There is much more to Alicante than rice dishes, of which there is a wide variety, and seafood. Alicante follows a Mediterranean diet, with plenty of vegetables, fruit, exquisiteness, good cooking, tradition, research and professionalism, as demonstrated by the fifteen Michelin stars that have been awarded to eleven restaurants in the province. Quique Dacosta has three in his restaurant in Dénia; Kiko Moya of L'Escaleta (Cocentaina) and Alberto Ferruz of Bon Amb (Jávea) have two. Pepa Romans of Casa Pepa (Ondara), Susi Díaz of La Finca (Elche), Cristina Figueira of El Xato (La Nucía), Joaquín Baeza Rufete of Baeza & Rufete (Alicante), Rafa Soler of Audrey's (Calp), José Manuel Miguel of Beat Restaurant (Calp), José Manuel López of Peix & Brases (Dènia) and Borja Susilla y Clara Puis of Tula Restaurante (Xàbia) have all been awarded one star each.
These highly-skilled chefs focus on gastronomic research, which complements the diversity of more traditional dishes found in the mountains and valleys of the province. These include extraordinary rice dishes, such as caldero (rice cooked in a cauldron), olleta (stew with vegetables, legumes, bones and different meats), pericana (typical cooking sauce), gazpacho (cold soup made from tomatoes and peppers) and cocido con pelotas (stew with meatballs), all of which are made with the province's very own ingredients.
A number of products have been awarded a guarantee of origin and quality mark, such as the loquat grown in Callosa d'En Sarrià, the turron made in Jijona and Alicante, the cherries picked from Alicante's mountains, the table grape grown Vinalopó and the spirits and wine made in Alicante.
Alicante's wines, from muscatel to rosé wines and liqueurs, have won several prizes. The province also offers wines of an exclusive origin, such as the Fondillón. And to bring them closer to consumers, the so-called Wine Route, which extends from Pinoso to the Marina Alta and El Comtat, has opened up its wineries in order to encourage a different type of tourism. The Wine Route has already received over 23,000 visitors this year.
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