Reflections on Barcelona and Catalan Food. A nice surprise
A visit to Barcelona is never without surprises. And in many ways this time it was the food. There are some basic facts about eating out in Spain in general that need understanding. Mainly that food is never served as hot as it is for example in UK. Lets run through my three meals. Breakfast is the same as anywhere, but the fruit quality is the best. fresh Kiwi tasting like it had been picked a few minutes ago and Oranges that tasted like …Oranges.
Lunch was an interesting affair too. The lunch kitchens do not open until 1pm. So realistically eating till 1.30 pm is fairly complex. The Catalan specials include great meats of course but also Catalan sausage served with white beans. For dinner curiously I had a Spanish omelette which was served with bread covered in a thin layer of tomato, not tomato sauce. The story is something like this that the Catalan dishes are basically the food for the poor from 100 years ago when vegetables like tomatoes were cheap. dishes are also renowned for mixing sweet and savoury foods.
Catalan dishes rely 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).
The traditional Catalan cuisine is quite diverse, ranging from pork dishes cooked in the inland part of the region to fish recipes along the coast.