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5 dishes you have to try during your Javea holiday

Posted by Katy Peck on 7 January 2019
Related property: Javea
5 dishes you have to try during your Javea holiday

On the very edge of the Mediterranean, Javea is a picture-perfect location bursting with breathtaking scenery, sandy beaches and spectacular historic architecture. All warmed by the beautiful Spanish sun, it really is a paradise that the whole family can enjoy. But in case that wasn’t enough, there is a mouth-watering menu of food right on your doorstep.

A real treat for seafood lovers, or anyone who adores healthy, simple and delectable food, Javea is brimming with delicious dishes that just beg to be shared. Sadly, there’s never enough time to try everything (try as you might). So, if you’re planning a stay in one of our luxurious villas, we’ve picked 5 dishes which no trip to Javea should be without.

1) Paella

You’ll find plenty of places claiming to serve ‘the best paella in Javea’ throughout the town, and the dish itself needs no introduction. But just in case you’re not familiar… Paella is a Spanish rice dish that includes various combinations of vegetables and meats, characteristically seasoned with saffron. However, there are so many variations on the recipe, all claiming to be the perfect paella, that the true original recipe is somewhat lost to the ages.

The dish is a mixture of two cultures – the Romans bought the pan, while the rice came from the Arabs. One story claims that the Moorish king’s servants used to create rice dishes from the remains of royal banquets, which they mixed together in large pots to take home. However, most experts agree that paella was first created in the city of Valencia – only an hour or so from Javea. It’s not surprising, therefore, that the dish can be easily found in the town surrounding our properties. Like most of the area’s local delicacies, seafood features prominently in most variations of this dish – prawns, mussels and squid are the most common ingredients.

But as for which restaurant really serves the best paella in Javea… well, you’ll just have to try them all to find out!

2) Arroz Negro (Black Rice)

Almost any restaurant that serves paella is likely to also serve this variation. With dramatic, contrasting colours, arroz negro looks like it might have an intimidatingly potent flavour - but don’t let that put you off! In reality, it’s a rather delicate, mellow dish. It's especially delicious when served with the traditional garlic mayonnaise sauce, alioli, and a glass of crisp white wine!

The bold colour of arroz negro comes from the addition of squid ink, which also adds salinity and unami to the flavour. The recipe uses a local Spanish rice known as Calasparra, which is highly absorbent and can soak up to 2.5 times its weight in liquid. This allows it to really take on the flavour of the stock that it is cooked in. Finally, arroz negro is typically finished off with whole shrimp, whose pink colour create a dramatic contrast against the dark shade of the rice.

3) Arroz al Horno (Oven Baked Rice)

Another adaptation of paella, arroz al horno originated in the mountains of Spain. For those living up in the hills, further away from the coast, it was more difficult to gather and store the seafood and meat used in the classic paella, so they created their own using beans, grains and vegetables. The result is a warm, comforting meal which will satisfy even the biggest appetite.

Traditionally, arroz al horno is baked in a brown clay or earthenware bowl called a cazuela. The vegetables, oil, beans and rice are all layered up and then the women of the villages would walk through the streets with their filled cazuelas, taking them to be baked in the local oven or bakery. The dish is then cooked in a hot oven for up to an hour, until the rice is soft and flavoursome.

We’d recommend getting a real taste of the local flavour by enjoying this meal with a sip of herbero, an aniseed liquor made from herbs that grow wild in the mountains.

4) Calamares a La Plancha

While there’s certainly something to be said for more elaborate dishes, others are perfect in their simplicity. This is certainly the case for calamares a la plancha. Once grilled on hot sheets of iron just feet from the ocean, this elegant and simple squid dish is one of the best ways to enjoy Javea’s fresh seafood.

To create this dish, small squid are simply shredded and rested overnight in olive oil and garlic, before being cooked for a few minutes over a high heat. Served with chopped parsley, pepper, lemon juice and a little olive oil, this is Spanish cooking in its purist form. Often available as tapas, this dish lets the ingredients speak for themselves.

5) Cruet de Peix

Last but not least, this fish soup (although it is more like a stew) was traditionally a way for fishermen to use up less-than-perfect seafood, most likely the pieces which couldn’t be sold in market. While originally a simple fish and potato dish, it has since evolved into a much more elegant meal which can be enjoyed at many of Javea’s restaurants.

Cruet de peix is a hearty, nourishing dish made from fish, tomatoes and potatoes flavoured with saffron and smoked paprika. It is finished off with the traditional picada sauce, made from garlic, roasted nuts and other herbs and spices. Full of healthy, local ingredients, there’s no reason not to indulge with this dish… it goes especially well with a full-bodied red or rose wine.

Of course, this is only a small sample of the culinary delights which can be enjoyed just a stone’s throw from our beautiful Javea properties. Team this fabulous menu with the stunning beach, picturesque old town and your comfortable, luxury accommodation, and you have a holiday which you’ll never forget.

To learn more about how you can stay in one of our Javea holiday properties, simply get in touch.

Katy Peck

Katy Peck

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