Self-catering? Experience Torrevieja’s Best Produce
19th April 2021
Most people eat to live. In Spain, we live to eat.
If you’re big on food but you’ve never visited, you’re missing out on one of the food capitals of the world. Here, food is just as much nourishment for our bodies as it is our senses and emotions – it even feeds our relationships.
And it all starts with the ingredients we choose to cook with.
The restaurants in Torrevieja (especially tapas spots) are truly wonderful, and we’re proud of the culinary heritage served locally. But if you really want to experience the best of the region’s food, then booking a self-catering holiday in Torrevieja gives you a unique opportunity to get closer to the purest flavours. We’re lucky to have so much beautiful, natural food all around us – and here are the best ways to experience Torrevieja’s produce, first-hand.
Our self-catering apartment rentals include a fridge, crockery and cooking appliances, but you’ll need a couple of pantry and chilled essentials to get going:
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Any fresh herbs – like rosemary or thyme
- Red and white wines – for cooking and drinking
Once you’ve got these basics, it’s time to hunt for ingredients.
Food markets in Torrevieja
Torrevieja is rooted in fishing and salt mining, and seafood is a big deal here. Fishing in Torrevieja remains a popular pastime, but if you’d rather eat your food than catch it, then the local markets are where you’ll find sea-fresh fish and gorgeous delicacies.
Torrevieja’s Main Market is open on Friday mornings, from 8am to 1pm. You’ll find just about everything here, including fresh local food. Try to make it at least once on your visit!
La Plasa Mercado Central is an indoor market, open Monday to Saturday from 8am to 2pm, and then again from 6pm to 9pm. It’s brimming with over 40 stalls of locally caught, reared, grown and baked delights.
Here’s a list of even more markets in the Torrevieja area.
Now, here’s what to look out for – and how to really taste each ingredient in the best possible way…
Baby squid is something of a staple food in Torrevieja, and you can find it in abundance at markets and fishmongers. Pick up a batch to take back to your apartment – and grab a lemon while you’re out, too.
To enjoy baby squid at peak freshness, simply toss the whole squids together in flour, seasoned with salt and pepper.
When they’re covered, fry them in hot oil until crisp and golden. Drain and serve with a squeeze of lemon. One taste and you’ll be heading back to the market for more.
If you spot whole, fresh gambas (or prawns in English), definitely pick some up – Spain does prawns like nowhere else. Pick up as much as you can carry, because this one’s delicious. Oh, and don’t forget the garlic!
When you get back to your self-catering apartment rental, peel the prawns but keep the shells handy. Lightly season the prawns with pepper before frying them in a big slice of butter. Moving quickly, throw in a whole sprig of rosemary or thyme, and as much peeled garlic as necessary.
Baste the prawns with the butter until cooked, then serve them up – but don’t waste that amazing pan flavour! Throw the shells back into the butter, garlic and herb infusion and deglaze the pan with white wine over a high heat. The resulting pan sauce is the perfect accompaniment to your gorgeous gambas.
Sprinkle the saucy prawns with some chopped parsley, and enjoy.
Don’t confuse these with the tinned kind you grew up with. Fresh sardines are wonderful to eat, and require only simple preparation. Sardines are commonly found around the Iberian peninsula and local markets will be heaving with them, meaning you can get a significant weight for a few Euros. Pick up some potatoes too, and make it a lunch.
The best way to enjoy sardines is on a barbecue – but if you don’t have access to one, a grill works perfectly. Go simple; just season the sardines inside and out with salt, drizzle with glugs of olive oil and get them under a hot grill until crisp, turning once.
Sardines go perfectly with peeled and boiled potatoes, tossed in butter. Simple, quick and brimming with authentic flavour.
Meats, cheeses and bread
Jamón ibérico is the national meat of Spain – and if you’ve ever tasted it, you’ll know why. It’s like your mouth has waited its whole life just to experience it. The best stuff is found at markets and local shops, but jamón is one of those things that’s just always good.
Spain’s most famous cheese, manchego, comes from the central region of La Mancha – but its popularity (and deliciousness) make it an easy find in most markets. And as for bread, pan de barra is simple and tasty, but you’re likely to find all manner of rustic rolls and crusty loaves if you spend long enough at the market.
These kinds of ingredients speak for themselves, and you really don’t need to do much to prepare a delicious platter of bread, meat and cheese. Pick up a jar of olives or gherkins, drizzle the bread with a little olive oil and enjoy thin slices of meat and cheese with a glass of wine. The perfect companion to a seaside sunset view.
Taste it for yourself
Experience all the food, sights and sounds of a Spanish getaway for yourself. Book a self-catered holiday rental in Torrevieja at LosLocosBeach.com – and bring the flavour of Spain home with you.