The production of Tigernuts with Designation of Origin covers an area of approximately 420 hectares and is mainly concentrated in L'Horta Nord and in some municipalities of L'Horta Oest and Camp de Turia. With an average production of 3,500 tonnes, mainly destined for the domestic market, tigernut cultivation is a source of economic activity and sustainable development, as it is the main livelihood of more than 500 expert farmers. The area's climate plays a decisive role in the germination, development and production of the tigernut which, together with the soil conditions, provides the ideal environment for obtaining a tuber of exceptional quality.
The Protected Designation of Origin Chufa de Valencia has protected the production of tigernuts and the production of horchata since 1999 in order to guarantee the quality, traceability, food safety, authenticity and origin of Valencian tigernuts and horchata.
The high protein content and the quality of the fat in the Valencian tigernut makes the difference with respect to other tigernuts, standing out for its sweet and intense flavour and its larger and more uniform size. The tigernut has very healthy digestive properties due to its high starch and amino acid content. As well as being rich in minerals such as phosphorus, magnesium, potassium and iron, it is heart-healthy due to its high content of unsaturated fats, similar to those found in olive oil and nuts. As it does not contain lactose or gluten, horchata is an excellent option for people who are lactose intolerant or coeliacs.
In Alboraya, the birthplace of the tigernut and leader in horchata production, the cultivation of tigernuts has extraordinary ethnobotanical and historical roots, with the planting of tigernuts being one of the main attractions of an area that conserves traditional constructions such as farmhouses, chapels, farmers' houses and the typical Valencian barracas. Alboraya offers an essential itinerary to discover horchata, the region's star product. Along the Avenida de la Horchata you will find the most emblematic places to discover and taste this unique drink accompanied by fartons, a typical local sweet that is dipped in the horchata.
In recent years, the uses of tigernuts and tigernut milk have multiplied in haute cuisine due to the multiple possibilities they offer. By using innovative techniques, chefs such as Ricard Camarena have created recipes based on tigernuts that provide new flavours and textures. The tigernuthas also been incorporated into liqueurs, nougat, beers, oils, and has even begun to be used in cosmetics.