What To Buy At Valencia’s Central Market
If you are new to Valencia, it may get overwhelming to find yourself amongst all the market’s produce abundance. Read this post to learn what to buy at Valencia’s Central Market.
One of the things to know about Valencia is that its Central Market is the biggest fresh produce market in Europe.
It is the place for all the freshest, most high quality local ingredients. Make sure to visit the market during your stay in Valencia. Here are some ideas on what to buy:
Spanish cured ham
Any big Spanish market stocks the enticing Spanish jamón. So if you like this unique pork product, ask a ham vendor to prepare some vacuum packs for you, either of the cheaper (but nonetheless delicious) jamón serrano or the various grades of the Iberian ham.
Make sure to find out what your home country’s customs restrictions are in advance!
There are numerous cheeses produced in various regions of Spain, and Valencia is not an exception. Try Valencian raw milk unpasteurized cheeses made of sheep’s and goat’s milk and purchase the ones that suit your taste.
The Community of Valencia produces very nice extra virgin olive oils – you can get them plain or with natural flavors, such as peppers, oranges, etc. Get a couple of medium sized bottles with you and enjoy back at home with your salad (or if you are a big fan of the healthy olive oil, drink up a shot of it!)
Saffron (azafrán) and smoked paprika (pimentón) are heavily used in Valencian cooking, so if you would like to replicate some of Valencia’s traditional recipes at home, get your hands on these spices at the Central Market.
The paprika can be of 2 or 3 different kinds – sweet (non-spicy), semi-sweet and spicy (picante). This spice adds a nice smokey touch to dishes. Nice for grilled meats, stews, rice dishes and roasted potatoes.
As the world’s most expensive and exquisite spice, a packet of fresh saffron can make a great souvenir, easy to take home.
The most “local” grape varieties in Valencia are Bobal (black grapes) and Muscat, Merseguera, Chardonnay (white). Let the wine seller at the Central Market help you pick a bottle, according to your taste. You can get a bottle of very nice wine starting at 6 EUR, so there is no excuse not to get a bottle or two!
The traditional nougat turrón from Alicante/Jijona is a must, if you like sweets. At the Central Market you can get an artisan type made of pure almonds, honey and just a bit of sugar.
The classic turrón is of 2 kinds: hard (white in color) and soft (light brown).
Traditional plates and cookware
Just outside of the Central Market there are a couple of stands, where you can get a paella pan of your own. Also, inside, there are a couple of stands, where you can buy beautiful colorful plates and bowls.
If you would like to get a guided glimpse of the market and taste some of the local products, join me on the morning city tour!