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Nutrition Alphabet: Gastronomy in Alicante

El Bisturí continues its gastronomic tour of Spain led by nutritionist Laura González, and arrives in the province of Alicante, where rice stands out, but not only rice

Alicante in the geography of the ABC of nutrition with the head of health and nutrition at Nestlé, Laura González.

This province – the expert emphasizes – has a peculiarity, “it is at a crossroads where Murcian, Albacete and Valencian culture mix with its own”.

Between the Mediterranean Sea and the mountain of the Betic system, its gastronomy focuses on two types of cuisine.

Rice stands out but not everything is rice, sums up Laura González. Paellas, but also food from the sea and the garden, and stews. Inside, vegetables and meats stand out. And there is no lack of a wide range of desserts, sweets and confectionery.

What is Alicante rice like?


Among the different types of rice that Alicante has, the Bomba rice stands out, a variety of short grain, pearly color and consistent appearance, which has a harder time expanding and sticks less to the bottom of the containers during cooking.

There is no single recipe, far from it, for Alicante rice, there is as much variety as there are ingredients.

In the Santa Pola area, the chicken pot and arroz a banda is typical.

Salmorreta is a very typical sauce for rice that has tomato, olive oil, Señora, garlic, spices, parsley, pepper, and is complemented with fish and monkfish broth, squid and prawns; also saffron, sweet pepper, leek and onion.

In Elche / Orihuela you can taste the rice with crust, typical of the south of Alicante, a mixture of paella and stew, which is topped with an egg crust, explains Laura González-

But there are many more, she continues, such as rice with rabbit and snails, meat broth, red peppers, chickpeas, saffron, tomato and rosemary, from the Vinalopó region.

Or the arroz del Señorito, with fish and shellfish for direct consumption, without having to peel anything, without staining your fingers or sucking anything – hence the name of Señorito – originating in bourgeois houses. Or the baked rice.

Other dishes and nougat

Borreta and olleta alicantina are typical, simple spoon dishes that comfort, mentions the nutritionist.

Nougat is the star product of the confectionery of this province, with almonds and dried fruits. The famous nougat from Jijona.

Or the orelletes from Alcoy, which are like flakes. Or the borrachets, anise rolls like donuts, with flour, lemon oil, anise, which are baked. There are also baked orange donuts, and vegan donuts.

Among the fruits, the medlar, typical of spring, stands out, with a sour and sweet flavor at the same time, and the cherries, grapes and pomegranates. “The best dessert is a piece of fruit”, highlights Laura González.

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