Expect the unexpected. Catalan cuisine is everything but the typical ‘Spanish fare’, especially outside the urban areas. It benefits from the region’s diverse geography and its rich history. Think of the mountains and the Mediterranean Sea. Think of the Greek influence such as wine and olive oil, and the Arab influence such as rice and citrus, and don’t forget about the Castilian conquistadors who imported tomatoes and peppers. As Catalan writer and journalist Josep Pla states: Catalan cuisine is its landscape in a dish. A few of our Catalans’ all-time favourites listed.
Pa amb tomàquet
Likely to be the most known yet simple Catalan dish is pa amb tomàquet, literally: bread with tomato. And although a similar dish can be found anywhere in Spain, the Catalans have added their very own twist to it. A crunchy slice of toast is rubbed over with a fresh clove of garlic. Subsequently a juiceful tomato is cut into half and scrubbed over the crunchy toast as well. To top it off, the easy dish is seasoned with olive oil and salt. A Perfect dish or snack for anytime during the day.
Sometimes referred to as paella negra, it is traditionally not called a paella. Arròs negre is a typical Catalan seafood rice dish that you’ll encounter mainly near the coast and consists of black rice, squid ink and cuttlefish. Within the Empordà region, the rice is slowly cooked until it is well caramelized and tastes as sweet as honey. Prawns and sometimes lobster are added for a complete arròs negre experience.
Botifarra, butifarra in Spanish, is a plain sausage of lean pork meat which you’ll find on top of the list of any Catalan gastronomist. There are several varieties from raw to grilled and from peppered to boiled in pork blood. Anyhow, a must-try when visiting the Empordà region.
Since pork meat is an important delicacy throughout Spain, we recommend another typical Catalan sausage: fuet. It received its name for a reason: the slender, cured sausage literally means ‘whip’ and is made of pork, lard, pepper and salt. Fuet is a perfect snack or tapa. Tip: Pair with some pa amb tomàquet.
Escavilar in Catalan implies something is being roasted. Escalivada therefore consists of nothing but delicious roasted vegetables: long slices of eggplant, bell peppers and onions. Always topped off with a decent amount of olive oil and salt and often served with anchovies.
This quintessential Catalan desert is another top of the list dish that you should not miss. The custard desert is Catalonia’s most typical desert and is similar to the French crème brûlée. It is a simple recipe with common ingredients such as milk, eggs, cream and vanilla, yet the sugar coating is quite a challenging part. The caramelized coating on top is heated on a steel plate until it melts, leaving a crunchy layer.
Enjoy the Catalan Cuisine at Castell d’Empordà
All salivating, right? Try some of these best flavours at restaurant Tres Margarit. The breezy restaurant offers some extraordinary tapas to share, to make sure you don’t miss out on anything. Notable is that, from here, you are offered the most stunning views of the Empordà region while enjoying the best authentic tastes.