Within the Mercat de Colon’s Art Nouveau arches, the smell of fresh ‘Titaina’ was emerging from the ‘Mi Club’ as several of Valencia’s finest home cooks went head-to-head for the title of ‘IV Torneo de Titaina Valenciana’ (IV Mi Club Valencian Titaina Tournament) in a bid to prove who can cook the finest Titaina in Valencia. The dish pays homage to its roots in the Cabanyal, a place historically occupied by fisherman with its culmination of tonyina de sorra or salted tuna belly, tomatoes and peppers, and pine nuts. The ‘tonyina de sorra’ is noted for its juiciness and is the one used in the dishes today due to its authenticity, having to be soaked for several hours prior to using in order to remove the salt content from the drying process.

Traditionally served with a slice of bread, it bears a similarity to Italy’s Pisto and is wholly dependent on the quality of the ingredients to make it shine. No exception was made for the home cooks of the Cabanyal competing for the title and the chance for their dish to be featured on the menu at the Mi Club. This week’s event forms part of “The 4 Seasons of the Terreta”, a slogan whereby food and its provenance are celebrated via a traditional Valencian dish. Titiana is a dish usually eaten around Easter, and thus it becomes the star of the special event.

Many of the cooks cited the strength food has in enriching our lives through the connections their titaina has, either being passed through the generations by family members or something that brings the family together. After everyone had finished trying many delicious and different versions of titaina and the votes had been cast, Carmen Lacomba was announced as the winner of this year’s titaina competition… and perhaps her mother too… as she said it was she who had initially taught her the recipe which will now feature on the ‘Mi Club’ menu.

Report by Sebastian Garraway

Article copyright ‘24/7 Valencia’


If you would like to try Carmen’s Titaina, visit the ‘Mi Cub’ in the Mercat de Colon at Carrer de Jorge Juan, 19, L’Eixample, 46004 València,

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