The region of Vega Baja is rich in tradition and culinary variety, this is explained by the importance of its production in vegetables and fruits, in the area of the garden and its fishing production in the coastal area.
Two types of cuisine
Therefore we can distinguish between two “types” of cuisine. On the coast, the cuisine of fish and seafood predominates, since the quality of rock fish is very appreciated, especially to prepare the broth of rice, red mullet, whiting, sole and more select species such as prawns or shrimp.
Inland, there is an extensive and rich orchard that produces vegetables and fruits in abundance, mixed salads, artichokes, cardoon, celery, escarole or lettuce predominate, having great importance the vegetables both in the rice and in the pot stews.
As the base of this cuisine to flavour a countless number of dishes, the ñora, a red pepper dried in the sun, stand out. In Guardamar del Segura, the drying process becomes something worth contemplating since it takes place on a sand base from the dunes immediately to the mouth of the Segura river, starting at the end of August and ending in October, where the ñoras they are sewn in strings of one and a half meters long by one kilo of weight.
Within the multitude of typical dishes of the region, those that are made for the traditional fiestas (festivals) stand out, such as cocido con pelotas, rice with crust, rice and rabbit, cauldron rice or arroz a banda. For the ordinary days, stew of turkey, coscurrones, orchard rice with cod, gypsy pot, snail stew, “picao” wheat, etc., are very appreciated.
There is a pastry for each traditional fiesta. Therefore, in Christmas, as a tradition, toñas, mantecados and almonds are very appreciated; during San José (19th of March – Father’s Day), the buñuelos, pastel de gloria and almojábanas; in Easter, the monas; for Todos los Santos (All Saints Day), the arrope calabazate; and throughout the year, rolls of anise, pumpkin cakes, salt cakes, muffins in oil or orange, almond cake and pan de calatrava. Note that many of the pastries made in the region have an Arab origin.
We can taste all these delicious dishes in a large number of restaurants that exist in the region.
We will dedicate our next post to some delicious dishes representative of the area such as stew with balls, rabbit paella, rice with crust, almojábanas, monas, toñas, orejetas, pumpkin cakes and tortas escaldadas. Do not miss it!
Meanwhile, we advise our readers to discover one of the most privileged areas of this region, Ciudad Quesada that has more than 70 bars and restaurants. In the towns and villages around, residents and visitors can taste some of the most traditional dishes. Discover it here!