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Cuisine ~ What to Eat in Costa Blanca


Costa Blanca has a tasty cuisine based on rice. The staples of the Mediterranean diet form the basic ingredients of Alicante cuisine. Rice is the most popular dish in the Costa Blanca. Dishes with rice, cooked in all manner of ways and styles are all tasty and the favorite cuisine of the region.

Rice and broth in the coastal towns are eaten together with the fish.

The fish stew that the local fishermen used to cook up as a tradition are popular.

Arroz a banda is a popular dish with rice and drier in dried red peppers and served alone.

Flavored with squid (calamari) and tunny fish, chicken and fillet of pork, baby squid (chipirones) and garlic shoots or tunny fish and shrimps (gambas) are the other popular variations of the dishes with rice.

Shellfish and salt-dried fish are the popular menus in every restaurant along the coastal towns. Menu of the day may include gilthead bream (dorada), bass baked in salt (lubina a la sal), seafood with a squeeze of lemon or some delicious sea-fresh red mullet (salmonete) and whiting (pescadilla). Clams (almejas), king prawns (langostinos), pink and brown shrimps (gambas rojas, quisquillas) both steamed or grilled are also remarkable.

Rice forms an integral part of the typical dish olleta in which it is mixed with pork, sausage meats, pumpkin, turnip, chard stalks (pencas), chickpeas and string beans in the mountain areas. Rice is also used as a filling in bajoques farcides, an appetizing dish of stuffed peppers. The inland regions offer excellent meat dishes such as pork cutlets, rabbit cooked in garlic and tomato, leg of lamb, and local sausage meats.

Cocido con pelotas (potage containing balls made of egg and finely diced parsley, crumbed and fried), olla viuda (vegetable stew, with onion, chickpeas, garlic and spinach, eaten during Lent), arroz con costra (rice with sausage meats and chicken or turkey, sometimes coated with a layer of egg and baked in the oven) and the heady pava borracha (roast turkey a la cognac) are the popular dishes in the Vinalopó and Segura river valleys.

The desserts of the Alicante region include the Jijona turrón, ice cream, grapes, raisins, dates, almond pastries, pasteles de gloria (a sugared confectionery made with egg yolk and traditionally eaten on Easter Saturday, sabado de gloria) and almojábenas (sweet, fritter-like pastries, dipped in syrup).

Also the coffee liqueur from Alcoi and the herb liqueurs of the Sierra Mariola Range are the other remarkable ones.

When it comes to wines, the finest wines of the reds, rosés and clarets are made in the Alto Vinalopó and Marina Alta districts.

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