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Catalan cuisine far away from Spanish “clichés”?



How people eat in Catalonia, is catalan´s cuisine anyway is considered as typical Spanish food?

Following a very good article we found from Sam Zucker, which is about an interview he did on a famous local grocery shop and also restaurant (4 tables), Sam Zucker focused the conversation on what Catalan people are eating and where it comes from.

Without entering into the details of history and why Catalonia is or is not Spain, the interesting point here is to understand what is expecting you in Barcelona if you’re planning to come over and willing to discover this beautiful region and its “local” food.

Barcelona is a city on the Mediterranean cost and less than two hours by car from the Pyreneans and the French border. Its food is therefore composed by seafood and mountain products, such as potatoes, sausages and of course all kind of products which compose the Mediterranean diet such as olives (oil), garlic, green and red peppers or eggplants. Catalonia through its history and geographic situation has been also influenced by movement of populations and successive invasions which therefore left some trace into the local food culture. Wine is a good example of the roman heritage, potatoes chocolate, tropical fruits are the result of American discovery, cava, cheese and foie gras, a clear proof of the French influence etc.

In 2012 the average catalan consumed 128 eggs, 56 kilos of meat, 26,2 kilos of fish, 64,6 liters of milk, 33,1 kilos of bread, 12,3 liters of oil, 74,8 kilos of vegetables and finally 114,7 kilos of fresh fruit. In 2012 Catalan people spent an average per person of 1,668.50 € on food. Compared to the rest of Spain, Catalans are consuming 20.1% more vegetables than the national average and 33.4% more on prepackaged meals than the national average.

The top 10 of classic Catalan dishes:

1/ Suquet (seafood stew)

2/ Mar i muntanya (meatballs and cuttlefish)

3/ Peus de porc amb espardenyes (pig’s feet with sea cucumber)

4/ Bacallà amb samfaina (salt cod with a tomato, eggplant, courgette sauce)

5/ Faves ofegades (baby beans stewed with sausage, pancetta and mint)

6/ Trinxat (cabbage with potatoes and bacon)

7/ Cap-i-pota (stewed calf’s head and feet)

8/ Escalivada (roasted aubergines, peppers and onion)

9/ Cargols a la llauna (garlic roasted snails with tomato sauce)

10/ Conill a la brasa amb all-i-oli (grilled rabbit with aioli)