The Fallas in Valencia are full of nuances, feelings and tradition. The art of the street, such as the Fallas, extends to every corner of the city. Not only in the form of monuments that will end up irremissibly devoured by the flames, but also in a pleasure for each of the senses.
The Fallas are excitement for locals and foreigners alike, gunpowder for our sense of smell, roar for our ears and buñuelos de viento for our palate.
Although it is a secret that not everyone knows, Valencians do not live by paella alone 😊
The cultura del buen comer is something that spans the entire Iberian Peninsula and Valencia has its own traditions rooted in each event. It is usual that in Spain each festivity is associated with a type of celebration in which some type of food or special dish is usually included. In this way, we have many dishes that we will speak about throughout the blog. Today we speak about what we consider to be the most typical food of Fallas, such as buñuelos (sweet fritters).
For the Valencians, Fallas is buñuelos, as the 9th of October is to marzipan. There is no Fallas monument that does not have a buñuelos stall next to it. Nor is there any neighbourhood or street corner that does not smell of this delicacy that has accompanied the fallas since their origins.
The story goes that at the beginning of the 19th century, when the carpenters burnt wood, the carpenters’ wives used to sweeten those days with buñuelos.
With this information in hand, we can say that the first buñoleras in Valencia were undoubtedly the carpenters’ wives. Those who took those jerry cans filled with oil to the streets and with just a few ingredients gave flavour to the beginning of what we know today as Fallas.
Although these fritters are the most traditional, over time pumpkin was added to the recipe. At the Spanish language school, we are lucky enough to be located near one of the oldest buñolerías in the city, in the heart of the Ruzafa neighbourhood. It is one of the few buñolerías in the city where you can enjoy buñuelos all year round.
It is called El Contraste, and is located at Calle San Valero 12, less than a minute’s walk from the school. There, if you look inside, you can see how fritters have been made for four generations and the business is now run by Mariano Catalán Blasco.
This buñolería is an institution in the city and a reference and meeting point for all the residents of the Ruzafa neighbourhood. We have even been told that it has even cooked fritters in New York, in Central Park itself, in 2006, vindicating the importance of the “bunyols de carabassa”.
If you would like to know more about bueñuelos and the tradition behind them, please click here. From the Rincón del Tándem school we encourage you to sit on the terrace of El Contraste and enjoy this Fallas with a good hot chocolate. And if you want to try one of their most succulent specialities, go on a Thursday to taste their orange fritters.
What are you waiting for to sweeten your life?