Catalan Food

 

Here are five amazing things to eat

1.) Jamón Ibérico

The ham is one the best things to eat in Barcelona. In Spain, it’s called “Jamón Ibérico”. Catalonia’s ham is one of the best in the world; it is in fact very salty but very sweet at the same time. A little advice; you should try it with some melon, it’s a delicious combination. If not, you should totally try a “jamón ibérico amb pa amb tomàquet” tapa. This is bread with tomatoes (a typical Catalan tradition) and Iberico ham.

2.) Paella

Paella is the most famous Spanish dish abroad. You may have already tried this dish at home, but you should definitely try the traditional one in Spain. Spaniards are simply the kings of paella. They succeed in adding to the same dish many different flavors, from seafood to chicken, and yet it is a very harmonious dish. But be careful: you should eat paella in a good restaurant because if the seafood is not fresh you could get sick. The best paella restaurants are close to the beach hence in the Barceloneta neighborhood. They are not very expensive and you’ll love them!

3.) Gazpacho

The gazpacho is a very famous fresh soup. There is nothing quite like it, here in Barcelona, to quench your thirst. In fact after a very hot day in the streets of Barcelona, while visiting Gaudi’s houses and buildings, a cool bowl of gazpacho is the ideal starter. There are different flavors, so you should try them all and choose your favorite. Normally they’re made with vegetables like tomatoes (that’s why it has this red color) and peppers.

4.) Coca Catalane

The coca catalane is a very traditional dish in Barcelona. It looks a little bit like a pizza. In fact, it is a pastry on which ingredients are added on the top. However, it does not have a round shape like a pizza but a rectangular one. You can add olive oil on the top and you can have a salty or sweet version.

5.) Tortilla de Patata

The “tortilla de patata” is an omelet invented in Spain. Apart from eggs, there are potatoes and sometimes onions. This omelet is a bit strange because it is much bigger than the usual one. The taste is quite different as well; there are two textures one from the eggs and one from the potatoes… it’s delicious!

The History of Catalan Food

The Catalan food is linked to the various foods of the Mediterranean Sea. It has inherited ways of eating from many different worlds. From the Roman Empire, they took the dried fruit and the technique for the pastries. From North Africa, they imported the tomatoes and the potatoes. Furthermore, the Catalan dishes use many different sauces. That’s why in Barcelona there are so many different types of restaurants.

In Barcelona it is very important to eat well. There really is a cooking tradition in this town. You’ll find many different restaurants. Some are cheap, others more expensive and gastronomic. Since Barcelona is on the sea you’ll find a lot of fresh fish. As it is a city open to the world you’ll be able to find various ways of cooking, not only Spanish but also Asian restaurants or from the rest of Europe cultures.

I’ve never experienced anything as good and varied as the food in Barcelona. There are so many different influences. And this clash of different cultures gives rise to a very unusual cuisine. But it is so good! You should really try to enjoy as many dishes as possible while you’re there, and you should begin with the traditional “Tapas” and then go for “Paella”.

Guide

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Insider’s tips:

  • To appreciate food in Spain you must know when to eat. As Spaniards stay up late, they eat late as well. Dinner is not before 9:00 pm, and begins usually at 10:00 pm. At least you’ll be very hungry, when you eat, therefore you’ll be able to truly enjoy some of the best food in the world. If you really need to eat something before dinner, try one or two tapas with a beer before going to the restaurant, that’s what we the locals do!
  • “Tapas” is a very convenient way to taste all these different dishes. Tapas are small dishes which are usually enjoyed with a drink, or as a starter. Above all, Tapas reflect Spanish culture as well, as they are dishes to be shared in a friendly, relaxed meal.
  • A good tapa should cost between 1.5 and 3€. If it costs more (except if its sea food, then it’s something really expensive and it means you’re ordering in a very touristy place. If you want to recognize a good tapas bar and see some good examples, you should take the walking tour in the Born Area. A local guide will tell you all about tapas and “pichos”… bon appétit!

Why it’s worth tasting

  • The Spanish food is unique. It is an original mix of flavors because there are many influences. There is a real harmony in all these flavors combined.