Escudella d‚Olla, a hearty Catalan stew, is something you will most typically find between October and May. It is often served in two courses, first the broth and then the varying solid ingredients which can include anything from different vegetables to pasta, and of course, loads of meat. The‚ pilota,‚ which literally means ‚ball‚ in Catalan, is an enormous egg-shaped meatball, but‚ botifarra, or Catalan sausage, and‚ botifarra negre, blood sausage, are also common suspects in this‚ savory dish that will warm your body and soul.
If‚ escudella d‚olla is a dish reserved for the cooler days of the year, then‚ esqueixada‚ would be it‚s warm weather opposite. Often referred to as the Catalan ceviche, this refreshing salad consists of bacalao, or salt cod, with peppers, tomatoes, onions and olives. Vinegar and olive oil add more flavor, and you can often find it topped with the delicious nutty‚ romesco‚ sauce.
Suquet de Peix
Seafood obviously plays a huge role in the traditional foods of Barcelona, so it‚s no surprise that a Catalan favorite is the‚ suquet de peix, a potato-based seafood stew. It can be made with a wide variety of fish, really whatever is in market, and cooked up with a bit of garlic and tomato, this stuff is absolutely packed with flavor.
A lot of people come to Barcelona without realizing that, for the locals, paella is often sidelined next to its noodle version, the fideu . Like paella, fideu is made in a large, shallow panand has many different variations, though it most commonly features a handful of treats from the sea. Enjoy it with some freshly made‚ alioli, a thick garlic and olive oil creamy sauce,and you won‚t go wrong.
One of the most famous dishes‚ of the region also happens to be one of the simplest.Escalivada, which comes from the verb‚ escalivar‚ (to roast‚ on ashes), is a smoky vegetable dishusually consisting of eggplant and bell peppers, sometimes accompanied by onions, tomatoes and garlic. People eat escalivada as a tapa, or sometimes as a relish for other savory bites of fish or meat.
As far as desserts go, Catalonia has various mouthwatering specialties. One of them is crema catalana, a custard dessert similar to creme brule but not without its differences. Unlike the vanilla flavor traditional of the French custard, crema catalana is a bit lighter with citrus and cinnamon flavours. Many debate on which came first, but there‚s really no need: crema catalan recipes began appearing in Catalan cookbooks in the 14th century, whereas creme brule made its debut in French ones in the 17th.
Mel i Mato
A dessert even non-dessert people will like, mel i mato is exactly what it sounds like: Catalan forhoney and Mato cheese (a fresh, unsalted soft cheese).‚ Not overly sweet, it is also oftentopped with walnuts, making for a simple, delicious and healthy end to a meal.