Valencia: In the market for some sunshine

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I’ve just returned from a few days eating my way round sunny Valencia. A much under-rated city, but a real charmer – I was sorely tempted to, ahem, lose my passport and extend my stay. The food was out of this world – as it always is in Spain if you have a nose for the right places. The Spanish have a passion for cuisine that is bordering on religious – you’d struggle to walk two streets without finding somewhere someone would recommend for mussels, jamon or croquettas.

Paella is the city’s most famous dish – causing divisions amongst many as to the proper ingredients. Although a fantastic eating experience, a hearty plate of rice with either seafood or rabbit, chicken and snails isn’t always what you want to be sitting down to. And even though the city isn’t famous for its tapas, if you are ever lucky enough to find yourself with a few hours there, El Molignon serves up perfect fare for the long warm evenings and is a great place to while away your time.

It is how you imagine a tapas bar should be – fantastic food, swift service, a buzzy crowd of happy Spaniards, free-flowing cold beer and a warm, approachable owner. 

The markets are another fabulous selling point for any foodie – the main Mercado is in a beautiful cavernous bright space, stalls laden with the most exquisite produce from cheeses to fruit to bacalao, meat and fish. This is a food paradise – with prices that seem surprisingly pedestrian. The fruit was some of the best I’ve tasted – bright, fat, dark, juicy cherries and peaches so sweet and juicy you’d need to wash your entire arm after eating them. It’s a real working market, a far cry from many of the markets that abound in the UK now. I wandered around it eating some incredible jamon feeling like the luckiest boy in the world.

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One comment

  1. William is right, the food market in Valencia is very good. The food, the atmosphere, the location – I am trying to convinve my husband to take me there anytime I get the itch!

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