In Catalonia we find an enormous cultural wealth, either for the history, customs and traditions, a large architectural heritage and more. Among this, we find the food, flavours that transport you to Catalonia wherever you eat each recipe, and it is so unique and special that this year there is a project to make the Catalan cuisine part of the World Heritage. With all the gastronomy that defines the identity of Catalonia in addition with the creative and innovative cuisine combined with the best recipes, we invite you to discover the Catalan cuisine.
1. Bread with tomato
The bread with tomato, pà amb tomàquet in Catalan, is the easiest recipe of our gastronomy. Even that, it is considered a very common and an indispensable element that you cannot loose. Usually, it is served with Iberian ham or any typical sausage: fuet, catalana, egg sausage… a very simple course that suits perfectly with everything and perfect to whet your appetite.
2. Sausage and beans
Botifarra amb mongetes as it is known here, is a distinctive dish of the region that mixes two Catalan ingredients. The Botifarra is a sausage made with the best parts of the pork and that you have to cook before serving, it can be grilled or roasted. The beans that are served to accompany the meat are Mongetes del Ganxet (Ganxet beans), typical from some Catalan counties. This dish is usually accompanied by allioli, a Catalan sauce made with garlic and olive oil, and this sauce is almost indispensable as accompaniment to any grilled meat.
The escudella is a Catalan stew. It is made with cabbage, chickpeas, potatoes, sausage, meat and more, although almost always it is done with “pilota“, a kind of large and elongated meatball made with ground beef, flour and parsley. Once it is done, the broth is removed and we put it to boil with galets (a type of pasta that seems shells). It is served as two dishes: on one side the soup done with the broth and the galets and on the other side, the ingredients that you have used to make the broth. This dish is typical of Christmas Day, though it is usually eaten during all the winter.
4. Catalan cannelloni
The cannelloni were introduced by Italian chefs to the Catalan bourgeoisie, but the recipe was spread quickly among Catalonia being modified to be adapted to the Catalan lifestyle, considered by this way a typical recipe of the land. We find the difference between the two recipes in the pasta, that it is not prepared al dente. It is cooked well to put it after in the oven to make it crispy. Another difference is the meal, that instead of ground beef, it is roast beef with a sautéed sauce.
5. Crema Catalana
With the large amount of desserts offered by the Catalan cuisine, it was difficult to choose only one: honey and curd, “glass” cake, bunyols (a kind of doughnut), carquinyolis, pà de pessic (a kind of cake), etc. Finally we have chosen the Crema Catalana, a homemade dessert that has inspired ice cream, liqueurs, candies, nougat and even chocolates. It is a cream made with a base of egg yolk. This cream is covered with sugar and then you burn it to caramelize the sugar and make the dessert crunchy.
Of course, these five courses are only a small sample of what the Catalan cuisine can offer. If you like this post, later we can make another one with more dishes that you cannot miss. These dishes are traditional recipes of our lands, but today we can find many restaurants that want to rediscover these recipes and create new ones that, for sure, will surprise you.
In our section Hotels, restaurants and nightlife we describe some fantastic places in Barcelona where you can enjoy Mediterranean food in an excellent atmosphere that we usually recommend to our clients, but if you want to discover new flavours, we recommend you some places:
El Celler de Can Roca, a restaurant specialized in traditional cuisine with a free style. It has three Michelin stars and it is considered the second best restaurant in the world by the Restaurant Magazine. It is located in Girona, so if you are doing the Salvador Dalí Tour or a Costa Brava Tour you can go to this restaurant without any kind of problem, it is on the way of both tours.
The restaurant Sant Pau is another clear example of Catalan cuisine d’auteur, with three Michelin stars. Carme Ruscalleda is the owner of this restaurant, she is the chef with more Michelin stars in Spain, and she also has the highest rating in the Campsa-Repsol guide. There you will find a quality restaurant just next to the sea that you cannot miss if you are doing the La Roca Village Tour because it is only 30 minutes away.
We can find a lot of restaurants, as much that we can organise a culinary experiences tour, would you like to perform it? If you want to visit some of these places and you are a big group, we can offer to you the taxi minivan service, by this way you don’t have to pay two taxis. Moreover, you can add to this service a child seat in case you travel with the youngest of the family.
We would like to know your favourites dishes of the Catalan cuisine or which restaurant would you recommend to visit. We know that there are a lot of corners to see and we wouldn’t like to lose any special place, ¿and you?