A walk around Alicante
Beaches , great weather and many interesting places to visit are some of the many attractions Alicante has to offer. One of his most coveted beaches is Postiguet, in the city center, but there are numerous sandy beaches such as the beach of Saladar or Albureta beach, blue flag cataloged for its good swimming conditions and the quality of its services.
But apart from beaches, Alicante has outstanding monuments: the Basilica of Santa Maria, the Gravina Palace or Castle of Santa Barbara, on top of Mount Benacantil . By day, the old town is a pleasant neighborhood full of colorful houses and at night, it becomes a lively party area.
At the foot of the castle lies the colorful Barrio de Santa Cruz more like a bit of Andalusia who has been placed in the middle of the city of Alicante. White houses, flowered balconies and typical local food. A few meters from the beach and from the trendiest areas lies this wonderful place full of poetry.
Touring the nearby towns we find , about 30 kilometers from Alicante , Jijona village , famous home of turrón and ice-cream – where it is produced the prized Christmas sweet, both the variety of Jijona and Alicante. Here is the Museo del Turrón , which shows the process , promotion and distribution and where are preserved family memories of Sirvent Selfa founder of El Lobo and 1880 marks .
Another town closely linked to Christmas is Ibi , toy industry is so big that it is said to that here is the Magi ‘s store . In Ibi it was erected the first monument dedicated to the Magi in the world and, of course , it also has the Toy Museum , a tribute to the efforts of toy workers and employers found in La Casa Gran , a building of the eighteenth century . One of the most unique celebrations is the feast of “els Enfarinats ” , which takes place on December 28 , which was a clash of flour and firecrackers and that everyone who is exposed to the population approach.
And do not forget to visit Elche and its immense palm grove , the largest in Europe with over 200,000 copies and is part of the World Heritage, created by the first Muslims who founded the city .
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The Best Monas de Pascua in Alicante
Traditional festivities often go hand-in-hand with culinary delights, as is the case with the mona de Pascua, associated with Easter Monday, when the custom is for men to gift one of these cakes to their godchildren. Eating the mona de Pascua ushers in the end of Lent and fasting.
Themonais eaten in various regions of Spain, including Catalonia, the Balearic Islands, Aragon, Murcia and Valencia, each with their own recipe and peculiarity. In Catalonia, the chocolate mona prevails, while in Valencia they resemble a sweet bun, most of them made of flour, sugar, eggs and salt.
The Tradition in Alicante
Several types ofmonaare made in the Community of Valencia, although the panquemado or toña are available all year around in bakeries and pastry shops. But the variety that appear at Easter are more elaborate and decorative. They are usually either elongated or round and dusted withanisetes(aniseed candies). Those made for children come in amusing, attractive shapes, such as monkeys, snakes or lizards, with a hard-boiled egg embedded in their mouths.
In Alicante and, in general, throughout the Levante (south-eastern seaboard), the custom is to go on an outing in the countryside or hills on the Day of the Mona. Families and friends meet to eat the traditional confectionery in nearby nature areas, including the Sierra de Callosa, the Pinada de Guardamar and the Sierra del Maigmó.
One amusing custom is to break the hard-boiled egg that comes with the mona on a friend’s or family member’s head. They say that some bakers garnish their monas with raw eggs to make the situation even more entertaining. The ritual dictates that the aggressor recite the verse: “Ací em pica, ací em cou i ací t’esclafe l’ou” (Here I’m itching, here I’m smarting and here I break the egg over you).
The Best Pastry Shops in Alicante to Buy Monas and other Confectionery
In Alicante, the pastry shops vie with one another to produce the best monas and display them in their shop windows. One of the most acclaimed ones in the city is Prefiero Sussu, owned by José Manuel Samper, at number 3, calle Pintor Baez. It is a landmark of the best pastries and has won several awards for its delicious toñas. At Sussu they also make one of the finest croissants in Spain. Fresh out of the oven, the taste of butter is unmistakeable, as margarine is not allowed into the Prefiero Sussu bakery under any circumstance.
Horno Rafelet, at 57 calle Maestro Alonso, is a family concern in operation since 1932 where some exquisite homemade products are made. It stands out from the rest because of the traditional recipes they follow and their fine baking.
In the town of Orihuela, in Alicante province, we find what are reputed to be the best toñas in the province. They come from the bakery of El Horno del Obispo, which has been operating since 1850, located in the historic centre of Orihuela. It shares the accolade for the best toñas in Alicante with El Angel, also located in that town. If you visit Orihuela, you should also taste their typical confectionery, known as chato de Orihuela.
How about the Gluten-free Variety?
If you’re looking for gluten- and lactose-free monas de Pascua, there are some delicious ones in the Pastelería José María García, at 46 avenida de Novelda. Their bakery follows homemade recipes based on natural products.
What are you waiting for? Check out our prices here!
Text by Scanner FM
Images by Horno Rafelet, La Murciana and Pastelería Torreblanca
Essentials of alicantinian gastronomy
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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Plaza del Mercado Central
Si vas caminando por Alicante es posible que no encuentres rincón alguno como la plaza del mercado. Cuando llegues allí será como encontrar tu destino en Alicante y querrás quedarte un buen rato. Tómate una caña antes de comer, disfruta por sus tiendas de flores, pasea por el mercado y párate a comer en algún bar. Notarás como es uno de los lugares que te pide tiempo.more info