Monday, February 16, 2009

Valencia - Paella, Horchata and Other Delicatessen


The Valencian cuisine is based on the healthy Mediterranean diet, which has the best natural products extracted from the garden or the sea, such as seafood, fruits and vegetables or wine. It enjoys of many different flavours and exquisite textures. But, undoubtedly, the protagonist of the dishes is the paella, considered a national symbol.

Despite it culinary diversity, the rice monopolises most Valencian menus. But the repertoire of Valencian rice dishes is not a monotonous succession of paellas: rice is cooked in many ways. Many chefs argue that the original paella recipe was made of chicken, snails and vegetables (Paella a la Valenciana). Now everything has change!

The most common paella is the Marinera one, cooked with saffron, sea-food, fish and vegetables and of course, rice. If you add chicken, it would be a Paella Mixta. Nonetheless, the traditional paella has diverged in many other recipes: "arròs negre" (rice with ink squid), "arròs a banda" (rice with seafood), "arròs amb fesols i naps" (with haricot beans and turnip), "arròs al forn" (oven-baked rice), "arròs amb bledes" (rice with chard)... "Fideuà" is similar to paella, but the rice has been replaced by noodles.

In addition to the rice, the Valencian Gastronomy has many other specialities such as the "all-i-pebre d'anguiles" (garlic,pepper and eel stew), "suc de peix" (made of fish, oil, garlic, onion and parsley), "esgarrat" (roasted red pepper, cod and olive oil) and "titaína" (a recipe made of vegetables, pine kernels, spices and tuna).

The Valencia'n desserts are also varied and delicious, some of them inherited from the Moorish culture: the "arnadí", made with pumpkin preserves, yams and almond or the pastries made of the extract of a kind of sweet potato called a "boniato" and "cabello de angel". In addition, Valencia has the best oranges in Spain, which are exported to the rest of the country.

There are two typical drinks: horchata (a delicious ice cold beverage made of tiger nut milk) and Valencian Water (a cocktail made from orange juice and Cava). Valencia also has great red and white wines.

There is no doubt that Valencia is a great cuisine capital. Discover it and enjoy your stay there! Ren Valencia Apartmetns for the best accommodation.

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