04 January 2012

Valencia's Beautiful Market

Valencia's Central market is one of the oldest in Europe.  The beauty and freshness of the produce was incredible even to us Salad Bowl Californians.  They seem to keep the most beautiful produce for themselves.  The oranges that we ate and bought in sufficient quantities to keep us awash in vitamin C for the whole of January were like eating candy from a tree.  To a reluctant ham eater, the
Ibérico ham was full of such rich and nutty flavor.  You could taste the sweet acorns that the animal had been grazing on.  

My friend Mel introduced us to Spanish tuna ventrescas.  We had this at Casa Ana as a starter to our paella feast.  It was served simply over crunchy flavorful Raf tomatoes with the olive oil from the tuna.  We bought some of the tuna and tomatoes at the market and had it for our first dinner back in Montpellier.  It brought back the flavors of our trip and made us yearn for such a market near us!!

We also bought fresh and dried beans and rice for a paella feast.  The lady who sold us the beans gave me a quick overview of paella preparation.  I was surprised that a dish that has such a reputation for difficulty and time consuming preparation is actually fairly simple in technique and ingredients.  I will share both the recipe and the pictures of our paella with you in a separate post.

It was a new adventure in cuisine for me to learn of the varied, rich and simple dishes that are eaten in this region of Spain.  I look forward to many Spanish influences in my menus to come.


  1. Wish you would have bought the pig head for me....Tom Reay

  2. Tom - That can still happen! Do you really want one?

  3. Thank you for yet another good read. I live in both California and France, and have an idea for a blog post. Could you please let me know how to contact you?

    1. Sherry! Such interlinked lives! You can find me on Facebook -- Mary Faigle