Gastronomy

The Colón Market
2 April, 2018 / ,

The Colón Market, admired for its architecture since 1916, encloses a gastronomic market for the delight of Valencians and visitors.

The Colón Market is an architectural gem that arouses the amazement of whoever discovers it for the first time, while feeding Valencian pride.

Designed by Francisco Mora Berenguer and built a century ago during the first extension of the city of Valencia, it was the residential area of the bourgeoisie of the epoch, the Colón Market is considered one of the main symbols of Valencian modernist architecture.

The building stands out for the combination of an imposing metallic structure supported by foundry pillars, the absence of side walls and its two monumental facades of stone set in brick.

The contrast between the functional and its rich ornamentation is one of its greatest attractions.

The floor of this market is rectangular, with three naves: a central one that reaches 18.60 meters in height and the two laterals, with cantilevers to each side.

With regard to the facades, it is necessary to emphasize the magnitude of its entrances in arc form, as in the glazed part of the access oriented to the North, that terminates in an original marquee.

The chromaticism and the beauty of the ceramic mosaics are due to its architect, Ricardo Tárrega, and can be appreciated both inside and outside the building. Focussing, for example, on the representation of oranges and clusters of grapes, two of the typical fruits of the region.

An authentic wonder!

Restructured into a gastronomic market

The Colón Market, as we know it today, cannot be understood without the rehabilitation of this building between 1997 and 2003.

At the close of the last century, the evolution of society, the appearance of new distribution models and the lack of maintenance resulted in the Colón Market falling into abandonment.

The rehabilitation project, commissioned by the architect Luis López Silgo, made it possible to recover and convert the old market into a gastronomic market, where breakfast, lunch, dinner or rest and have a beer, a coffee and even a delicious horchata, the Valencian drink par excellence.

The traces of the past, however, remain in trade related to the purchase and sale of goods such as florists, butchers, delicatessens, fishmongers and more specifically, the greengrocers whose owners are members of a family that amounts to four generations in the building.

Together, the Colón Market is a busy space dedicated to leisure, where Valencians and travelers intermingle in glazed shops and terraces watered by natural light. An ideal place where gourmet palates can also enjoy a relaxed, modern and modernist atmosphere.

Location: C / Jorge Juan, 19. 46004 Valencia.
Hours: Monday to Thursday from 7:30 am to 2:00 am; and Friday and Saturday from 7:30 am to 3:00 am.
Metro: Colón station. Lines: 3 and 5.
Bus lines: 1, 3, 5, 8, 10, 13, 18, 22, 30, 32, 40, 79 and N1.
Parking: Open 24 hours.

The shortest way to happiness
6 July, 2017 / ,

Gastronomy: ‘Del Tros al Plat

Landscape characteristics and the maintenance of the population’s own identity make the Valencian territory a unique and authentic gastronomic destination

Valencian gastronomy is unique in the world, but what makes it authentic -even within the Mediterranean Diet- goes to explain to the traveller the special features they have from our land or sea produce to our table, around which the Valencians demonstrate the importance given to good food and coexistence.

The Valencian is lucky to have coastal mountains, vegetable gardens and dry land that provide a wide range of agricultural products in total turnover such as oil, wine, almond, cherry, turnip, tomato or cereal. The list would be immense if we included all the food that the land off us and we would also leap into the rivers and the sea or to the farms and other places dedicated to animal husbandry. However, the greatest uniqueness of Valencian agro-alimentary products is its quality: the degree of excellence they sustain when they enter the kitchens.

Proximity products

The size of the Valencian territory allows these products to be of proximity and that the link between production and population has been consolidated around a commercialisation system based on honesty. The chain of food distribution today still retains the direct relationship between farmers, fi ermen, merchants, cooks and consumers.

In the case of Valencia, the presence of a powerful supplies market, “Mercavalencia”, carries a very important weight. In it remains a century-old tradition known as the “Tira de Contar”( Count strip): From its beginnings, an institution that is concerned to ensure the food supply, sells the fresh and harvested products directly. Among them stand out fruit, vegetables and those products provided by the fi market and the meat slaughterhouse. Until ‘Mercavalencia’ food arrives from the diff Valencian counties which include, among others, Requena, La Vall d’Albaida, those of L’Horta’ and La Marina.

An extensive network of markets, shops and even supermarkets do the rest. And not forgetting the fundamental role played by the cooks.

Gastronomic Excellence

A high number of cooks who know how to give the sublime touch to their work have come out of the houses’ stoves and the Valencian restaurants. Some have entered to become part and parcel of the, increasingly media outreach, original cuisine.
Others, the majority, maintain the excellence thanks to the care with which they carry out their work and commitment to achieve the memory’s aftertaste of a vital experience in each dish. The experience that you will take as a tourist when you try our gastronomy anywhere.

Because, of course we advise you to enter our restaurants, but if you also have the possibility to share an elevenses (mid-morning snack that the Valencians customarily do, between breakfast and lunch, and diff from the appetiser), or you have the great fortune of being invited by the Valencians to the Sunday paella at home, do not think twice!

“De Tros al Plat” (“from the land or demesne to the plate”, if we translate it from Valencian to English) is an initiative of the Patronat de Turisme which, together with other Valencian public institutions and companies in the tourism sector, has been developed to make the characteristics of our gastronomic culture known. That one, as we have reviewed, includes from the food that nature off us in abundance, its production and commercialisation, up to the contribution of cooks and consumers, that demand an agri-food product of excellence to maintain the Valencian quality of life: unique and authentic as its gastronomy.

Source: València Turisme.

The ‘titaina’, who tastes it, repeats
6 July, 2017 / ,

The ingredients have to be of quality and fresh. Do not use anything from containers and, whenever it is possible take them with you. Purchase the products from our vegetable garden and the ‘tonyina de sorra’ (salted tuna belly) before returning home. You will notice the difference!

INGREDIENTS:

1 kg of ripe tomatoes
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
Olive oil
3 cloves of garlic
75 gr of pine nuts
400 gr of “tonyina de sorra”
Salt and sugar

PREPARATION:

Desalt the “tonyina de sorra” the night before, leaving it in water. Then shred it and leave for a while before cooking it in oil. Peel and mash the tomatoes and set aside. Chop the garlic and put them in the pan, in oil with the pine nuts. Add the “tonyina” and let it get slightly brown over a medium heat. Remove it. Put the chopped peppers in the same oil and brown them, but without getting soft. Remove, and finally, cook the tomato in the same oil to take the flavour. When it is cooked, add all the ingredients and cook for five more minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside. The “titaina” can be used as a garnish or on a typical Valencian “coca”.

Text by: Carol Vegas @carolinavegaslife
Photograph of “Titaina” elaborated in the Restaurant L’Establiment

Iced coffee
5 July, 2017 / ,

INGREDIENTS:

6 cups of expresso coffee
Lemon rind
Sugar to taste

ELABORATION:

It is important to begin with very strong coffee to achieve a good flavour.
Store the coffee in the freezer for 90 minutes.
Remove and crush it in a blender. We repeat the operation twice every 30 minutes.
Serve the ice crush with cold expresso coffee or with whipped milk.

Text by: Carol Vegas @carolinavegaslife

Lemon slush (Iced lemon)
5 July, 2017 / ,

INGREDIENTS : (for a litre)

3 lemons
200 gr of sugar
750 ml of water

ELABORATION:

We grate the lemons’ peel. Afterwards we squeeze and mix the juice and the zest with the sugar.
Boil the mixture for 7 minutes over a medium strong heat until it has almost reduced to half.
We mix it with cold water.
Place it in the freezer and on the hour we remove and stir it well.
Repeat the process twice more and we have the slush prepared.

Text: Carol Vegas @carolinavegaslife

Whipped milk (Milk meringue)
5 July, 2017 / ,

INGREDIENTS:

1 litre of milk
140 gr of sugar
30 gr of icing sugar
4 egg whites
Cinnamon stick
Lemon rind

ELABORATION:

Heat the milk with the lemon rind and cinnamon.
When it boils, we add the sugar and stir well.
Leave it to cool without removing the lemon and cinnamon.
Once cold, we strain and place it in the fridge for a few hours.
Beat the egg whites and the icing sugar until they become stiff.
We mix and serve a ball in the iced coffee.
Delicious!

Text by: Carol Vegas @carolinavegaslife

‘Clóchina’, the mussel from the ports of Valencia and Sagunto
11 June, 2017 / ,

Gastronomy

Did you know that “clóchina” is the term that refers to the Mediterranean mussel (Mytilus galloprovincialis), which is cultivated in the ports of Valencia and Sagunto?

Before coming to Valencia if you already had any Valencian friend, the chances are you have heard of the “clóchinas”. And surely, not only that, your friend (or girlfriend) will also have talked about their size, their colour, of how different they are from any mussel you may have ever tasted; in short, nuances with more or less scientific rigour, but they have always relied upon much enthusiasm because, for Valencians, “clóchinas” are a delicacy! their taste, their texture… Everything!

But, what is the true origin of the “clóchinas”? What makes them so special?

At the beginning of 1900, in the port of Valencia a trough already existed dedicated to the cultivation of “clóchinas”. It was in front of the dockyards, in tune with the rest of the port activities. So much so that, as the port developed, the troughs also grew to register an optimal number. At present, 22 of these floating platforms coexist in the Valencian Community. These are concessions and all of them are found in the ports of Valencia and Sagunto.

The troughs cannot be on the high seas, they need shelter and sufficient space to guarantee a good harvest. Harvest yes, you have read well, since one of the peculiarities of the “clóchina” is that, despite being a marine mollusc, the terms used by the “clochineros” come from agriculture and not from fishing.

As the Mediterranean water undergoes many temperature fluctuations during the year, it is in the epoch that the cold begins, around the months of September-October, when the seeds (teeny “clóchinas” selected for spawning) are fastened to cords and are immersed in the sea until their collection; which will last from April to September.

Everything that escapes the impositions of nature is measured: there must be a minimum of 70 centimetres between one string and another so that the seeds can obtain the necessary nutrients for their development; the troughs’ decks measure about 25 meters in length; the ideal size of the “clóchinas”, that by the conditions in which they are raised they do not grow much more, is determined by the sieve; the time they spend in the treatment plant until they are packed in sacks (meshes) is between 12 and 24 hours. And this goes on and on, to which the experience of those who cultivate them is also added, an average of 30 tonnes are harvested per season in each trough.

Characteristics and name

In relation to the taste of “clóchina”, the salinity of the water, of more than 30 percent in this part of the Mediterranean, is considered crucial compared to the fresher waters of the Ebro Delta, to put a geographically close example although it has different characteristics being an estuary.

In relation to colour and size, we can compare the “clóchinas” with Galician mussels, to give an example of constantly cold Atlantic water. While Galician mussels are larger and reddish, the “clóchina” is smaller and of a pale orange colour.

But what about the name? Why is this variety of Mediterranean mussel is called “clóchina”? According to tradition, the etymological origin of the “clóchina” is onomatopoeic. It would come from the noise they emit when are being cleaned: “Clo, clo, clo …”. When you order some “clóchinas” in a restaurant, make two of them collide and you will see how they sound … Because, you will not think of leaving Valencia without trying them, right? In addition to how tasty they are, we recommend you eat at least a portion of “clóchinas”, so that it is your own palate that gives you the best definition of texture.

Do not let any Valencian tell you anymore! Surprise them!

Source: Juan Aragonés Just, president of the Association of “Clochineros” of Valencia and Sagunto Ports.

 

Related article: Steamed Valencian ‘clóchinas’

Steamed Valencian ‘clóchinas’
1 June, 2017 / ,

INGREDIENTS:

1 kg of “clóchinas”
1 lemon Red pepper
2 cloves of garlic
1 chilli pepper (optional)
1 a good splash of olive oil
1 laurel leaf

ELABORATION:

Clean the “clóchinas” well with the help of a knife to leave the shells free of hairs and barnacles. Wash the garlic without peeling, give them a sharp knock with the side of the knife to slightly open them. Clean and chop the lemon into eight parts.

In a tall pot place the clean “clóchinas”, the lemon, the garlic, a pinch of paprika, the chilli pepper, if one chooses, a good splash of olive oil, a little water and a laurel leaf.

Cover the pot, place over a medium heat and leave for some 15 minutes or until we see the “clóchinas” have completely opened.

Turn off the heat and leave to stand for a few minutes.

Pour it all into a bowl and serve hot. It can be taken as an aperitif or as a main dish.

Tip: The stock can be used with the “clóchinas” o can be reserved to be used as “fumet” or as a fish base in rices.

Once cooked, the “clóchinas” can be frozen.

Text by: Carol Vegas @carolinavegaslife

Related Article: ‘Clóchina’, the mussel from the ports of Valencia and Sagunto

‘Coca de Llanda’
1 June, 2017 / ,

Pastry-making

It is one of the most traditional Valencian sweets for the afternoon snack. Its recipe, for its simplicity, has passed from grandmothers to mothers and daughters and its name comes from the “llanda”, a rectangular aluminium container where the coca is “llanda”, baked.

INGREDIENTS:

3 eggs
250 ml milk
125 ml smooth olive oil
150 grs of sugar
250 grs of flour
Grated lemon zest
4 sachets of soda or baking yeast

ELABORATION:

Mix sifted flour, sugar, lemon zest, soda or yeast and once mixed, add the 3 beaten egg yolks with the milk and the oil. Stir very well and mix until it forms a homogeneous and creamy mass.

In another bowl we whip the whites into stiff peaks and combine them with the previous mixture delicately (wraparound movements) to prevent the egg whites from collapsing. Then pour the blend into the tray lined with greased baking paper. Sprinkle over with a mixture of sugar and cinnamon.

Bake in a preheated oven to 180ºC for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown on top and pierce with a skewer, it should be dry on removal.

Text by: Carol Vegas @carolinavegaslife

Horchata with ‘fartons’
5 May, 2017 / ,

The ‘horchata’ (‘orxata’, in Valencian) is one of the Valencian drinks par excellence. The nuts and bolts of the ‘fartons’ rests, above all, on wetting them in the horchata

HORCHATA RECIPE

INGREDIENTS:
250 g tiger nuts (“chufas”)
1 litre very cold water
100 g icing sugar

PREPARATION:
Wash the tiger nuts and soak them in water. Store in the refrigerator for 12 hours.
Strain and re-clean.
Grind them together with 200 ml of cold water until a white liquid is obtained.
Squeeze into a bowl using a strainer or fine cloth.
Remove all possible liquid from the tiger nuts. Add the remaining cold water, sugar and stir.

“FARTON” RECIPE

Dilute 50 g of baker’s yeast in 100 ml of water.
Mix 600 g of flour with the yeast, 100 g of sugar and two eggs.
Then add 100 ml of oil and a teaspoon of salt. Achieve a homogeneous dough and let stand until doubled in size.
Make balls with the dough and on a bank dusted with flour roll the ball to lengthen it.
Put the “fartons” on the oven tray greased with butter.
Place in the oven, preheated to 180º, for 15-18 minutes until they are browned on top. Mix 150 g of glazed sugar with 50 ml of warm water until a thick syrup is obtained. Paint the “fartons” while they are still hot.

Written by: Carol Vegas @carolinavegaslife