In many Spanish city you will find wonderful central markets. No exception is Valencia with the Mercat Central. In 1839 a Mercado Nuevo was established but was still an open market. As the end of the century it’s already to small for the needs of the City.
For this reason at the beginning of the new century a new market was planned and finished in January 1928, the current building.
Open from 7 to 15, you will find fresh produce, spices, fish, …. all the best the region can offer.
You can find almost all kind of spices and mix. Here a small selections of my shoppings.
Worth to mention the Pimentón Extremeño, this is kind of a smokey paprika that goes well with many recipes.
Olives and pickles
As you can see the olives and pickles selection is huge.
On the bottom left you can see the green olives, these are the “caseras”. This is the simple recipe that housewife use. They have a slightly more bitter taste, less salty and fresh taste form the thymian.
At the center top of the counter, you will find olives with citrus fruits. Almost a sweet taste they are very aromatic.
Very typical from the region are the pickled onions, quite salty and sour, with the typical red stripes at the top and the bottom. (natural colorant).
Rice and beans
One of the famous dishes of Valencia is the Paella.
And of course for a good Paella you need the right ingredients.
First of all the rice. In the Valencia region following rices have the Denominacion de Origen (D.O.)
Bomba seems to be the preferred rice for Paella. It is as well a rice that does not overcook too quickly.
If you prefer to cook an Arroz meloso (Creamy Rice), you may prefer the type Senia and Bahia. Well adapted are as well the subtypes Gleva, Jsendra and Monsianell.
Albufera on his side is a rice that can be extremely creamy but does not overcook.
You will find as well a lot of beans are they are a staple in the Valencian cuisine. Even in the paella you use 2 different types.