Catalonia cuisine, gastronomy and drinks
La cuina catalana
Olive oil and garlic, sun, patience and know-how: these are the main ingredients of Catalan cuisine! This cuina has Phoenician, Greek and Roman roots.
On the Costa Brava, one of the high places of gastronomy remains the region of Empordà. Here we find a mixed and tasty cuisine, which does not hesitate to combine land and sea, sweet and savory, honey, cinnamon, almonds, pine nuts and dried fruits.
La delicatessen (embotits) is either raw or cooked, raw ham, fuet (a dry sausage) or these boutifarres (botifarra), sausages prepared with intestine and pork sprinkled with spices. There are a good ten varieties (with blood, rice, mushrooms ...). Botifarra dolca de l'Empordà is sweet and flavored with lemon zest and cinnamon, a recipe that dates back to the Middle Ages.
The more we enter the land and the more we meet on the tables of llonganises (sausages) and other dishes that hold onto the body, especially in the small change of country. Taste for example the excellent xolís (dry sausage) of Pallars, you will tell us the news!
The Catalans are also very fond of mushrooms and snails.
In short, do not bother to order paella valenciana in Catalonia (go down a little on the coast ...), or an Andalusian gazpacho.
- Pa amb tomàquet: slices of bread rubbed with garlic and tomato, drizzled with olive oil and salted, served in almost every restaurant, sometimes as a substitute for bread.
- Escalivada: assortment of grilled eggplant, onions, tomatoes and peppers and candied in the oven., served warm or cold (and perfect to accompany cold meats or cheese).
- Romesco (romescu in Catalan) : it is a typical sauce (some even consider it a real dish) of Tarragona, made of tomatoes, fried bread and toasted almonds, flavored with garlic and red peppers (called nyoras), vinegar, herbs and spices.
- Calçotada : a Catalan institution! In spring, the new onion season, all the restaurants in Valls la region put it on the menu. The calçots, the new onions, are grilled over a vine fire, “removed” from their first skin and tasted soaked in romesco sauce.
- Graellada de peix i marisc (parrillada de mariscos): assortment of fish and shellfish simply grilled (a la plancha) and drizzled with olive oil. They are found all along the Spanish coasts, but they are usually not cheap.
- Crema Catalana: our cream Mel i killed Bunyols: filled donuts Panellets: probably the most popular sweets Pastisset: gâ Menjar white: to countries and mountains.
- La horchata (orxata), which is wrongly translated as "orgeat", is as good as it is refreshing. Of Valencian origin, it is also popular in Catalonia (and throughout Spain). Orxata is produced with the juice of the roots and stems of chufa, a kind of papyrus.
- The granisate (or granizado in Castilian) is the local version of the famous Italian granita, made here with lemon, orange or coffee juice, mixed with crushed ice in large juicers. Sweet, refreshing and inexpensive.
- In the plain of Lleida (Leêtre on the drink of the poor (beguda de pobre), made with oranges, anise and sugar. Quite surprisingly.
- Another Spanish essential since the discovery of the Americas, the hot chocolate does not look like ours. Here, it is a rich and nourishing drink, thick, dense in aromas, made to soak the famous churros, these elongated breakfast donuts.
- Beer (beer ou beer in Catalan) : the most popular drink! Note that in a bar, una cerveza is more of a bottled beer, the pressure being called una caña. The panache is called una clara.
- Wine : the cradle of catalan viticulture is found in sauvignon, riesling, chardonnay, gewurztraminer. We find Tarragona above, which has a grade of up to 16 °!
Not to be overlooked either, the DO Costers del Segre (garnatxa, cabernet, merlot, monastrell ...) north of Lleida (Lérida); nor DO Empordà, in the north of Catalonia, producing reds, whites and sweet wines.
- The vermut de grifo: literally, “vermouth on tap”. It is a cooked wine macerated with herbs and delivered in small barrels with sparkling water.
- The cava: this crewest of Lérida.
Cava is also the basis of the famous agua de Valencia, a cocktail combining it with a drop of vodka, gin and orange juice, the emblematic fruit of the region.
- In mountain areas, ratafias (artisanal alcohols) always find their followers. The scents are diverse and varied.
- Do not miss the muscatel (a kind of sweet wine), which is consumed exclusively at the end of a meal or with certain desserts, such as mel i mató (see above).