This is an enriched sweet bun which also happens to be one of my absolutely favourite Valencian sweets. It has everything you could wish on an autumn bun: softness and fluffiness, aromas, caramelised nuts, juicy raisins… EVERYTHING!
It is my hometown’s local take on the slightly more widely known “Fogassa de Tots Sants” i.e. All Saints’ Fogassa, which was eaten on that day before going to the graveyard to pay respect to the dead. Nowadays you can buy it during the whole month, and you might even convince a local baker to make you one out of season (por encargo).
What I have also found is that by virtue of being so extremely local, the recipe isn’t readily available online or in books, and it has taken me about six iterations to come up with a recipe that tastes how I remember it tasted. In fact, the pictures for this will show you how I ended making four fogasses last week-end, trying two flours and two yeast amounts. I am that scientifically committed to the quest for the perfect fogassa!
And I am also finally pleased with the results and happy to share! 😎
I “adopted” an olive tree from Almazara La Alqueria a couple years ago via Crowdfarming.
I was very excited that the producer was close to home in Spain, right in the Sierra de Mariola natural park, and that they would send me nice freshly pressed olive oil to my home in London. Also, I would contribute to organic farming in the area—what’s not to like?
Even more interestingly, as part of the Crowdfarming arrangement you also have the chance to “meet” your adopted tree if you want to.
Of course this hasn’t been very easy in the last year and a half plus 😏
But I finally had the chance to do that last month! It was really interesting and I learned lots of things which I’m going to share with you now!
This is one of the most surprising Valencian dishes I’ve learned about recently.
It uses just a few humble ingredients to deliver way more flavour than you could possibly expect. And it uses a sweet ingredient (raisins) on a savoury dish—not a typical feature of dishes that side of the world!
I got a bunch of broad beans (the ones you have to pop out of their shells) in the veggie box delivery this week, but since the weather has turned a bit cooler, I didn’t want to make them into a salad. So I first used half of them in an omelette. What else could I use them for?
Well, clearly: a rice that combines various types of legumes—hence the ‘mixed’ in the title!
When it gets hot in Spain we avoid eating hot food and turn our attention towards things that are eaten cold. You might have heard about gazpacho or salmorejo!
Then there is the “plato de verano”, which literally means “summer’s dish”. It’s not a unique recipe, but a way of describing “something somewhat substantial that you eat cold”. It depends on the cook and whatever is available on the day.
My recipe provides a good balance between sharpness, oiliness, savouriness, softness and crunchiness so that it’s a pleasant and refreshing thing to eat, but without having to bite too much (too much effort if it’s very hot).