When I think about the food of Spain, jamon and other cured meats come to mind immediately. Shortly followed by the freshest seafood that the Mediterranean Sea has to offer. Truth is, Spanish cuisine is about as diverse as the people who make up Spain. As a whole, this cuisine is comprised of bold flavors, locally produced ingredients and a nice touch of the peasant home cook. Naturally the climate and terrain of the land play a strong role in the food that people eat. Unlike most other places in Europe, the regions of Spain are what mostly define their cuisine. You can find a drastically different version of a simple plate like croquetas all around Spain, just dependant on where your travels took you. Today I would like to take everyone to the coastal region of Catalonia. I have been to Barcelona several times, and have yet to be let down by their culinary department. Their close proximity to the Mediterranean Sea offers many delightful treats like paella and tuna escabeche, but this region has so much more to offer the palette. Just like with the rest of Spain, cured products like embotits are highly sought after.(and not just the ham) Esqueixada is a popular light dish composed as a salad of salted cod with tomato and onion. Another really popular item is Fuet de Vic; which is a thin, dry cured pork sausage that has been aged in pork gut. Seasonal vegetables are also a main component of the Catalan cuisine. Not only are the variety of vegetables key here, but the method of cooking is equally important. Calcotada is a traditional Catalan way of eating calcots.(a variety of scallion) The calcots are charred on a grill before being wrapped tightly in newspaper to steam. This steaming allows the consumer to easily remove the charred skin. Calcotada’s are often eaten as a snack by being dipped in a house made sauce.
These are just a few examples of the boldness that Catalonian cuisine offers the rest of the world. They really can eat which ever the land has to offer, and over time, have turned some of the simplest food into some of the most sought after dishes of Spain.