Catalan cuisine

Location of Catalonia in Spain and Europe. The majority of the Catalan territory is part of the Mediterranean Basin, and its cuisine mainly belongs to the culinary tradition of this area

Catalan cuisine is the cuisine from the autonomous community of Catalonia. It may also refer to the shared cuisine of Roussillon and Andorra, the second of which has a similar cuisine to that of the neighbouring Alt Urgell and Cerdanya comarques and which is often referred to as "Catalan mountain cuisine".[1] It is considered a part of western Mediterranean cuisine.[2]

Basic ingredients

It relies heavily on ingredients popular along the Mediterranean coast, including fresh vegetables (especially tomato, garlic, eggplant (aubergine), capsicum, and artichoke), wheat products (bread, pasta), Arbequina olive oils, wines, legumes (beans, chickpeas), mushrooms, all sorts of pork preparations (sausage from Vic, ham), all sorts of cheese, poultry, lamb, and many types of fish like sardine, anchovy, tuna, and cod.[3]

The traditional Catalan cuisine is quite diverse, ranging from pork-intensive dishes cooked in the inland part of the region (Catalonia is one of the main producers of swine products in Spain) to fish-based recipes along the coast.[4]

The cuisine includes many preparations that mix sweet and savoury and stews with sauces based upon botifarra (pork sausage) and the characteristic picada (ground almonds, hazelnuts, pine nuts, etc. sometimes with garlic, herbs, biscuits).[3]

Savoury dishes

Coques, a kind of pizza
Sausage from Vic

Sauces and condiments

Calçots with Romesco sauce for dipping

Sweets and desserts

A crema catalana
A xuixo
A tray of panellets, as they are typically served


Cava wine aging

There are 11 Catalan wine-growing regions qualified by the INCAVI (The Catalan Institute of Wine): Priorat, Penedès, Catalunya, Costers del Segre, Conca de Barberà, Montsant, Alella, Tarragona, Empordà, Pla del Bages and Terra Alta.

The sparkling wine cava, made mainly in the Penedès and Anoia regions, is the Catalan equivalent to champagne. It is widely exported.

"Moscatell" (Empordà), is a sweet Catalan wine which have similar varieties in other countries such as France, Italy, Portugal, Albania, Slovenia, Greece, Romania and Turkey, as well as other regions of Spain. However, Catalan moscatell is thicker than French muscat and is not drunk before the meal (aperitiu) but after it, either with or after dessert.

Alternative views

Some Catalan authors, such as Josep Pla,[5] Jaume Fàbrega[6] or Eliana Thibaut i Comalada,[7] and others like Colman Andrews,[8] have suggested that, besides Catalonia proper, this cuisine takes in the Balearic and Valencian cuisines,[9] but this opinion is challenged as politicised, and is not widespread, nor is it supported by either the Balearic or the Valencian government,[10][11] while the Catalan government itself provides divergent points of view.[12][13] In any case, mutual ties do exist between Catalan gastronomy and other western Mediterranean gastronomies, such as Balearic cuisine, Valencian cuisine, Southern French cuisine, Aragonese cuisine or Murcian cuisine.

Chefs and restaurants

Ferran Adrià was the head chef of El Bulli

Catalan cooks and chefs are widely renowned and critically acclaimed all over the world. Three of The World's 50 Best Restaurants are in Catalonia,[14] and four restaurants have three Michelin stars. Barcelona has nine Michelin stars including Cinc Sentits[15] and has been chosen as the best gastronomical city by the American TV network MSNBC in 2009, topping the list of the ten best gastronomical cities in the world. In Province of Girona are two of the best restaurants of the world, El Celler de Can Roca, the best of the world in 2014 and 2015, and elBulli, in Roses, Girona, the best one in 2002, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2nd in 2010, before its closure, in 2011.

See also


  1. Sen, Miquel, et al, 2005, La Cuina comarca a comarca: Andorra-Cerdanya, Ciro DL. Barcelona.
  2. The New York Times, Spain: A Catalan Ole
  3. 1 2 Pujol 2009.
  4. Pujol, Anton. "The Morphing of the New Catalan Cuisine". Taylor & Francis Group(journal). doi:10.2752/175174409X456737.
  5. PLA, Josep, 1970, ‘El Que hem menjat’, Barcelona (Catalonia)) (this edition 1997 Premsa catalana); photographs by F. Català Roca were added for the edition of 1981 by Edicions Destino, Barcelona.
  6. Interview with Jaume Fàbrega
  7. THIBAUT I COMALADA, Eliana, 2001, 'La Cuina dels Països Catalans, reflex d'una societat', Editorial Pòrtic, S.A. ISBN 978-84-7306-716-4
  8. ANDREWS, Colman, Catalan cuisine pp. 3-4: "It is, to put it another way, the cooking of the region of Catalonia in northeastern Spain - and, by extension, of the historically and linguistically related països catalans or Catalan lands.."
  9. gastronomy of the Catalan-speaking Countries: Jaume Fàbrega:"Belonging to the nation of Catalans Valencians and Balearics is not just a question of a common language: it is also a way of expressing that culture at table, of a culinary culture."
  10. gastronomy from the Valencian Community
  11. Gastronomy of the Valencian Community
  12. Generalitat de Catalunya
  13. Culturcat
  14. "Spain's El Bulli named best restaurant in world". The Economic Times. India. 21 April 2009. Retrieved 30 April 2012.
  15. "ViaMichelin Barcelona Restaurants: online restaurant guide". Michelin Guide. Michelin. Retrieved 12 February 2012.


Further reading

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