If there is a regional food par excellence in the Valencian Community when Christmas arrives, that is undoubtedly the ‘puchero’. In all the Valencian homes, mainly in the interior of this Spanish region, on Christmas day this stew is prepared, the leftovers of which are usually used in the following days to prepare rich and traditional croquettes.
It is a copious meal, so you have to moderate with the starters, which in Christmas meals are usually plentiful, and leave a space for dessert when you finish with this delicious regional dish. It can be made with vegetables and meat exclusively, or that is accompanied by meat balls.
One of the curiosities of this dish, is that there are no two places in the Valencian Community where it is called equal. Depending on the area where you are going to eat, it will be necessary to say “Olla de la Plana” if you go to Castellón; “Puchero de San Blas” if you visit Bocairent and its region; “Olla de Recapte” if you want to eat it in Morella; “Olleta de Boreta” if you go to Alcoy and simply “Cocido con Pelotas” if we visit the Vega Baja of the Segura River, where this dish is influenced by the nearby Murcian gastronomy.
During the preparation of this dish, we can check what are the typical ingredients of the Valencian Orchad, which are the ones that come into play at the time of making it. Rice or chickpeas are two of the basic components of the Valencian stew, which are never lacking in the fields of this region.
To accompany the stew, we can resort to some of the specialties of the Valencian community, such as ‘cocas’: flat cakes made in the oven, and depending on the region where they eat, they will be accompanied by one ingredient or another, but always with the typical products of each region. As for the time of dessert, at Christmas there is no choice but to resort to the classic nougat, which is native to these lands, and which you can find many varieties, although the one that is made with almonds in the city of Jijona It is undoubtedly the one that most faithfully respects the original recipe.