When taking a food tour in Valencia, you may well notice many authentic Valencian dishes are based around rice as the central ingredient. Albeit prepared in a variety of intriguing ways, brought to life with an array of flavours.
The addition of fresh seafood, meat and the locally grown fruit and vegetables help make each plate of food a taste to remember. The majority of high-end Valencian chefs will only use the very best local produce. Often picked from their own private gardens or straight from the nearby markets and fishing ports.
While to some extent local cuisine is representative of a more traditional Spain, food experiences in Valencia come with a slight twist. Such as Valencian Paella – where this traditional dish originated from!
Authentic Valencian Food
Below we take a look at just some of the traditional and authentic dishes to try while on a food tour in Valencia. All of which help give you an insight into the local food tourism. Attracting international foodies to book a food tour, dining experience or cookery classes in order to learn new skills.
The rice in this famous paella is flavoured with fresh saffron (that turns the rice yellow) and rosemary spices and can be combined with either chicken, rabbit, green beans, butter beans, and even snails! Most of us think that paella is always made with seafood such as mussels and prawns. However, this is not the true original Valencian paella.
The authentic Valencian restaurants always serve up this dish with snails, and for very special occasions – rabbit. The dish is actually named Paella as that is the name of the large and shallow pan it is cooked in.
Valencia sits right on the coast of Spain, meaning there is an abundance of fish and seafood available throughout the year. Fideuà is a delicious seafood dish with the main basis being noodles, as opposed to rice. The word Fideuà derives from the Valencian “fideuada”, meaning plenty of noodles. The dish is just the thing if you fancy seafood served without any rice.
The main ingredients are various sorts of local white seafood, such as monkfish, cuttlefish, and squid, shrimps and crayfish. All the seafood is then cooked in mild fish stock and expertly seasoned with lemon. This is a superb light dish to enjoy whilst relaxing in front of the gorgeous Mediterranean Sea!
Foodies visiting Spain in the heat of summer should really try a bowl of gazpacho. Although best described as a cold soup, it is also symbolic of Valencian summers. Traditionally, there is minimal cooking involved, as the soup contains raw vegetables blended together.
This dish is an extremely popular Valencian and Catalan dish but actually derives from Puerto Rico and Cuba. It is sometimes known as Arroz negro, which in its purest form is a simple yet effective bowl of squid with rice. However, what makes this dish more interesting, is the rice is cooked in squid ink, thus giving it the famous black colour.
Esgarraet is another authentic Valencian dish, which directly translates as meaning ‘tearing’. This relates to the preparation of the food. Which includes tearing apart red bell peppers and bacalao (a salted cured fish). The most popular variation is made with cod, marinated with local olive oil and put in layers with the red pepper stripe and plenty of fresh garlic.
The dish is a tantalizing mix of the sweet peppers and the salted flavoursome cod. The delicious juices are the soaked up with chunks of super freshly baked seeded bread.