Horchata, Valencia's Quintessential Drink

A quasi-milky soft drink with Moorish roots that's not just a Valencia signature, but popular all over Spain

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Horchata, Valencia's Quintessential Drink

Nothing quite like it outside Spain!

Another legacy of the centuries of Arab rule in this area, the refreshing soft drink horchata (or, if you prefer, its Valencian spelling orxata) is based on ground chufas (xufas, which in English is tiger nuts), a kind of dried tuber grown in the fields of Alboraya and other suburbs to the north of the city. It's most often accompanied by a sugar-dusted pastry called a farton. You'll find them all over Valencia, but among the most atmospheric spots are the venerable Horchatería de Santa Catalina near the cathedral, and another called El Siglo. These days, you can also get horchata ice cream, and a number of local chefs have been including it in their creations.

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