For sure you’ve heard about paella even before coming to Spain, but did you know that Valencia, a home of rice, has many more delicious rice dishes to offer? Valencians are big rice eaters. In the Valencian community you can find three main categories of rice dishes: seco (the broth evaporates during cooking and the rice stays dry), meloso (more soupy version) and caldoso (you can imagine it like a soup with rice).

Arroz a banda

Arroz a banda is a rice with sea food cooked in a fish broth. All the fish and sea food come from Valencia (of course!) and include goosefish (rape), two kinds of mackerel (caballa and jurel), redfish (gallineta) and squilla mantis (galera).

Arroz del señoret

Another rice with sea food that is already peeled and chopped to make its consumption easier. Thus the name: the rice of señoret or señorita– everything is prepared for a lord or a lady so that they can enjoy the food without using their hands to peel the sea food.

Arroz al horno (baked rice)

This is a little heavier version of dry rice that is baked in a clay pot and contains blood sausage (morcilla), pork ribs, potatoes, tomatoes, garlic and chickpeas. Ideal for cold winters.

Arroz negro

This slightly soupy rice meal whose main ingredient is a cuttlefish obtains its black colour thanks to a squid ink.

Arroz caldoso

As we said above arroz caldoso is more like a rice soup (caldo means broth in Spanish). One really delicious variation that is worth a try is arroz caldoso con bogavante, which is prepared with a fresh regional lobster.

Pimientos rellenos (stuffed peppers)

Juicy red peppers stuffed with Valencian rice are usually presented as a tapa or primer plato, nevertheless they are suitable for a light dinner as well. You can try two versions: with cod (de bacalao) or minced meat (de carne picada).

All the rice dishes are usually accompanied by ajoaceite, a Spanish version of alioli, which is basically a mayonnaise with garlic. Have you ever wondered why the Valencian rice is always yellow? Well, it’s thanks to saffron and food colorant that is added to every meal. Click here for more information and recipes and leave us a comment below with your favourite variation of rice.