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Horchata and Fartons: a Local Valencian Specialty


Have you heard of Horchata (Orxata in Valencian)? If you are in Valencia you will have probably seen different stalls in the street offering this type of drink. It is, without a doubt, the most famous drink in Valencia and the most representative of its culture. Read this article to find out more about it:

Valencian Horchata is a typical refreshing drink authentic of Valencia. Although nut milk has become increasingly popular recently around the world, this vegan milk has been around in Valencia for years in the form of a sweet icy beverage! The recipe is very simple: you just need water, tiger nuts and sugar … it’s all about the proportions! It’s possible to add more ingredients to power up its flavor, such as cinnamon and lemon, but the key ingredient here is tiger nut, which is called “chufa” in Spanish, ), a type of tuber full of health benefits.

It is believed to have been used in archaic Egypt, since remains of this amazing nut were found inside some of the Pharaohs’ funerary temples. Also the Arabs used this ingredient in their desserts as a substitute for almonds. Tiger nuts were originally brought over by the Moors from Egypt are are only grown in Spain in the Valencian region. Several legends and myths exist around this intriguing drink since nobody knows exactly when it started to be made, although some manuscripts mentioning Horchata were found in Valencia, in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.

Horchata is typically served for the merienda (the Spanish version of afternoon tea around 5 or 6pm), and if you really want to try this drink the Valencian way, don’t forget to have it with “fartons”! These are (usually hand-made) sweets also typical from Valencia. Elongated and glazed with sugar, they are sweet donut-like pastries. This spongy sweet was made to be dipped in Horchata, but it can also be eaten with hot chocolate or coffee.

If you would like to try Horchata, join us on July 18th as we go to a famous Horchatería in Valencia! Contact us to find out more information and sign up!

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