Delicious Catalan Cuisine for the Barcelona Traveler CheapOair Staff September 14, 2011 Food & Drink, Interests 1 Comment So Many Options! When you think of something you must eat in Barcelona, what obviously comes to mind is paella. Though it is a prominent dish to the Spaniard culture, it originates from the region of Valencia. Since Barcelona is the capital city of Cataluña, it has been known for its savory cuisine for decades. This diverse cuisine relies heavily on fresh Mediterranean ingredients such as fresh vegetables, seafood and olive oils. Since the Catalan natives have their own language, culture and even consider their area a separate country, one should pay respect and try these delicious Catalan dishes once you’ve landed from your Barcelona flight. Pa Amb Tomaquet (Bread with Tomatoes): Start off with a simple dish if you’re a picky eater or starting your day in Barcelona. Translated to break with tomato, it literally is what the dish says. Don’t be fooled by this simple dish; your taste buds will sigh at the hint of fresh garlic and seasoned olive oil which is brushed on prior to the tomato; which is also rubbed in. Be careful calling it the bruschetta of Spain; Catalans pride themselves in this simple, yet flavorful dish. Butifarra con alubias (Sausage and Beans): The next beloved dish of the Catalan folk can be comparable to the English breakfast; minus a few hearty items. Sausage and beans may sound like an incomplete dish, but it is rooted in history as a Barcelona country folk dish. Even if you’re not a cook; recreating this dish is simple and can taste just as good as it does at a restaurant along the Mediterranean coast. The dish consists of white beans, sausage, bacon, leek, and garlic; which mixed together creates a harmonious gastronomic experience for the Barcelona tourist. Escudella i carn d’olla (Catalan meat stew): A delicious, hearty soup is the prescription to a long day of sightseeing, especially during the winter season. Join the Catalan locals by enjoying a bowl of Escudella i carn d’olla; Catalan meat stew. It was traditionally made on Thursdays and Sundays but is used today as a Christmas dinner dish. Imagine a dish slow cooking all day; a stew thick and rich in beans, turnips, ham, garlic, beef and meat which fills the air with an intoxicating scent that makes you want to lick the air. That is how good this dish is; made with love, passion and everything in the Catalan pantry. Esqueixada: With such a heavy emphasis on the use of Spanish meats, travelers forget the proximity of delicious seafood located in Barcelona. One of the most recognized delicacies is Esqueixada; a Catalan salad made of Bacalao (Salted cod), tomatoes, onions, black olives and olive oil. The word literally translates to “rip” or “tear;” which is how the dish is prepared; the cod is torn into pieces during preparation. Crema Catalana: What is a Catalan dinner without a sweet desert to send you not to your home, but to the city streets for late night dancing in Barcelona? Fulfill your sweet tooth with Crema Catalana. (Catalan Crème Brûlée) Any dish that involves the use of a blow torch at the end sounds like something worth trying. Not too sweet, nor tart; this dessert has a citrus twist on this classic French dish. Consisting of eggs, sugar, milk, corn starch, cinnamon and orange zest; these easy to find ingredients means anyone can make this at home. Granted of course, you remember the fun part of the dish; created the sprinkled surface with a blow torch which creates a crunchy, caramel top layer.