Natural products found in Spain and Valencia
As you probably know, Spain is famous for its great and diverse gastronomy. Below is a list of products that are a “must-try” before leaving Spain, and included are three of the most important Valencian products for those of you who are in Valencia!
Jamón Serrano: Literally “ham from the sierra or mountain range” is a type of dry-cured ham which includes most varieties other than those made with black Iberian pigs (jamón ibérico). It is generally served in thin slices as an appetizer.
Olive Oil: Spain is the biggest olive oil producer and exporter in the world. They have over 25 protected certificates of origin only for this product. Forget about the butter! Spaniards will use olive oil virtually for everything.
Wine: Spain is the most widely planted wine producing country and the third largest producer of wine in the world, after France and Italy. The country has a wide range of native grape varieties, with over 400 varieties planted throughout Spain. Make sure to buy (or try) wine from the Rioja and Ribera del Duero regions.
Local Specialties of Valencia:
Valencian Oranges: Known around the world for oranges, there are loads of varieties of oranges are grown in Valencia thanks to its perfect climate. This allows people to enjoy this fruit almost all year long. You can find fresh squeezed orange juice in many cafes around the city, don’t miss it!
Valencian Tomatoes: There is a special variety of tomato native to Valencia; the Valencian tomatoes are cultivated in the sand and irrigated with salt water . They have a sweet and unique flavor, meaty texture, and very few seeds. You’ll see menus with salads made of these tomatoes during the season.
Valencian Rice: There is an important certificate of origin which protects rice crops in the Valencian Community. Due to its geographic features, the Valencian coast is the perfect place for rice harvesting since there are fields with swamps and humid areas easy to flood. Most of the Valencian traditional dishes such as paella are prepared with this type of rice.