The municipality of Sueca is surrounded by the Albufera Natural Park, just 32 Km from the city of Valencia. Rice cultivation provides for a changing landscape with the passing of the seasons due to the warm climate that exists throughout the year. Sueca also offers fine sand beaches and its rich, ample range of local dishes, another of the pleasures that tourists can find in this quiet town.
Paella, which finds it most faithful and authentic interpretation in Sueca’s cuisine, as well as all the possible combinations of rice with meat, fish, seafood and vegetables, stewed and baked.
The International Valencian Paella Competition, which is held every year, has its origins in 1961, coinciding with the “boom” in tourism and gastronomic competitions.
During this period, Sueca celebrated the 600th anniversary of the “Troballa de la Mare de Déu” and, taking advantage of the circumstances, a festival dedicated to paella was created. Thus was born the “rice festivity” and, as is logical, a Valencian paella competition of nationwide renown was born. The festival grew in importance and, after 5 years, was declared of Tourist Interest (BIC).
RECIPE FOR VALENCIAN PAELLA
Recipe provided by Jesús Melero
Culinary Coordinator of the Sueca International Valencian Paella Competition.
Ingredients: (serves 4)
400 g of Sueca rice
800 g of chicken
400 g of rabbit
1 dozen “vaquetes” (snails)
400 g of lima beans
150 g of “tavella” beans
300 g of beans
1 clove of garlic, peeled and chopped
1 ripe crushed tomato
1 tablespoon of paprika
Saffron threads, salt, sprig of rosemary (optional)
Cut the chicken and rabbit into regular-sized pieces, add salt, heat the oil in the paella dish and slowly and thoroughly sauté the meat. Once the meat has been sautéed, we add the vegetables and we sauté again. Then garlic, paprika and tomato are added. Two litres of water and the cleaned snails are then added. We then leave to boil for 10 minutes. The saffron is then added and the rice spread over the entire surface of the paella dish. Let the rice cook over a high heat for 8 minutes.
It is then removed from the heat in order that it may slow-cook for a further ten minutes and become crispy.
Places of interest:
– “Muntanyeta dels Sants”, on the summit of which is located the hermitage of the Saints Abdon and Senen (Gothic, 17th century).
– Real Church of the Our Lady of Sales, 17th century;
– Former Convent of Franciscan Monks of the Observance.
– Church of St. Peter (neoclassical), 18th century.
– The Home for the Abandoned Elderly (19th century)
– El Ateneu Suecà del Socors (19th-century)
– The Town Hall (18th-century)
– “Los Porches” (arches with wide, square stone columns). 18th-century).
– “El Azut del Río”, a site located near the River Júcar as it passes near Sueca; Friday market all year on Calle Sequial, a living example of traditional commerce.
– L’Albufera Natural Park.
– Sueca also has 8 km. of beaches, stretching from El Perello to Mareny de Vilxes, and including Palmeres, Mareny de Barraquetes and Mareny Blau, which are suitable for spearfishing and sea fishing, as well as river fishing throughout the area; El Perello Marina.
The gentle terrain, its climatic uniformity and cultivation of rice results in a territory full of exotic landscapes and forms. The Albufera Natural Park offers a diversity of landscapes that correspond to a wealth of ecosystems, each with its characteristic flora and fauna. In the vague boundary between the underground fresh and salt waters emerge the “ullals”, from which springs fresh water and where endangered Mediterranean fish, such as the Spanish toothcarp and Valencia hispanica, take refuge.
“La Muntanyeta del Sants”, the only summit in the area, rises like a small island among large tracts of paddy fields.
Light, fire, gunpowder, staging … are all key elements in Sueca’s festivities. “Las Fallas” are celebrated in March. Holy Week. The town’s main festivity, called the Rice Festival, is held in September and includes the Sueca International Valencian Paella Competition, during which international chefs display their skills whilst attempting to create the best paella in the world.
The local events also include “el piromusical” (fireworks), during which brightly-coloured fireworks a launched to the rhythm of music for 20 minutes. Special mention may be made of the town’s main festivities, which are held on 29th July and include a pilgrimage.
We cannot forget the International Mime Festival, which begins upon the termination of main festivities, and which is dedicated to the arts of gesture and movement. The FIMAC (International Agricultural Machinery Fair) is celebrated at the end of May.
“Les Tirades”, celebrated between November and January (waterfowl hunting). “Les Catalinetes”, an afternoon snack with typical sweet of the day (anise rolls). Mention may also be made of the 9th October and Carnival festivities.
Mareny de Barraquetes Beach
Les Palmeretes Beach
Calle Mercat s/n, 46410 Sueca (Valencia).
From Monday to Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.