La Pericana, a traditional preparation from the mountains in the interior of the province of Alicante, between the Sierras de Mariola and Aitana, more specifically in Alcoy and the towns of its region, where, with subtle nuances, this dish has a common denominator: the peppers, dried fish and olive oil. Food of shepherds, farmers and hunters, born from ingredients that used to be in the pantry of each house and taken to the field during hard working days, prepared quickly on the embers of a fire to continue the work. Among its ingredients are hidden stories of towns and a rural past: the work in the vineyards, the harvesting of almonds, the country and the people. Some authors cite this dish during the olive harvest, where it was then done to taste the goodness of the oil from those first olives of the season.

Its ingredients come together, amalgamating its flavours with absolute perfection. Like almost all traditional dishes, each family and house has its favourite version and way of preparing it. Some ingredients vary according to the area or personal taste, occasionally paprika and even dried tomatoes are added. Sometimes they are joined by fresh roasted peppers, pickled small onions and ripe tomatoes. There is a wet version and a dry one.

Traditionally its ingredients were roasted over the embers, and today many still prefer to do it that way. In the modern version, the closest thing to that is on the kitchen flame. It is also possible to prepare it under the grill or in the oven or the pan. The main protagonist is the roasted red pepper called "cuarnet", dry string pepper or chorizo pepper. In the mountainous areas of the interior, far from the sea, only dried or salted fish was available. Dry capellanes are used but also dry cod can be used instead. Olive oil, a product made since ancient times throughout the region, must be of extra virgin quality. It is a versatile dish that makes it perfect both as an aperitif as a tapa or spread on good country bread, as a starter in a salad and even as a garnish with green broad beans or fish dishes. It is a healthy recipe that combines the antioxidant benefits of olive oil and vitamin E with fish proteins.

An authentic and traditional preparation that every Christmas Eve enhances the table in its place of origin and through generations provides multiple sensations to the palate while preserving the hallmark of Levantine cuisine.

Ingredients - 4 servings

Dried red peppers




Dry salted cod


Garlic cloves

2 - 3

Aceite de Oliva Extra Virgen PROMESA

Amount to taste


  1. Put a griddle with a little olive oil to heat and when it is hot, chargrill the fish and remove.
  2. Do the same with the peppers, turning them over quickly so they don't burn on either side (since they have very little flesh they can burn very easily). They must be crispy but not burnt.
  3. Once this is done, wait for it to cool down.
  4. Toast or roast the garlic in a pan with its skin or, if desired, on the flame (although some prefer to use it raw).
  5. Peel the garlic and chop them.
  6. Remove the stem from the peppers, open them and remove the seeds, chop them with your hands into small pieces.
  7. Using your hands, crumble the fish as small as possible, removing any bones that may be present.
  8. Mix everything in a bowl and cover with extra virgin olive oil. It should not be dry, you should see the oil but without going over it.
  9. Serve on good country bread.