Gallery: Snapshots from Valencia: A Tour of Mercado Central (Central Market)

Entrance
Entrance

For most of the year, Valencia has beautiful blue skies. But in this city with an average of only 44 rainy days a year, October is the rainiest month, as I found out when it rained on three days out of my four-day stay.

Interior
Interior

To get a full sense of the size of the market, you'll need a 360° view.

Dome
Dome

The market's central dome is decorated with Valencia's famous oranges.

Vincent Gimeno
Vincent Gimeno

A handful of stalls sell nuts, dried fruit, and homemade potato chips like this stand, recommended by my guide Jose Ferri of Valencia Guias.

Chufas (tiger nuts)
Chufas (tiger nuts)

Tiger nut are most commonly used in horchata. If you want locally grown tiger nuts in bulk, Mercado Central is probably the best place to get it.

Huevos Virginia
Huevos Virginia

This is one of two stands that specializes in eggs.

Supergourmet
Supergourmet

Head to Supergourmet for wine, olive oil, vinegar, jam, and more.

Rafael Fuster
Rafael Fuster

Rafael Fuster's stall includes olives, pickles, mojama (salt-cured tuna), botarga (salt-cured fish roe), salt cod, and sardines.

Fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables

There are plenty of fruit and vegetable stands to choose from.

Spanish tomatoes
Spanish tomatoes

Tomato lovers should try Raf tomatoes and Valencian tomatoes, known for having great flavor (and unique appearances).

Ham, ham, and more ham
Ham, ham, and more ham

For jamón lovers, there are over 20 charcuterias in the market (Jose recommended this one).

More meat
More meat

Prefer chorizo? You'll find plenty.

La Boutique del Queso
La Boutique del Queso

This stall features cheese from all over Europe, along with Valencian cheese.

Beans
Beans

Garrafó beans are used in traditional Valencia paella.

Snails
Snails

Snails are also an ingredient in Valencian paella.

Manuel Giménez
Manuel Giménez

This stall's specialties are lemon and garlic.

Spice stall
Spice stall

You'll find saffron, mild or spicy pimentón (spanish paprika), and other herbs and spices at this stall recommended by Jose.

Fresh seafood
Fresh seafood

Fresh seafood is sectioned off in its own wing of the market.

Seafood
Seafood

Eels, shrimp, mussels, and cuttlefish are just a handful of the kinds of seafood on sale.

Offal
Offal

Also tucked away in the mostly seafood wing are unpreserved meats and offal—brains, tongues, hearts, pig feet, lamb heads, and more.

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20111209-mercado-central-primary.jpg