Valencia, a vibrant city on Spain’s eastern coast, is not just renowned for its stunning architecture and sun-kissed beaches, but also for its rich culinary traditions. At the heart of Valencian cuisine is the iconic paella, but there’s so much more to savor. Here are 10 must-try dishes that will transport your taste buds straight to the Mediterranean.
The crown jewel of Valencian cuisine, Paella Valenciana is a saffron-infused rice dish cooked in a wide, shallow pan. Traditionally made with rabbit and chicken, it’s a symphony of flavors and textures that’s not to be missed.
Think of paella, but with noodles. This dish swaps out rice for short, thin noodles and is often loaded with seafood, making it a coastal favorite.
A hearty eel stew flavored with garlic and paprika. This dish is a testament to Valencia’s love for fresh produce from both land and sea.
These pumpkin fritters are a sweet treat, often enjoyed during the annual Las Fallas festival. Crispy on the outside and soft within, they’re perfect with a dusting of sugar.
A refreshing drink made from tiger nuts, horchata is Valencia’s answer to the summer heat. Best enjoyed with ‘fartons’, elongated sugar-glazed pastries.
Oven-baked rice with a mix of pork ribs, sausage, chickpeas, and potatoes. It’s comfort food, Valencian style.
A delightful salad made from roasted red peppers and salted cod, drizzled with olive oil. It’s a perfect blend of smoky and salty flavors.
A local sausage made from finely ground pork and seasoned with black pepper. It’s a staple in many Valencian homes.
Although enjoyed all over Spain, Valencia’s version of this almond nougat is particularly famous. It’s a sweet treat that’s perfect for the festive season.
A cocktail made from a mix of cava (Spanish sparkling wine), orange juice, vodka, and gin. It’s a citrusy delight that captures the spirit of Valencia in a glass.
As you embark on your culinary journey through Valencia, remember that the essence of Valencian cuisine lies in its fresh ingredients and age-old recipes passed down through generations. So, whether you’re sipping on horchata by the beach or savoring a plate of paella in a bustling market square, you’re experiencing a piece of Valencia’s rich culinary tapestry.