Essentials of alicantinian gastronomy
21 August, 2014
Alicante is a synonym for Mediterranean cuisine and is not in vain that one of the best chefs worldwide, Ferran Adrià, said Alicante is, without question, the Spanish province where you eat better.
We love Mediterranean cuisine and this is why we want to offer a selection of 5 products that you have to try in Alicante, and we also advice you where to try them. Some of the products and restaurants might be missing, but take this approach to the gastronomy from Alicante as a starter. In this situation, a local would tell you: “anem a fer una picaeta” (a tradition from the little town of Alcoi, based in a round of tapas, toasts and little sandwiches).
Rice: The rice grows in Valencia and cooks in Alicante, or so it goes in a popular saying. If we want to fully discover the cuisine from Alicante, we must try paella at Restaurante Casa Riquelme. In paellas you can find all kind of ingredients, from fish and seafood to fresh products grown in the fields of the country, accompanied by chicken, rabbit or even snails. Eating at Casa Riquelme (Vázquez de Mella, 17), any midday from Wednesday to Sunday, is a synonym for fine dining. Find more information in this link
Wines: With its own protected designation of origin since mid-20th century. In Alicante you can taste a wine that mixes two kind of grapes, original from the region: monastrell and moscatel. The mistelle wine is original from this land. At Bodega de Meyos (Avenida Condomina, 40) in Alicante we can taste wine by the glass and accompany it with good food, all for a very fair price. We can also buy wine bottles; in fact this was originally a wine shop.
Horchata: In hot weather, is common to see locals tasting a horchata in any terrace. This precious beverage made of tigernuts (chufas) is one of the most exported products. Don’t forget to go to Horchatería Azul (Calderón de la Barca, 36) to drink this refreshment and accompany it of fartons or the delicious almond pastry (coca de almendras). It’s closed on winter, but is considered for many people the best horchatería in Alicante, a traditional place.
Nougats: Another product Alicante is well known for. This is one of the main products to eat on Christmas, in Spain, and is always in the dinning table with the own local varieties: Jijona nougat and Alicante nougat. If you are in Alicante, try them at Espí (Avenida Alfonso X el Sabio, 4) and, if you want to make a very good impression, buy some as a gift for the upcoming Christmas time.
Pastry: cocas de tonyina (a fine pie stuffed with tuna) are very typical food for the Hogueras de San Juan, on the summer solstice. We can eat them at La Ibense (Calle de Portugal, 38), not only on summer. In this place you can also try delicious pizza portions or the traditional pastry (coca de mollita) with chocolate.
We could continue with other typical products of the region, like the worldwide known stuffed olives from Alcoi o the chocolate Valor, but we can keep that for upcoming gastronomic visits.
For now, as locals in Alicante say: “que aprofite”!!!!
Image from Les Haines
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21 August, 2014