Relish Barcelona! Things to eat in Barcelona
Barcelona smells with hundreds of different products. They come from the nearby sea and mountains and – as is appropriate for the city's sailing tradition – from remote corners of the world. You can ask then 'What can I eat in Barcelona to discover its true flavour?' What Barcelona's delicacies make the city one of Europe's culinary capitals? Let's find out! Get those forks moving!
Barcelonians, who value their autonomy and independence, serve Catalan rather than Spanish cuisine! Their tables are dominated by intermingling flavours of North Africa, Middle East, France and Sicily. Despite that, for a little hunger they will serve tapas, or 'one bite' snacks, just like elsewhere in the country. The menu includes olives, slices of the local sausage called botifarra, mini-sandwiches with various toppings (e.g. dried ham jamón serrano), paamb tomàquet sandwiches - which is basically a slice of white bread sprinkled with olive oil and then rubbed with garlic and a half of a tomato, tiny fried fish, squids in batter, pieces of excellent cheese or dried beef, fried peppers or chunks of roasted potatoes. The choice is really vast! Take a seat in a typical bar, order what you like most and get carried away by the Barcelonian rhythm of life.
'And what can I have in Barcelona when I'm hungry big time?' you might ask. Fish and seafood seem the first and most obvious choice. Try cod or sea bream – just add a pinch of salt and it will amaze you with its smooth, almost velvet flavour. If you like fish soups, your options will grow, and if black colour of food does not put you off, have some rice dyed with a squid's ink. You are also going to love prawns in herbs or tomato sauce. Don't be surprised by more full-bodied dishes. Barcelonians eat quite a lot of meat – pork, beef, lamb, poultry (including ducks and guinea fowls). They are often roasted and served with garlic sauce, i.e. the popular alioli. Goulash and stews are not that rare at all. The former are made also from fish and seafood, and the most popular one is sarsuela de peix. Since Catalonia is a land of sea and mountains, on your plate you can have a piece of fish as well as meat, served together with e.g. dried or stewed fruit and mushrooms. If you put different kinds of meat, potatoes, noodles, beans, cabbage and spices into a single pot, you will get escudella, one of the most popular and nourishing Catalan soups. If you prefer lighter cuisine, try Barcelona's escalivade, a salad made from roasted or grilled vegetables, mainly aubergines and peppers.
If you fancy something sweet, you must try crema catalana. The name is not a coincidence, and your associations with the French crème brûlée – a baked dessert with cream, yolks, sugar and a hefty dose of vanilla with a layer of caramelised sugar – are spot on. When in Barcelona, don't be shy of ice cream and fruit salads. And remember that you are going to have a lot of coffee there. It is natural any time of day (and night!).
Apart from food, Barcelona's local delicacies include also beverages, particularly excellent wine. First and foremost, Catalonia is famous for Bodegas Torres. Cava, a sparkling drink considered by many a worthy rival of the French champagne, is also heldin high esteem. Naturally, you can get the popular Sangria - an alocoholic beverage made by mixing red wine, brandy or liqueur (cava will do), fruits, sugar and ice - almost everywhere you go. It is fruity and refreshing.
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