has become one of the most popular meals in Catalonia. It is based in
fried thin noodles, boiled with fish broth and served with ‘allioli’.
Its origin is supposed to be valencian –due to its wrong orthography,
coming from the common pronunciation of catalan in Valencia (it should
be written ‘fideuada’) but completely different to the original
The ‘fideuà’ cooked in Catalonia, at home, restaurants
and popular meals is, in fact, another dish: it comes from the traditional
fishermen rossejat (fried noodles) known also as blond noodles,
noodles aside (in the Valencian
Country, pistonat - if it is made with pistons, noodles with
holes inside), etc. These names come from the way they are cooked. Noodles
are fried in oil before adding fish broth – a very special technique
that may only be found in Italy or China; noodles get a tan golden color
or even dark, since they are fine noodles (hair of angel), when coming
off dry, they get erected (they "have" an erection).
The origin of this dish also comes from the one named fideus a banda
(noodles aside): fishermen used to cook a fish broth with small fish,
sometimes with some vegetable (potatoes, etc); the fish was served stew,
accompanied with allioli (garlic mayonnaise) (or, "salmorreta",
tomato sauce and vinegar in the Valencian Country) and only at the end
rossejat was cooked. That is to say, as it is done with rice,
the dish was served in two series, "aside".
fishermen origins, Fideuada from the Safor shire- where it comes from
– was eaten on boats and, therefore, was cooked in casserole;
it was eaten, how the Vilanova fishermen used to do, in a bowl. There
is also a plausible theory standing that this dish was invented on 60’s
in Gandia, Valencian Country.
Fideuada, as stated, belongs to the family of a dish that may be found
with different names all along Catalan
Countries: Fideuejat, Rossejat, Fideus rossejats, Fideus in
casserole, etc. The Fideuada or Fideuà (popular pronunciation)
has attained a huge success. All versions are currently being cooked
in an iron pan.
the authentic Fideuà (from Gandia)
always uses thick noodles (with a hole inside), fish and shellfish (shrimps,
monkfish, Mediterranean mussels, etc) so it is like a usual fishermen
paella where rice has been substituted with noodles: so quite different
from what "fideuà" means in Catalonia.
The name of Fideuà comes from fideu (noodle in Catalan),
an autochthonous format of pasta documented since the 14th century;
this word, with a pro-Arab origin, spread through the Catalan to Occitan,
the Franco-Provençal one, and even to Italian and Sard (the word
is still used in Sardinia) or Spanish.
1 liter fish broth (small fish and diverse fish)
300 g grouper or angler
400 g shrimps
200 g squid
clams or Mediterranean mussels (optional)
400 g thick noodles
1/2 bulb of garlic
1 big tomato
1 spoonful of red pepper (sweet or spicy)
Fry shrimps lightly in a pan with olive oil until blond. Use the same
oil to fry grouper or; reserve them, too. Fry squid cutted in slices.
Fort he fish broth, let it boil, first with intense fire, and later
low (half an hour) since the quality and perfume of the broth is very
Use onion, garlic and tomato sauce for the sofregit. Start with the
garlic, add the tomato, red pepper (or saffron); put the noodles, when
golden add fish broth, fish and shellfish. Add salt. Cook it with intense
fire for 15 minutes and let it res 5 more before serving it in the same
- Sofregit in Valencian Country doesn’t use to have onion (as
it happens in Catalonia). Anyway, a fideuà with onions and cuttlefish
is also cooked.
- Sometimes, in the Alacant Costa Blanca, a picada is added to sofregit:
pepper, garlic, parsley and lemon juice, or a fried Salmorreta (oil,
- Classic fideuà from Gandia does not use dried pepper and noodles
are boiled in fish broth.
To learn more:
A nation taste, de Jaume Fàbrega.
Cossetània Edicions, Valls, 2002