Paella is without doubt the most widespread and well-known dish in the Valencian cookery book. But, in a coastal city such as Valencia, the great variety of high quality fish and seafood must also play a leading role. Here, in general, the recipes are simple: the fish is fresh and, with a moment or two on the grill or barbecue, it's ready to serve. Among the meats on offer, lamb, chicken and rabbit are probably the most common varieties, and, of course, we mustn't forget the abundant supply of fresh produce from the vegetable patch. All these dishes can be washed down with the white wines of Alto Turia and la Serrania, or the reds from Requena, Utiel and Campo de Liria, which have their own recognised appelation d'origine. The dessert table presents a wide selection to choose from: fruit, of course, with oranges taking pride of place; then there's a host of local confectionery: rosetones, arrop i tallaetes and arnadi (made from pumpkin, sweet potato and almonds). And there are local mistel and moscatel dessert wines to accompany them. And we mustn't forget the buñuelos (a type of donut) which are typical of the Fallas. In summer, the visitor can sample the delights of fresh horchata (a drink made from tiger-nuts) accompanied by fartons (long biscuits). Finally, you may choose to make a toast to the city with agua de Valencia, not water at all, but a drink made with orange juice and champagne.
During the day, there are numerous bars and cafes where the visitor can stop on their stroll around the city, and the terrazas also offer a lively social atmosphere. Like other Spaniards, Valencians enjoy going to bars, but they tend not to eat tapas in such quantities that they are a replacement for meals; instead it is more usual to have a beer with just a light snack before sitting down to a complete meal.
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