The city of Alicante lies in the spanish province of Valencia and it’s surrounded by mountains and ancient traces of great cultures. Guarded by Santa Bárbara’s Castle, the city enjoys a wonderful weather and a historical richness like no other.
Since the ages of phoenicians, romans and muslims, the city has had an interesting and delicious evolution of gastronomical arts based on rice, products of the sea and a wide range of spices and meats. Merely mediterranean, the food of Alicante is something to enjoy and learn from, because it teaches you how to do much with little and how to create something perfect without intrisic perfection of ingredients.
Let’s talk first of one of the basics in food of Alicante: “Alioli” sauce. This mixture of olive oil and garlic it’s the base of many typical dishes in Alicante, usually the ones with seafood. This sauce has its origins from the arabians and it’s a permanent protagonist of gastronomical culture in Italy, France and many other countries of Europe and Africa.
In the field of fruits and vegetables, the orange is without any doubt Alicante’s quintessential. Although harvested in October and throughout winter, this fruit is actually available all year round.
The most characteristic dishes from Alicante are made with rice. The star of the show is the world famous paella. Paella is a kind of stew, made dry rice, chicken and rabbit, bajoqueta (green beans) and garrofón (butter beans).
We can also find in Alicante the popular “Tapas”, which are little morsels of food. Patatas bravas, grilled cuttlefish, mussels, clams, anchovies in vinegar and cod croquettes are just a handful of them, the perfect companion for a cold beer or sangria!
Other traditional dishes are “Arroz al horno” (oven-baked rice), “Arroz a banda” (rice with seafood), “Arroz negro” (rice with squid), “Arros amb fesols i naps“, a moist rice with beans and turnips, and then we have “Fideuá“, which it’s a typical dish from Alicante and other places of Valencia made of noodles and seafood. Seasoned with saffron, garlic and tomatoes, Fideuá it’s one of those dishes you have to eat if you go to Alicante.
We cannot forget Alicante’s wines, in fact, Alicante produces high quality grapes and wines of world-wide fame. Some of the types of grapes produced in Alicante are Garnacha, Monastrell, Tempranillo, Bobal, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Syrah, which are the red varieties. The white varieties are Moscatel de Alejandría, Planta Fina, Merseguera, Chardonnay, Verdil, Sauvignon Blanc, Airén y Macabeo.
Talking about desserts we have some traditional Alicante’s sweets which have a strong Moorish influence, meaning that the use of almonds and honey is very common. Among Alicante’s most popular desserts are “almojabanes“, “rosetones“, “arrop i tallaetes and arnadí” (pumpkin, sweet potato and almond candy). The most popular dessert of all, however, is the Christmas treat – “turrón” (nougat candy), made from almonds and sugar. Enjoy your meal!