When I travel I like to try local produce; local wine (except when in England), local olive oil (ditto), local cured ham (double ditto), and when I am home in Valencia, I try to consume products produced nearby rather than ones brought to me by truck or tanker. For me that’s logical.
So it was good to discover a Valencian shop selling Valencian products; even Valencian Vodka (and why not? A potato is a potato by any other name).
Gonzalo Giménez is the man with this novel idea; a Valencian shop selling Valencian products, which can be found in a rather curious little arcade, just off Calle San Vicente in Pasaje Ripalda.
It would remind you of the famous upmarket shopping arcade Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, if it were much bigger, more luxurious, and in Milan.
It’s called Siente (feel) Valencia and is an Ali Baba cave containing many of the treasures that are made in Valencia and make Valencia such a special place.
You can buy instant versions of all your favourite Valencian dishes, like paella or fideeuà, craft beers, local olives, Agua de Valencia (a local weapon of mass destruction that should be drunk sitting down), nuts, just about every version of alcoholic drink you can imagine and a few your mother warned you not to, conserves made with cod such as ‘pericana’ and ‘aspencat’ from Muro de Alcoy, chocolates from the Valor company, turrón, biscuits, spices and a whole range of souvenirs focused largely on Fallas merchandising that is not really my cup of horchata, but I suppose somebody has to sell it.
Siente Valencia has been open since October 2013 and as well as buying to take away you can also sample the wares inside or on the terrace out in the arcade.
Despite being in a tourist zone, the prices are not aimed at tourists and are reasonable; so, a good place to take that visiting aunt who insists on buying something typical to take back home, which would otherwise be made in China.