The hospitality I enjoyed in Valencia was phenomenal. Shortly I'll have more links to share about the wines - the point of the trip. I'll also be posting more here on the wines. Many surprising and delightful sips in a place that is like Napa before the tour buses.
Here's a link to my first post on Valencia - it's a recipe from Huerto Martinez a wonderful restaurant that hosted us for lunch one afternoon between winery tours. A Recipe for Pain Perdu with one Secret, Spanish Ingredient.
If you're hungry, you may want to get a snack first...
Our Host, Toni Perez, introduced every course and the winemakers introduced the wines they paired with the courses.
Onion and Goat Cheese Cream - Savory and creamy, imagine the very best caramelized onion dip.
Razor Clam with seaweed salad - Navajas - are a specialty of the region. I was lucky and had them at least twice.
Calamari "pasta" - The pasta in this dish was really perfectly tender strips of calamari. Possibly one of the best dishes I had during the week, and that is saying something.
Galician Octopus - A classic dish from Galicia. I had this maybe three times during the week, each time a different version but all the same elements of flavor. All wonderful.
Risotto of pork and snails - Pork ribs and snails gave this risotto earthiness. The flavors call to mind paella. At this point in the meal, we were wondering how many more dishes were coming, how many more wineries were on the day's agenda and how long before we could nap.
Squab Canneloni - This squab was lightly pickled and the cannelloni was a crepe-like pasta wrapper.
Foie on Cinnamon Crisps, Violet Jelly - Regular readers will know my affection for foie. This was one of the most unique versions I've had. The violet jelly was hauntingly delicious.
Tasting many of Valencia and Utiel Requena's wines was hard work, as you can see.
Pain Perdu - this execution of "lost bread" is another example of a traditional dish, made special. It was so light, ethereal. Check the recipe (link above) to learn the secret ingredient.
Sweetness and light in Valencia-a-a-h.