Catalonia is an amazing place, in the Mediterranean sea, there are loads of things to discover in the area. Catalonia has everything: great food and ancient traditions surrounded by sea and also mountains. Yes, there is every reason to love the Cuisine and Culture of Catalonia Spain!
Catalonia is a food paradise!
Mmm…Do you know what are they? They are large onions that are grilled and peeled until your get the white part out and eaten with a sauce called romesco.
Romesco is done with toasted almonds, pickled garlic and tomatoes, toasted hazelnuts, ñora (a kind of pepper specially used in this sauce).
I am sure you have heard about tapas. What about the origin of tapas?
Years ago people used to go to bars to have a wine or a drink there but it was hot and to avoid that insects got into your drink they use to give you a dish of something, olives or anything that they cooked that day so you could cover up your drink with it.
Tapa in Spanish means a cover, this is where the tradition started and since then we haven’t stop.
Tapas is part of the culture of sharing food and I love it, to taste different dishes at dinner time or lunch time. There are loads of combinations and dishes so there is always a lot to explore.
I will go through some of the typical ones and some others not so typical:
Iberian ham: that is one of my favorites, for those who haven’t tried it yet, you cannot leave the country without eating some.
Croquettes: we love “croquetas”, they are normally made with iberian ham, chicken or cod. But there are amazing combinations as well: cheese, boletus, prawns etc..
Pimientos del padrón: they are peppers that have a spicy touch, some of them are ok but some others are spicy, this depends on the pepper itself so it is a kind of lottery but I am sure you will love it.
Pa amb tomàquet: this is one of the stars in Catalonia, bread with tomato. The authentic is bread with rubbed tomato on top with olive oil and salt and we eat it with “embutidos” (dried
Chocos and calamares a la romana: fried squid in pieces are chocos and calamares a la romana are squid in circles fried.
Embutidos: lomo embuchado, fuet, secallona, chorizo etc…We eat it with bread, lovely with pa amb tomàquet.
All i oli: this is one of my favorite sauces ever and it is typical from Catalonia. It is a kind of mayonnaise sauce but made only with egg, garlic and olive oil. Go for it, normally found with meat dishes, fideuà or black rice.
As we say in catalan: Bon profit! (meaning enjoy your meal)
This is the sweet part in Catalonia, we have a long tradition of bakers, cake makers and chocolate artisans. Check out a chocolate route in Barcelona, totally recommended!
Our star of desserts is: Crema catalana, it is a kind of the french creme brulée and it is burnt on the top it has a lovely vanilla flavor.
Turrons and neules: they are mostly eaten at Christmas time, very typical at dinners and lunches. Turrons are made with almonds, honey, eggs, everything cooked and presented in sweet bars of different flavors.
These are human towers, it is part of our culture and there are contests in different towns. You can check out where you can see them live. I leave you with a video so you can see how amazing this is.
St Jordi 23rd April
This is my favorite day in all year, it is a beautiful day for lovers. This is kind of Saint Valentine’s day for catalans. There is a legend behind that…
Once upon time there was a kingdom that was scared of a dragon that surrounded the area. The kingdom gave every certain time a citizen to be eaten by the dragon to keep him out of the town. It was picked randomly, being eligible everyone living in the town. There was a time when the princess was chosen to be the one delivered to the dragon, she was taken to the place and left there despite of her father’s grieve.
A kight called St. Jordi saved the princess and killed the dragon, from the blood spillage of the dragon a rose grew. The rose in St Jordi’s day is the symbol of the death of the dragon and the love, that’s why boys give a rose to girls and in return girls give books to boys.
All cities in Catalonia are full of roses and books on that day, if you are lucky to be around in April get in the street and enjoy all the magic.
This is a typical dance from Catalonia that you have to dance hand in hand with the other dancers in a circle and they do little jumps in a known steps. You can see dancers every weekend in from of Barcelona’s Cathedral.
You will recognize them because they are in a circle and is very typical that they have the pile of their belonging in the center of the circle.
I hope you enjoyed the tour around Catalonia!