Updated Apr 21 2020
When you visit our city we would definitely recommend you to venture further than the most touristic parts of the city, in order to see the ‘real’ Barcelona, its culture and its people. What better way to do this than to be introduced to the fabulous Catalan cuisine? It’s sure to give you a better understanding of the city and the region of Catalonia (Catalunya) as a whole.
Typical Catalan produce and cuisine
Catalan cuisine is essentially based on the cultures of Mediterranean cooking, enriched with the typical characteristics of local produce. It’s therefore no surprise that good quality seafood and meat from the region feature heavily in many dishes, as well as local produce which is grown in its rich surroundings. Some dishes and products that originate in other parts of Spain have been introduced to Catalan cuisine over the years, which is the case with various tapas, ‘pintxos’ (from the Basque Region of Spain), and many recipes, which although might not be considered typical Catalan food as such, are very much part of the local cuisine.
On Sundays, and sometimes Saturdays, it’s very common for groups of friends and families to meet up in bars before eating (at around 12:00) for an aperitif, typically called ‘hacer Vermut’, due to the revival of drinking aperitifs such as Vermouth in Barcelona. There are lots of bars that specialise in all sorts of different varieties of this aromatic fortified wine.
What does a typical aperitif consist of?
Vermouth, or any other drink (wine, beer, soft drinks)
Conserved fish or seafood (cockles, anchovies, mussels)
Cold preserved meats
These products are nearly always accompanied with a sauce, often home-made in the bar, such is often the case with the well-known ‘Salsa Espinaler’.
Traditional Catalan Food
PA AMB TOMAQUET
VARIETY OF SOUPS
TABLA DE QUESOS (table of cheese)
VARIETY OF MUSHROOMS
VARIETY OF OLIVES
CROQUETAS (ham, chicken, mushrooms)
TORTILLA DE PATATAS
GRILLED SQUID / SEPIA
Typical catalan meals
SUQUET DE PEIX
BACALLÀ A LA LLAUNA
MAR I MONTANYA
CARGOLS A LA LLAUNA
DORADA A LA SAL
Traditional desserts and sweets
PA DE PESSIC
COCA (LLARDONS, PIÑONES…)
FLAN (crème caramel)
POSTRES DE MÚSIC
BRAÇ DE GITANO
BUNYOLS DE VENT
PEARS WITH WINE
TORTA (APPLE / CHEESE…)
STRAWBERRIES (WITH NATA / WINE AND SUGAR)
The best Sauces
ALL I OLI
ANÍS DEL MONO (anisette)
Where and how to enjoy the local gastronomy?
Fortunately there are many restaurants and bars in which you can sample the local cuisine, most of which have proximity, or ‘Km 0’, as their mission statement… that is, the more local the produce is, the better.
Is there a better way to get to know a city than through its gastronomy? Well, that’s open for discussion of course, but we think that it’s the most entertaining and satisfying way. We therefore recommend going on one of the gastronomic tours or taking part in a cookery class, with a tasting at the end so that you can find out more about the great cuisine that the region has to offer, whilst continuing to discover our culture and traditions.
Another great way of delving into the Catalan cuisine is to visit one of the many local grocers shops, butchers, fishmongers, greengrocers and markets in the city. You’ll be able to see for yourself the huge arrays of fruit and vegetables, fish, seafood and meat – the very best of the local produce.