Gastronomy and Products of the Area

Gastronomy and Products of the Area

Gastronomy IconGastronomy

Dishes and Typical Products

The region of the Vega Baja is rich in tradition and variety culinary; this is explained by the importance of their production in fruits and vegetables, in the area of the orchard and its fishing production in the area of the coast. So we can distinguish between two "types" of kitchen: on the coast where dominates the cuisine of the fish and seafood, because the quality of the fish so-called bay are highly valued, as the rock fish, special to prepare the broth of rice, the mullet, the whiting, the sole and species most select such as prawns or shrimp. In the interior, since it is an orchard extensive and rich that produces vegetables and fruits in abundance, dominate the salads varied, artichokes, cardo, "lisones", celery, endive or lettuce, taking great importance the vegetables in both the rice as in the stew pot.

As base of this kitchen to flavour infinity of plates, we emphasize the ñora, red pepper of rounded form dried to the Sun. In Guardamar del Segura, the process of dried turns into something worthy of contemplate since it takes place on a base of sand proceeding from the immediate dunes to the mouth of the river Segura, beginning at the end of August and finishing in October, where the ñoras are sewed in strings of one meter and a half of length by a kilo of weight.

Inside the multitude of local dishes of the region, stand out those that were elaborated for the holidays, as is the stew with balls, the rice with crust, the rice and rabbit, rice of pot or rice to band. For the ordinary days eats: stew of turkey, coscurrones, garden rice with cod, gypsy pot, stew of snails, wheat "picao", etc.

With regard to the confectionary, to each feast day is a sweet. Thus, in Christmas tradition is the toñas, shortcake dough’s, pasta flora, and the almond-shape; in San Jose the donuts, the pies of glory, and the almojábanas; in Holy Week the Easter cake, for All Saints the typical rallying calabazate (calabasate) and throughout the year, rolls of anise, cakes, pumpkin cake of salt, madeleines in oil or orange, cake of almonds and bread of calatrava. To emphasize that many of the sweets elaborated in the region have an Arabic origin.

All of these dishes we can taste in a large amount of restaurants that exist in the region.

Stew with Balls

Stew with Balls

Meatballs developed with the blood of turkey, meat from the same animal, egg, parsley, garlic and pine; this mass well removed is cooked slowly with potatoes, chick peas, vegetables, seasoned with saffron and salt.


Rice with Rabbit and Snails

Rice with Rabbit and Snails

Frying the rabbit once cut and seasoned with salt, add the tomato when it should be gilded, to boil with water until meat is soft season with saffron and add finally rice that should boil 20 minutes approximately, decorate with strips of red pepper.


Rice with Crust

Rice with crust

Frying chicken meat or rabbit with tomato, seasoning and add the rice when it is in the medium uncooked are fighting the eggs and are lacking above it introduces the paella dish in oven and ends of cook and browned.


Almojábanas

Almojábanas

Boil in a skillet 3 cups a half of water and 1 cup oil when it comes to boiling to add ½ kilo of flour gradually remove until being a homogeneous mass, leave it to cool. In a container of mud to add the mass and to add 12 eggs to knead with your hands until it is a paste. Later to be forming big rolls and baking, later they were bathing in honey and to dust with sugar.


Easter Cake

Easter cake

3 kilos of flour, 1 dozen of eggs, 1 tablet of yeast, 1 kilo of sugar, scraping of lemon, 2 glasses of milk (in whole ½ litre) and a glass of oil. Half a tablet of yeast is taken. We knead to make approximately a kilo of flour increasing, with 1 glass of warm milk. When the increasing one is opened, is prepared to add another half tablet dissolved in a glass of warm milk. A glass of oil is added, 12 eggs, the scraping lemon by the rest of three kilos of flour. After ending they are left to sleep a time (approximately 3-4 hours). When rise is already the mass is to put them in the plates of oven. The Easter cake is done, place in the plates and are left again to rest. Wet above with beaten egg (using a brush) and are dusted by sugar. They get to the oven, until they are gilded to average temperature (less than 200 º).

Toñas

Toñas

¼ of anise, ½ litre of oil, ¼ of sugar, lemon peel and 1 kilo of flour. The oil warms up with the lemon peel and scalding the flour. All the ingredients are added and it is kneaded until it remains uniform.

It makes a cake of approximately 1 cm of thickness and with the available moulds round forms are done also little balls can be done and put it in the oven to cook until browned Then bathe with honey and dust with sugar.

Orejetas

Orejetas3 Eggs, 100 grs. of butter, water, 2 soda, salt and flour.

Blend all ingredients to obtain a mass. Then, extends and cut into thin sheets. These are fried in abundant hot oil. At the end are sprinkled with sugar glass.

 

Cakes of Pumpkin

Cakes of Pumpkin1 kg and a half of pumpkin boiled, 1 kg of sugar, 1/2 l. of oil, 1/2 tablet of baker's yeast and 3 kg of flour.

There is boiled the pumpkin and when it becomes soft, drained and removes itself the water. It is weighed and in a container there is mixed pulp of pumpkin, the sugar, the oil and the yeast. All the ingredients are working with flour. Later, with the mass there are elaborated a few balls that will rest approximately an hour at room temperature. Past this time, they flatten forming a few cakes to which we will do a few cuts to them before putting them in the oven before warmed to 200ºC. The boiling will be more or less of half an hour and, once finished, the cakes are extracted and bathe with honey and sugar.

Tortas Escaldadas

Tortas Escaldadas300 kg of flour, 1 l. of olive oil, 1/4 l. of anise, 1/4 l. of orange juice, 850 grs. of sugar and 1 box of soda.

It puts to warm to the fire the oil. Adding into a container the flour and the sugar and, when the oil is boiling is mixed by the flour and the sugar. Moves quite with a spatula of wood and adds the anise, orange juice and soda. Its works the mass with the hands and once done, cakes are formed by the help of moulds (of shortcake dough’s for example). They get into the oven and on having extracted them bathe in honey and sugar.

Products of the Area IconProducts of the Area

Lemons

Basket of Lemons

The lemon tree is original to northern Burma and southern China. In the western world it was cultivated first in the Italian peninsula and in Sicily, and its cultivation was implanted in Palestine in the 13th century, managing later to be imposed in Spain, in the semiarid zones of Murcia and Alicante, and then it went on to The United States, especially in the zone of California. The lemons are produced in our entire region being Albatera one of the principal producers of citrus fruits of the region.

The tow most important varieties cultivated in the Comunidad Valenciana, of Spanish origin in order of importance, are: Verna and I Die.

The lemon crop depends on the variety in question, since according to the time of harvest, are varied the amounts of water and fertilization. The verna lemon, mostly grown in Albatera, is harvested in a staggered way and offers during the year various crops as the fruits remain on the tree long periods of time without losing quality and the tree start to blossom again easily.

Oranges

Basket of Oranges

The orange is a citrus fruit edible obtained of the sweet orange tree original of India, Vietnam or the south-east of China. It came probably from Portugal long time ago to our region. The oranges are produced in our entire region being different of the principal citric producers.

The variety of our region is the Valencia orange, Valencia late or late Valencia, the fruit is medium to large and has a high content of orange juice, almost seedless making it one of the sweet varieties used in Spain for the extraction of juice. By having his season after other oranges, its consumption is popular after passing the time of the navel.

Pomegranate

Pomegranate Open

The pomegranate comes from Middle East, interior of Asia Minor, the Transcaucasia, the Iran and the high lands of the Turkmenistan. It was cultivated by Greeks and Phoenicians, which introduced it in Carthage.

Pomegranate varieties are numerous, so are named only Spanish. Among the existing variety of pomegranate the most important is called Mollar which is of great quality and is what will benefit from the future designation of origin for the production of Elche, Albatera, San Isidro and Crevillente

Others known are: Albar, San Felipe or Valencian, Piñonenca, Cajín, Piñón tierno and Pulpí, and others of purely local area.

The most important areas of production are in the province of Alicante concretely in Albatera, San Isidro, Crevillente and Elche which are responsible for 96 % of the national production with over twenty thousand cultivated hectares, emphasizing Albatera as the first producer of pomegranate at world.

The cultivation of pomegranate is not very demanding both in the quality of soils and waters, tolerating very high levels of salinity. This resistance to adverse conditions has done that during the five years of drought suffered at the beginning of the decade of the nineties, it was the tree less affected, and also which has recovered more quickly. Farmers due to insecurity in the water have tripled the pomegranate plantations.

In this way the crop which originally was limited to familiar gardens for one's own use, has become an important source of income for farmers.

The pomegranates are gathered in autumn (September - November) and have very sensitive leather, which forces to spoil the fruit.

Figs

Figs

he fig (Ficus carica L.) is a typical tree of dryness in Mediterranean countries. The only figs trees to which apply a special care, in many places, are the Brevales, for the economic interest of its first crop of early figs. There are more than 750 species of all warm regions, being the most famous the ordinary fig (Ficus carica L.) originally to East. The so-called fruit of the fig tree (infrutescencia) is soft, sweet taste, whose interior, red and white colour, you can find which apparently small seeds are, but they really are real fruits. It appears externally covered by a green-skinned, black or purple, depending on the different varieties.

The commonly cultivated figs are classified into two groups according to give one or two kinds of fruit a year: Fig trees that bear fruit in May-June (early figs) and in July (figs) and figs commons, themselves, that give only one crop (figs) in August-September.

The early figs have a high commercial value because its size exceeds that of the figs, they look attractive and the dates in which they mature, easy marketing in fresh.

Figs are the same colour as the early fig but smaller. They have a sweeter flavour but with less aroma. In fresh trade is less valuable than early figs.

Dates

DatesThe dates are the fruits of the palms date-palms (Phoenix dactylifera) a palm tree belonging to the Arecáceas family that can reach 30 meters of height. The Palm date-palms grow naturally in North Africa. Can be seen in great abundance in Arabia, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Syria, Iraq and Palestine, but also appears cultivated in many regions of warm climate. Its expansion area spreads from the Canary Islands to India.

The dates appear in shape of hanging clusters under of big pinnate leaves that develop as a plume. The trunks are characterized by their thick bark in which there persist the old leaves’ marks. The leaves or fronds, green with gray tones, have long petioles covered with spikes on the base. They can reach 5 meters of length. The flowers are small and yellow and of them born fruits, as edible berries so-called dates of oblong shape that can reach 4 cm of length.

To be able to produce dates the feminine palms need to have in the proximity masculine feet. When they are cultivated, generally there is realized the pollination of an artificial way (inflorescence masculine is cut and these are hung on the centre of the feminine ones) the dates only can mature in warm areas and dry climate, as our region.

In Spain there are northern palm trees. These are the palm groves of Albatera, Orihuela and Elche, the latter the most important in the province of Alicante, they are plantations proceeding from the Muslim domination that sowed the surroundings of the city with palms date-palms. Hereby this plant could take advantage of an area where the rainfalls were very scanty. These palm groves constitutes a place of great tourist importance at the same time it provides a good crop of dates and the raw material to realize the white palms which is adorned the procession of the Palm Sunday.