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.
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.
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.