The Begur Experience

Begur Costa Brava what to do and where to go.

Food of Catalonia

Calçots a la graella

Typical Catalan Dishes

The essence and secret of all good Catalan food lies in its sauces for fish and meat.

There are five main types of sauces: sofregit which is fried onion, tomato and garlic; samfaina which uses the sofregit as a base plus red pepper and aubergine or courgette; picada which is based on ground almonds, garlic, parsley, pine or hazel nuts, and breadcrumbs; allioli which is crushed garlic with olive oil with egg yolk added to make it into a garlic tasting mayonnaise; and romesco which is an almond, tomato, olive oil, garlic and vinegar sauce which can also be used as a salad dressing.

I have provided all of the names of the dishes in Catalan, with Castellano (Spanish) in brackets where appropriate.

Vegetarian Dishes

Pà amb tomàquet

Pa Amb Tomaquet (Pan Con Tomate): Bread rubbed with fresh

tomatoes and drizzled with oil and salt. A true Catalan staple.

Calçots a la graella

Calçots: These baby leeks are very specific to Spring – traditional parties known as ‘Calçotadas’ take place during this period. The vegetables are normally barbecued and served with Romesco Sauce (see below).

Sauce romesco and ingredients. Català: Morter ...

Romesco: A sauce made from almonds, roasted garlic, olive oil and dried red peppers.

Català: Escalivada

Escalivada: A warm side dish of grilled vegetables (normally aubergines, red peppers, onions and tomatoes) skinned and de-seeded and served with oil.

Meat Dishes

Butifarra: An uncured spiced sausage with similarities to Cumberland sausage. Used both in cooking and as a tapa with ‘pa amb tomaquet’ (see above)

Català: Botifarra fresca elaborada a Guissona.

Escudellla: Catalan stew made with pieces of meat, beans, potatoes, cabbage and sometimes pasta. It is made into three courses of food: a broth, followed by the meat course, followed by the vegetable course.


Xai Rostit Amb 12 Cabeçes d’All:Literally translated this means “Lamb Roasted with 12 Heads of Garlic” – it does what it says on the tin!

roasted lamb.

Embutidos: This is the collective name for a platter of cured meats, including fuet (pork) and jamon from the Vic region.

Pá amb Tomaquet amb Truita i amb Salmó

Fish Dishes

Arròs negre

Arròs negre owes its dark colour to squid inkArròs negre should not be confused with black rice, the collective name for several cultivars of heirloom rice that have a naturally dark color.

The traditional recipe for this dish calls for squid ink, cuttlefish or squid, white rice, garlic, green cubanelle peppers, sweet paprika, olive oil and seafoodbroth.[5] However, many cooks add other seafood as well, such as crab andshrimp, as the photo to the right suggests.

The dish’s dark color comes from squid ink which also enhances its seafood flavor.

Esqueixada, catalan cod salad Català: Esqueixa...Esqueixada: A salad made with peppers, tomatoes, onions, red wine vinegar and shredded ‘bacalao’. Bacalao is salt cod and is very typical to the region – cod preserved in salt and soaked before serving.

Fideuas: Like a seafood paella, but served with short noodles, rather than rice.

Suquet de Peix: A Seafood Stew with potatoes, garlic and tomato. A wide variety of fish can be used in the stew, depending on what has been caught that day.


Romesco: A sauce made from almonds, roasted garlic, olive oil and dried red peppers.

Sauce romesco and ingredients. Català: Morter ...

Alioli: A sauce made from garlic and olive oil. The ingredients are whipped up for a long time to make a white paste.

Salsa Alioli - Empleada como acompañamiento de...


Crema Catalana: Similar to the French Crème Brulée. It is made with sugar, egg yolks and cinnamon and burnt on the top.

Español: Crema quemada servida en Lyon (Franci...Mel I Mato: A soft, unsalted goats cheese served with honey and sometimes walnuts.

Español: Mel i MatoPanellets: Small round sweets made with almonds, sugar, eggs and pine nuts. They can be rolled in any number of coatings, but the traditional ones are rolled in pine nuts.

Typical panellests in All Saints' day.Short Summary of food and wine

Arrós Negre – Squid cooked in its own ink with rice, peas, red peppers, garlic and onion. This dish is claimed to have originated in L’Empordá in northern Catalonia but this will be disputed by Valencians. 
Allioli – emulsified olive oil and garlic
Butifara amb seques is fried white sausages with the white beans popular in Catalonia.
Bunyols de bacalla – salt cod fritters
Coca – Catalan “pizza” tart
Crema Catalana – the classic dessert of Catalonia may have been the origin of creme brulee.
Embutidos – platter of sliced sausage and meats.
Escalivada – peppers, tomato, aubergine and onion , all roasted in a little olive oil.
Fuet – sausages of dried meat.
Fideus – a “spaghetti” based dish, imagine a paella made with pasta.
Frito Mallorquin – Mallorcan liver and vegetable fry.
Gambes amb pollastre – “Mar i muntanya” – prawn and chicken (a lobster and chicken form may be found). cooked in a piccata of almonds, garlic, herbs and saffron.
Pa amb oli – olive oil drizzled bread rubbed with (optional) tomato and garlic ( Mallorca ). This speciality is spreading across Spain as a tapa.Pa amb tomaquet is the mainland Catalan version
Pato con peras – duck with pears.
Romesco sauce – red pepper sauce.
Sarsuela (or Zarsuela) – seafood stew.
Suquet – fish or seafood and vegetable stew.
Sopa d’farigoli – thyme soup
Tumbet – Mallorcan aubergine, courgette and potato fry. 
Xató – a salad of endives, anchovies and tuna (usually canned),olives and onions with a sauce of almonds or hazelnuts, garlic and ñoras. Served with small vegetable omelettes.
(Dish names vary between Castillian, Catalan and Mallorcan languages).

Typical wines to try are the rich red Priorat and the white staples from Torres, such as Vina Sol and the fruity Esmarelda. Cava is the sparkling wine of the region.
Most restaurants will stock Torres brandies in 5 or 10 year old form.
Vichy Catalan is a pungent and addictive table water


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