Cover Picture © Credits to efesan
Cover Picture © Credits to efesan
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Arroz alicantino VS Paella Valenciana

2 minutes to read

If you like enjoy eating, cooking, and trying the typical food from the places you visit, then you must read this article. But please, eat something before because this is going to make you hungry! 

Everyone knows about the typical Spanish paella that you need to try if you visit the Valencian Community which has two main provinces – Valencia and Alicante.  Local people from this Spanish community differentiate significantly between the Paella Valenciana and the Arroz Alicantino, as they have many differences, don't taste the same and don't have the same ingredients. Foreign people don't know about the differences, but in this article, I am going to tell you about the main things that distinguish these two delicious dishes. You will be able to appreciate the food even more if you have the chance to visit Alicante, which offers more than beautiful sights and beaches.

Paella Valenciana - Picture © Credtis to siims
Paella Valenciana - Picture © Credtis to siims

Paella is known as “Plato de arroz seco, con carne, pescado, mariscos, legumbres, etc., característico de la región valenciana, en España” that is, a dish of rice with meat, fish, seafood, legums, etc, typical of the Valencian community. However, people from Alicante proudly call the same dish simply 'rice'. I have had the opportunity to try delicious arroz alicantino because I have some relatives who live in the area and cooked nice local rice for me, telling me all about the tips and secrets behind it. 

In the Valencian Paella, veggies are really important together with the meat and fish which give it a yellow colour. On the contrary, Alicantine rice has a red colour due to the famous typical source among locals called salmorreta – that is made of ñora (a typical green peper), garlic, parsley, tomatoes, olive oil, and lemon juice. This ingredients are normally stir-fried until it gets to the point of being a source, and the salmorreta is usually included in all the types of arroz alicantino, making them taste amazing. 

Arroz a Banda - Picture ©  Credits to jgaunion
Arroz a Banda - Picture © Credits to jgaunion

The salmorreta is one of the main ingredients of one of the most typical types of arroz alicantino called “arroz a banda” that you need to try when going to Alicante in a really good restaurant in Alicante: La Mar de Arroz. The place is located by the port with incredible views over the castle, and it is a nice, local place with good service. They also have other types of rice, like black rice, that I really recommend you to try, and the food tastes really great there as they have fresh ingredients from the sea.

Black Rice - Picture ©  Credits to jgaunion
Black Rice - Picture © Credits to jgaunion
La Mar de Arroz
La Mar de Arroz
Puerto Pesquero de Poniente, Nueva Dársena Pesquera, Local 6, 03008 Alacant, Alicante, España

I hope you enjoyed reading the article and found out new facts about Mediterranean food in the Valencian Community and Alicante, and now you know - if you want to be a local, you better use the term Arroz Alicantino in this beautiful city and not Paella, because for people from Alicante, they are not the same. 


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The author

Helena Guerrero Gonzalez

Helena Guerrero Gonzalez

I’m a seeker of energy and life, currently living in Spain, although I have lived in the UK too. Travelling, exploring, making new friends along the way and sharing my personal experiences are essential parts of my life.

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