Is there any better way to explore a destination than through your palate? Discover pericana, a traditional dish from the province of Alicante that will envelop you in the flavours of yesteryear.
As you explore the Costa Blanca from north to south and from east to west, you will come across culture, history and traditions in each and every destination you visit. A draw that encapsulates all of this is the gastronomy, which promises an authentic taste of the Mediterranean with every bite.
Shining the spotlight on products freshly caught in the sea, vegetables grown in the land, rice dishes and stews, the Region of Valencia’s cuisine keeps traditions alive in recipes that pack a punch.
One of the best known dishes to come out of the province of Alicante is pericana. The dish is traditionally served as a starter on Christmas Eve and is a staple on menus in the town of Alcoy.
Pericana is a sort of dip or spread made of red peppers, dried cod, garlic and olive oil. There are variations on the recipe, but here we’re going to take a look at the classic way of preparing pericana alcoyana. Make sure your ingredients are of the highest quality. You’ll need dry choricero peppers (we’re going to use three), dried and salted cod (some recipes call for poor cod), one head of dried garlic and olive oil.
The first thing you’ll need to do to prepare your pericana is to roast or fry the peppers in a pan. Traditionally this was done over the flames of a wood fire; you choose your preferred method. You then need to peel and slice the garlic. Cut up the peppers, removing the small seeds, and crumble the dried cod to create small pieces.
Now all the ingredients are ready, all you have to do is mix them together and slowly add the olive oil. Pericana alcoyana contains quite a lot of oil but it’s important to get the balance right.
So there you have it, the recipe for pericana. It’s not too difficult is it? Try making it yourself to enjoy a dish that is bursting with the flavours of the Mediterranean.
Better still, if you’re in the Region of Valencia you could go to Alcoy to try the original. Explore the Costa Blanca through your palate and awaken your senses to the joys of the Mediterranean.