Valencia has a varied, natural and very traditional gastronomy. Its excellent products are the result of sun, sea and fertile lands and they have become the base of a healthy, tasty and high quality gastronomy. The principal ingredients of its dishes are fruits, vegetables, fresh fish and shellfish, but definitely the main protagonist is rice and Valencian people cooked it in countless ways, there is great number of recipes such as arros a banda, arros negre, arros al forn, arros amb bledes, arros amb fesols, etc.
There are plenty of the dishes made of fish and shellfish in the Valencian gastronomy, this is because the city is located near to the Mediterranean sea. Among the most used fishes in Valencian food we can mention the eel, the hake, the sea bass, the gilthead, the red mullet, and many others.
Inside the province the food is very alike to the Castilian gastronomy. In this zone are typical excellent dishes such as "la Requena", "la olla de invierno", "la olleta", etc; They also can be enjoyed another dishes such as the shepherd's cake ("la torta de pastor"), "la sopa cubierta" and the "bajoques farcides" (stuffed peepers).
La paella valenciana
It is the most representative dish of the Valencian food, at the same time is the most famous of Spain and the most internationally extended. The genuine paella is cooked with firewood and its main ingredient is rice. From the paella have been derived several dishes, that are prepared in similar way.