The tradition of Catalan cuisine is traceable back to at least the 14th century. In fact, simply stated, this is a Mediterranean cuisine that bears the characteristic traits of the principality of Catalonia in Spain. You can best enjoy the taste of the unbelievable culinary adventure this type of cuisine has to offer in the city of Barcelona.
As a geographical region, Catalonia produces fresh, high-quality seafood, fish, meat, birds, game, fruits and vegetables. You'll be pleasantly surprised by the unusual combinations in this type of cuisine - meat with seafood, chicken with fruits, fish with nuts and more.
Traditional home-cooked food from Catalonia is easily integrated into the menus of luxury restaurants, with many chefs creating stunning new transformations of authentic recipes.
There are countless meat dishes, with pork being the most used, to make all sorts of sausages. Olive oil is crucial to all of Catalan cuisine, with virgin olive oil from a small farm being the best choice.
Appetizers are simple, modest, but infinitely aromatic and delicious. True Catalans find it beyond strange that so many people spread butter on their bread. A trademark of Catalan cuisine is bread toast, smeared with tomatoes, olive oil, garlic and salt. You'll be served this as an appetizer at every traditional restaurant.
If you're wondering what a traditional Catalan dish looks like, imagine a mixture of lots of onions and garlic, braised in olive oil and combined with pork or fish in an aromatic tomato sauce.
The truth is that this cuisine owes a whole lot to the local secret spice, which can compete fame-wise with typical Italian pesto. The traditional La picada can transform even the most bland dish into a tempting culinary masterpiece.
There is no shortage of recipes for its preparation but all of Catalonia agrees there are 3 mandatory ingredients - roasted almonds (or other nuts), bread and some sort of liquid. In a mortar put 4 garlic cloves, a pinch of salt, a little saffron, fresh parsley, a toasted bread slice, a handful of almonds and some pine nuts. Add a few drops of water to get a homogeneous mixture.
And since we're talking about traditional spices and dishes, now's the best time to list several Catalan classics. Escalivada consists of roasted vegetables with lots of garlic, while escudella is a stew or soup with meat and pasta. One of the most popular appetizers is ensalada - a salad of salted cod and fresh tomatoes.