Many residents of the Valencian Community claim that the recipe for pizza was invented at the time of the Union of States of the Crown of Aragon, whose economic centers were located in Valencia and Barcelona, and only in the XV century, this recipe was delivered to Naples, where the classic big pizza appeared. However, mini pizzas can also be found in the traditional cuisine of Catalonia and the Balearic Islands. But the most famous in Spain are Valencian coca, which because of their size can be called the younger sisters of Italian pizza. Coca is round, square, elongated, but always small. And the variety of fillings depends only on the imagination of the chef.
In the past, cookies used to use bread dough and products that remained after the main courses were cooked. So were born very nourishing mini-pizzas with chorizo or any other sausage, peas and onions. This dish was available for cooking even for the poorest people. Modern chefs are guided by culinary traditions and experiment with combinations of tastes. The king of coca in the Valencian Community is Pep Romani, chef of the restaurant Pont Sec in Denia. He made this dish one of the main ones on the menu, stating that he considers it the pride of the region. “Coca does not always get the attention he deserves, although in the Marina Alta and Safor area she is a traditional gastronomic masterpiece. You can find a lot of pizza options in any restaurant, so why not diversify the coca species,” says Pep Romani.
The Pont Sec restaurant carefully studies old recipes and develops new ones, linking two professions: baker and chef. Cocky here is made of ecologically pure flour and special leaven. The cooking process takes three days due to the slow fermentation of the dough. Coke is baked exclusively in a wood-burning stove and then finally reaches the table of visitors, many of whom become regular customers after the first visit to the restaurant. Pep Romani himself designs a menu where you can find both seasonal and traditional coke. Iberian ham, peas, shrimps, anchovies, sardines, foie gras, honey, figs and many other fragrant fresh products are the ingredients of this restaurant. The chef has also launched the Nyas Coca! project to deliver fragrant coke to a home in Denia’s municipal district.
Another famous coca expert is the chef of the Michelin-starred restaurant Ricard Camarena, who opened the Cocaloka restaurant near the famous Mercado de Colón market. “The project was planned for almost a year and a half. I wanted to make a project presenting a simple but very tasty dish. The pizza came to my mind, but I didn’t see myself making classic pizza, I’m Valencian. That’s why it’s the traditional coca that comes out,” says the chef. The size of the coca in this place is bigger than the classical variant, but we can’t call it a pizza that everyone is used to. One of the most popular dishes here is coca with pastrami, Beijing cabbage, cheddar cheese and pickles, as well as pork, Chinese onions and Beijing Hoixing sauce. Vegetarians choose aromatic coca with eggplants and Dutch sauce.
– Pont Sec, Camí Vell de Gandia a Dénia, km1, Dénia
– Cocaloka Restaurant, Carrer de Jorge Juan, 19, València