Spanish gastronomy

Rices
Of all the dishes that build up Valencian cuisine, the best known internationally is paella, a dried rice stew, cooked in a paellera (shallow metal pan with handles that gives its name to the dish) on a fire of wood (preferably orange trees) prepared for this purpose. Its popularity is such high as many Valencian houses have a paellero, an open or closed space where the paella is cooked with firewood.

There are multiple recipes, but the fundamental in the region consists of rice, chicken and rabbit, green beans and garrofon. It also usually includes ¨vaquettes¨ (a variety of snails) or meat tenderloins (in the Ribera region). The yellow color is traditionally achieved with saffron, although the use of artificial dyes has been popularized.

Pastries

The traditional Valencian pasrties has a remarkable Muslim influence, so the use of almonds and honey is very abundant. The most popular sweet is undoubtedly the Christmas nougat, made in Jijona (Alicante) and ¨Casinos¨ (Valencia) based on almond and sugar. Also the ¨peladillas¨ of Casinos or Alcoy.

Another of the typical sweets of Valencian cuisine is the ¨casca¨. This is made with ground almond, sugar and eggs, which can be filled with candied yolk, sweet potato or pumpkin, although it can also be accompanied by cinnamon, orange or lemon zest, or meringue. The shell ¨el Rascon¨ is typically consumed on Kings Day 6th of January and its shape may vary, but it is usually shaped like a thread or a snake.

A typical drink of the region is the ¨horchata de chufa¨, mainly in Alboraya, which is usually drunk granizada or liquid (always very cold).

Other typical sweets are ¨arnadi¨ (a cake made of pumpkin and almond). At Easter it is very traditional the consumption of ¨monas¨ and the typical calves of Alberique, which is produced all year round.

Spanish gastronomy