Alicante owes its prodigious gastronomy to two very specific variants: its inland mountain geography and its coast. From there comes the origin of its dishes rich in meat and products from its field, especially rice and seafood.
We are talking about a land where flavour and good cuisine abound. This translates into an abundant and exquisite gastronomic menu whose dishes have become popular in the Mediterranean and the rest of Spain.
A story full of flavour
Like many regions of Spain, Alicante obtained its gastronomic lineage thanks to a mixture of cultures.
After the Romans conquered present-day Alicante, they quickly adopted rice in the region. This became the basis of their diet.
Thanks to the topography and water sources, the region is also splendid in many types of drinks.
With the subsequent Muslim conquest, many dishes typical of its confectionery were adopted, such as nougat.
In addition to rice, with which an extraordinary paella is prepared, the Alicante diet is based on a wide variety of fish and shellfish, pork, lentils, chickpeas and other legumes, and fruits such as cherries, almonds, raisins, dates and olives.
With the conquest of America, the region's menu was further enriched by the adoption of potatoes and corn, with which exquisite preparations are made.
The pig and the lamb
Alicante finds its source of animal protein in lamb and pork, as well as rabbit, partridge, quail and chicken.
This enormous variety has allowed it to develop a menu abundant in stews. Among the best known are the “olla de pelotas” (fasiuras or faseguras), “gazpachos” and an exquisite porridge soup known as “hormigonicos” soup.
Other highly appreciated dishes are meat pies, rabbit-based dishes and, especially, black pudding and spicy sausages.
Products of the sea
Alicante is a land prized for its abundant Mediterranean fishing. This can be corroborated in its delicious traditional fish-based stews.
Among them, we can find the Tabarca cauldron, the “borreta”, the “meneao” cod, salted sardines and grilled sardines.
Its seafood also offers a splendid variety of dishes thanks to its prawns, sea urchins, squids and mussels.
This enormous variety and abundance allows for the preparation of marinades and salted dishes based on sardines, tuna and herrings that result in exquisite “pericanas” made with ñoras, olive oil and “capellanes”.
Sweets for life
In addition to its main dishes based on garden products, hunting and seafood, Alicante is famous for its delicious pastries. Among them, the almond nougat occupies a place of honour.
The dried fruits typical of the region make it possible to create sugared almonds and caramelized almonds. In addition, the region has a long chocolate tradition thanks to cocoa from America. Alicante has a splendid and prosperous export sweet industry.
Other delicious sweets are the popular “orelletes”, “torrat”, “almojábanas”, stuffed cakes, “coca boba”, aniseed rolls, the “tortada” of Elche, sweet potato cakes, fig bread and ice cream made with nougat.
Delicacies to quench one’s thirst
Alicante has a long tradition of making a popular drink from green anise. Its industry is also abundant in award-winning liquors such as “burret”, a coffee-based liquor.
However, Alicante's most important industry is undoubtedly its wine tasting. Its wines have had their own denomination of origin since 1957 and are processed from native grapes such as Muscatel and Monastrell, generally grown in vineyards at a minimum altitude of 600 meters above sea level.
The main region of Alicante dedicated to wine production is Medio Vinalopó. From there, one of the most popular and appreciated wines, called fondillon, has been made since the Middle Ages. It has the honour of being, together with port wine and sherry wine, the only wine worldwide with its own name.