Food in Vallencia, Spain


Paella is of course the classic Valencian dish. The way rice cooks is determined by the type of cooking vessel. This means that when cooked in a deep pot will be very differnt to oven-baked rice dishes. "Paella Valenciana" is cooked in a shallow paella pan. And there are other rice dishes, including "arroz en perdiú", "arroz al forn" (baked in the oven), "rossjat", "arroz abanda" (with seafood), "arroz con costra" (with an egg crust), "arroz am biedes" (with chard), for you to look out for on the menu. Arroz, of course being the Spainsh word for rice

Paella Mixta would contain meat (pork, rabbit, chicken etc) pieces of white fish, squid, clams, prawns, crayfish plus strips of fresh pimiento and beans - and of course garlic.

Paella de Marisco is the vession without meat.

The ingredients will vary from place to place, according to availability. A freshly prepared paella will take some time to arrive. The classic paella is also lightly burned in the last moments of cooking by turning up the heat to produce a tasty layer on the bottom - which is scraped out with spoons at the end of the meal.

Fideua is a local pasta specialiaty, cooked in seafood stock like paella, and served usually with pieces of squid. and vegetables.

Stews and meat

The local soups and stews known as "ollas", made with a meat and vegetable stock. The "olla de la plana" is cooked with vegetables, haricot beans and saffron, and "la olla recapte" with potatoes and pork. Turkey is used a a base stock in a lot of these dishes, "ollica de verduras" (vegetables), "olla de cardet" (thistles) and "Alacant", which rice, "giraboix" (cod, green beans and potatoes).

Ox and beef used to be reserved for fiesta time, but are now popular any time. Game, such as rabbit and duck are cooked with rice, for example chicken in paella, whilst lamb is usually roasted.


Locally there is a wide selection of fish, including the spotted flounder, conger, whiting, hake, sea bass, gilt-head sea bream, red mullet, anglerfish and a small fish called the "aladroc" (anchovy), which can be fried, baked, covered in a salt casing, cooked in a "suquet" (type of stew), served with onion or with an almond or orange sauce. One popular way of preparing fish is known as "salazón", in which the fish is covered in salt before baking.

Outstanding among the great variety of fish and seafood dishes are

Sopa de Pescado or Marisco is the fish/shellfish soup or stew

Parillada is a mix of fried fish

Pulchero de Pulpo is an octopus stew

Salmonetes is a grilled red mullet

Pescadilla is a variety of deep fried whitebait as well as the larger Sardina

Calamares - the well known rings of squid fried in batter

Mejillones - mussels can be al vapor or can salsa

Gambas or Cigalas are prawns or crayfish which can for example be grilled "a la plancha" or in garlic "al ajillo"

Langosta - lobster is available but tends to be expensive

Lenguado - the Mediterranean sole is cooked in butter "meuniere" or grilled "a la plancha"

Emperador is swordfish

Suc de Rape is monkfish

Lubina is the large sea-bass, and can be served "a la sal" baked in salt which forms a crust, seals in all the juices, and breaks away with the skin when you eat it

Zarzuela is a delicious fish caserole


Other local dishes

Other local specialities include Cocas - savoury cakes with a variety of toppings (tomato, onion, anchovy etc) and the many varieties of local fruits used in desserts (almonds, raisins, figs and nisperos).

Soft Drinks

The iced fruit juices are definitely worth trying (limon, naranja and horchata) - lemon, orange and the milk from tiger-nuts.


Teulada's wine is among the best known in Alicante province, particularly the white marina Alta or the Moscatel. Moscatel is an ideal partner for the local home-made local desserts of almonds and raisins, "els patisets de boniato'.

Return to Spain Calling - Moraira page