is rich in Vitamin C.

HorchataHave you ever heard of Horchata? This drink is from Alboraya, which is the vegetable garden just outside of Valencia. They soak the Tigernuts in water and crush the nuts. They add sugar, cinnamon, lime and water. The drink is served very cold in summer, when it is warm. It is known for its nutrition values. They eat Fartons (cakes covered with icing sugar) with it, which they dip in the drink.

The famous Paella is known all over the world. This dish finds its origin just outside of Valencia near the lake of Albufera. The Moors already brought the rice in the 8th century to the Valencian back lands. From this and other local ingredients the dish originated. The original Paella contains chicken and rabbit. The rice is cooked in chicken stock with big white and green beans, saffron and rosemary. Sometimes when in season they add artichoke and snails. The name Paella comes from the Spanish words: ‘para’ and ‘ella’, which means: the rice is cooked by the men for the women (and her family). In Valencia the families eat this dish on Sunday afternoon for a late lunch from 2 till 5 pm.fruit market

There are many variations on this Paella. Arroz Negro is black rice cooked in the ink of the squid. Arroz al Horno is rice from the oven, with tomatoes, potatoes, garlic, chicken peas, pork ribs, pork belly, sausages and black pudding. Fideuà is when they replace rice for noodles and they serve it with seafood.

All I Pebre is a delicacy from the region of Valencia. This typical dish contains eels, potatoes, peppers and garlic. Esgarraet is also a usual seen tapa on the menu of many restaurants. This is a mixture of salted codfish and roasted peppers.

buñuelos de calabazaDuring the Fallas celebration we eat a lot of Buñuelos. These sweet fried dough balls are covered with sugar. The dough contains pumkin. All those great dishes are part of the Mediterranean diet, right?!?! The only thing that I am sure of, is that I have to keep on doing my exercises to keep in shape 😉