Amongst Torrevieja’s many attractions as a Mediterranean tourist centre, is its superb gastronomy, which nowadays combines traditional dishes with “new cuisine”, and which can be found in most of the town’s restaurants.
Fish forms the basis of traditional Torrevieja cooking, along with vegetables from the nearby irrigated regions of the Segura river “the market garden of Europe”, and meats, especially pork, which is still made into delicious home made sausages and cold meats in areas around the town.
The most outstanding typical dish of Torrevieja is the “Caldero” (fish stew) which normally consists of tasty cuts of fish called names like: “the hen” (la gallina), “the cock” (el gallo), “soft roe” (lecha), “spider” (araña), “red mullet” (salmonetes) amongst others.
The juice from these fish, which are cooked in garlic, “ñora” and tomato, is used as a base for a delicious rice which is served alongside the stew. Other dishes which are considered indigenous to the area are the huge variety of fish and rice dishes such as “arroz a banda”, octopus (de pulpo), tuna (de atún), and most outstandingly, rice with peas (pésoles) and fresh anchovy which is prepared with tender garlic and fresh artichokes.
There is also a marvellous range of Torreviejan appetisers, such as the “calamar de potera” and grilled cuttlefish (sepia a la plancha), “pulpo ensangochao”, anchovies in vinegar (boquerones en vinagre) and onion blood.
he star appetiser is dried octopus (pulpo seco), which is cooked over an open fire after drying in the sun for several days, and is served with oil and lemon (a must to try in the Bar El Pica) accompanied by a “paloma” (aniseed liqueur, preferably “Candela” or “Tenis”, with water and ice).