Tigernut growing and the Valencia connection

Many people wonder why tigernut growing is so strongly rooted in Valencia. Many say it is tradition, and this is true, but there’s more to it.

The tigernut or chufa is a tuber with unique properties largely thanks to the characteristics of its cultivation. The particular climate and soil of Valencia are perfectly suited to the needs of this plant. However, in other areas of Spain and the rest of the world, it is very hard to find the right conditions for planting tigernuts. In fact, the Valencia region is the only one in Europe where they are cultivated.

But what’s so special about Valencia’s weather and land? These are a few of the keys to this relationship.

 

Loose sandy soil

This is the determining factor, as this type of soil with the right climate for tigernuts is almost impossible to find outside Valencia.

Loose soil is necessary for harvesting, as heavier soils make the tigernuts dirty and cleaning them makes the product much more expensive. Meanwhile, the sandy soil is very permeable and optimises water absorption.

 

Warm, steady climate near the sea

Tigernuts need average temperatures of 13 to 25 degrees, with 12 degrees established as the minimum temperature the tuber needs to shoot. It also needs at least four or five months without frosts. However, extreme temperatures are not good for it. It requires light and heat, but temperatures should not go over 28 degrees.

This makes the Mediterranean climate of Valencia and its proximity to the sea ideal, as the climate is not too dry and the coastal humidity softens summer and winter temperatures.

www.flickr.com/photos/urbanados/4525335297/

www.flickr.com/photos/urbanados/4525335297/

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