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Seafood Delights of Costa Blanca: Must-Try Dishes from the Mediterranean
May 27, 2024

Seafood Delights of Costa Blanca: Must-Try Dishes from the Mediterranean

The history of seafood in Costa Blanca is as historical as the vicinity itself. Fishing has been a critical part of existence right here, dating lower back to Roman instances. The Mediterranean Sea, with its diverse marine life, has furnished a rich supply of nourishment and has a significant impact on regional culinary traditions. Traditional fishing practices, inclusive of using "almadraba" nets for catching tuna, reflect deep respect and a responsible attitude to the sea and its bounty.

Today, Costa Blanca maintains its maritime heritage through sustainable fishing practices. The locals give more priority to methods that protect marine life so that seafood may not be depleted for future generations. This way to sustainability is clear in the thriving nearby fish markets and the popularity of seafood festivals celebrating the area's aquatic treasures.

Top Seafood Dishes to Try

1. Arroz a Banda

Arroz a Banda is a dish from Costa Blanca. People love it because it is simple and very delicious. This kind of rice has been made using different types of fish broths throughout the years, but this one stands out with its flavor. A deep, savory taste is achieved by cooking it in a stock made with tiny fishes, saffron, and other herbs that give off scents.

Ingredients and Preparation:

  • Rice
  • Fish broth (made from rockfish, monkfish, and other small fish)
  • Saffron
  • Garlic
  • Tomato
  • Olive oil

The dish is typically prepared by sautéing garlic and tomato in olive oil, adding the fish broth, and then cooking the rice in this flavorful mixture until it absorbs all the liquid.

Best Places to Try:

  • Restaurante Dársena in Alicante
  • La Taberna del Gourmet in Alicante
  • Casa El Tío David in Calpe

2. Caldero

Caldero, a traditional fisherman's stew, is another must-try dish in Costa Blanca. Originally from the island of Tabarca, this dish is a hearty, flavorful stew made with fish, rice, and potatoes.

Ingredients and Preparation:

  • Fish (typically grouper or monkfish)
  • Rice
  • Potatoes
  • Garlic
  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Saffron
  • Olive oil

The fish is cooked separately from the rice and potatoes, then served with a rich, garlic-infused broth.

Recommended Restaurants:

  • Restaurante Miramar in Santa Pola
  • Casa Carmela in Denia
  • Restaurante Nou Manolín in Alicante

3. Gambas Rojas (Red Prawns)

Gambas Rojas, or red prawns, are a local delicacy known for their sweet, succulent meat and vibrant red color. These prawns are typically grilled or boiled and served with a sprinkle of sea salt and a drizzle of olive oil to highlight their natural flavors.

Unique Characteristics:

Red prawns from the Mediterranean are prized for their size and flavor, often considered the finest in the world.

Seasonal Availability:

They are best enjoyed during the summer months when they are in peak season.

Suggested Locations:

  • Restaurante El Portal in Alicante
  • Brel in El Campello
  • La Sirena in Petrer

4. Calamares a la Romana (Fried Squid)

Calamares a la Romana is a popular tapas dish featuring squid rings coated in a light batter and deep-fried until golden and crispy. This dish is often served with a slice of lemon and a side of aioli for dipping.

While the classic version is beloved, variations include stuffing the squid with seafood or serving it with different dipping sauces like romesco.

Tips for Finding the Best Calamares:

Look for bustling local tapas bars where the dish is freshly prepared to order.

Top Spots:

  • Cervecería Sento in Alicante
  • El Celler de la Muntanya in Alcoy
  • Taberna del Gourmet in Alicante

5. Espardenyes (Sea Cucumbers)

Espardenyes, or sea cucumbers, are considered a delicacy in Costa Blanca. These marine animals are known for their unique texture and are typically sautéed with garlic and olive oil or grilled to perfection.

Preparation and Serving:

The sea cucumbers are cleaned and sliced before being quickly sautéed or grilled to retain their distinct texture.

Notable Places to Experience Espardenyes:

  • Nou Manolín in Alicante
  • La Ereta in Alicante
  • Restaurante Monastrell in Alicante

Seafood Markets and Festivals

Costa Blanca's seafood markets are a haven for fresh catches and local delicacies. Notable markets include the Mercado Central in Alicante and the fish market in Santa Pola, where you can witness the day's catch being auctioned.

Details and Locations:

  • Mercado Central, Alicante: Located in the heart of Alicante, this market offers a wide variety of fresh seafood and other local produce.
  • Santa Pola Fish Market: Known for its lively atmosphere and fresh catches, it's a must-visit for seafood enthusiasts.

Seafood Festivals:

  • Dénia's Red Prawn Festival: Celebrating the exquisite red prawn, this festival features cooking demonstrations and tastings.
  • Torrevieja's Seafood Fair: Held annually, this event showcases a variety of seafood dishes and local wines.

Sustainable Seafood Practices

Sustainable fishing is crucial for preserving Costa Blanca's rich marine biodiversity. Local initiatives like the Alicante Sustainable Fisheries Program promote responsible fishing practices, ensuring the long-term health of marine ecosystems.

Travelers can support sustainability by choosing restaurants that source their seafood responsibly and by buying from markets that prioritize sustainable practices.

Tips for Seafood Lovers Visiting Costa Blanca

The best time to enjoy seafood in Costa Blanca is throughout the summer season and early autumn months when many seafood species are in season. During these intervals, local fairs and markets are brimming with sparkling catches, offering the perfect possibility to sample the area's offerings.

Spotting Fresh Seafood:

  • Look for clear eyes and shiny scales in fish.
  • Fresh seafood should have a mild, ocean-like smell.
  • Shellfish should be tightly closed and respond to tapping.

Restaurant Recommendations:

  • El Portal: Renowned for its gourmet seafood dishes.
  • Nou Manolín: A classic choice for traditional seafood.
  • Dársena: Famous for its seafood paellas and rice dishes.

Dining Etiquette:

  • It's common to share dishes in Spain, especially tapas.
  • Tipping is appreciated but not obligatory; rounding up the bill is often sufficient.
  • Enjoy the meal slowly, savoring each bite and the accompanying conversation.

Costa Blanca offers a seafood revel like no other, combining the freshness of the Mediterranean with conventional Spanish flavors. From the savory Arroz a Banda to the extraordinary Gambas Rojas, the region's culinary delights are positive to impress. We encourage you to discover these seafood treasures and share your experiences. Whether you are eating at a renowned restaurant or touring a local seafood market, Costa Blanca's seafood will leave you with unforgettable recollections.

Stay with and you will be able to get the best travel experiences in the colorful places of the Costa Blanca.

May 27, 2024

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