As with the rest of Spain, Catalonian people adore good quality food and wine. From fresh seafood recipes to delicious meat stews, there are specific dishes you will only find in this beautiful, picturesque northeastern region of Spain. Luckily, we have compiled some of the best examples of Catalonian cuisine to tempt your taste buds.
We have all heard of the Spanish omelette and many of us may have sampled it; however in Catalonia, they have their own unique version and it contains chickpeas and spicy diced chorizo sausage. It’s easy to make, filling, and a firm Catalan family favourite especially for sharing.
Cadaqués Sea Bass in Salsa Verde
This delectable fish dish hails from the dreamy coastal town of Cadaqués. The town is usually more famous for being the home of Salvador Dali, the world famous surrealist artist, than Catalan cuisine. Many regions in Spain can be accused of offering food that is somewhat bland – not so with this dish. The salsa verde addition to the sea bass is a mouth-watering delight, featuring chopped onion, mandatory garlic cloves, olive oil, fresh parsley, salt, and lemon, the sauce combined with the delicate fish brings your taste buds back to life from the very first bite.
Venison may not be to everyone’s taste but it is a popular addition to menus featuring Catalan cuisine. Venison is all too often used in burgers or in stews which tends to mask the flavour, this dish showcases venison chops with a rich Romesco sauce which hails from Tarragona. In addition to the venison, garlic, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper, olive oil, and butter are added. The rich spicy Romesco sauce is a combination of chilies, almonds, olive oil, and stale non-crusted bread. It is simply spicy and delicious.
Suquet de Peix or Hake with Garlic
This hake with garlic is a perfect meal for a light lunch by the water’s edge, Suquet de Peix could almost be described as a refined fish stew. Generous chunks of hake with ripe beef tomatoes, cloves, and pimentón are combined with a liberal dose of olive oil, parsley, and lemon to create a tasty and light summer, easy-to-prepare dish which your palate will adore.
We couldn’t end our top 5 Catalan cuisine dishes without a nod to probably the best known of them all. Located so close to the border with France there are many gastronomic influences that reach this region of Spain. The Crema Catalana – a unique version of the famous crème brûlée, a rich, creamy desert with burnished bronze caramelised topping – sums up Catalonia in one simple spoonful. Crema Catalana, or Catalan Cream as it is otherwise known, is not an easy dessert to make. It takes skill, and a tool called La Quemadora which is used to caramelize the sugar – no blowtorches allowed!
On Mother’s Day each year, grandmothers across Spain get to work creating the best Crema Catalana they can for their families. The traditional recipe contains egg yolks, cinnamon, lemon, milk and corn-starch, it’s served in small round terracotta or earthenware dishes and is one taste of Catalonia which everyone should try.
Whether you are a meat or fish lover, vegetarian, or have a wonderfully sweet tooth, you will always find a dish in the pretty and diverse region of Catalonia that will leave you wanting more.