| Fernando Santero

The Esmorzar, a meal between breakfast and lunch, is a must if you ever find yourself in Valencia. A snack to keep you going just before noon, in a country where lunch happens somewhere between 13:30 and 15:30. A popular custom which breaks up a morning’s work to indulge in a decadent sandwich and a few nibbles, all washed down with a refreshment or why not, a Caña or a vermouth. 

At the core of the Esmorzar, we have the Entrepà, a rustic demi-baguette filled with local favorites. Brascada and Chivito are the two of the most iconic ones, filled with meat and veg; it would be easier to list what isn't in them than what is! Some names are descriptive, like Sepia (cuttlefish) or Blanc i Negre (white and black: sausage and black pudding), and others take the name of the city that made them popular, like the Almussafes, made with caramelized onion, melted cheese and sobrasada. But unlike Valencian Paella, where locals only agree on a short list of ingredients, you're allowed to go as far as your imagination takes you with the Esmorzar. Chances are that they might end up putting your name on one of them!

Esmorzar Valencia Brindisa Spanish Foods

Entrepà, that literally translates as ‘between bread’, is an important part of Valencian culture, where the warm weather allows you to enjoy being outdoors and dinners ‘a la fresca’ (in the frsh air) are a necessity to combat the heat of summer evenings. A friend's gathering would often be a Sopar de Sobaquillo (under the armpit dinner) when everyone brings their own entrepans and they share some aperitifs.

Accompaniments, traditionally known as el Gasto (the expenses), can make for a meal on their own. Monkey nuts or roasted peanuts and marinated olives are staples. Another classic is the Valencian salad, made with fresh tomatoes and raw onion, dressed with plenty of olive oil. But don't be surprised if you end up with a good portion of Ensaladilla, Morro (pork snout) or some other mouthwatering tapa on your table. And of course, as with any other Spanish meal, the deal also includes coffee; if you like it sweet, ask for a bonbon, with condensed milk- a regional way to enjoy it, or for the brave a Cremaet or Carajillo, a coffee laced with rum, lemon, cinnamon and a couple of coffee beans, set alight seconds before you drink it like a flaming tequila . 

Leave a comment