9 Barcelona dishes you must try if yoy visit our city
Barcelona is not only enjoyed with the eyes, but also at the table. And it’s not just us who say this, since Catalan cuisine is the object of all kinds of recognition. Without going any further, a Catalan restaurant, El Celler de Can Roca, has been among the three bests in the world for almost a decade, according to the ranking drawn up annually by the prestigious Restaurant magazine. In addition, Barcelona has a dozen or so distinguished restaurants with one or more stars from the Michelin Guide. Hence, trying the best typical dishes of Barcelona is a compulsory subject.
1. PA AMB TOMÀQUET (Bread with Tomato)
Few dishes are as representative of Catalan cuisine as bread with tomato, perfect to accompany any lunch or dinner. Documented since the end of the 19th century, it is said that it was the Murcian immigrants who came to work on the Barcelona metro works who introduced this very simple starter. Although there is nothing that certifies this theory, it is believed that rubbing a tomato on the crumb served to reuse the stale bread from previous days. A splash of olive oil and a little salt give the ideal touch to an always appetizing treat.
2. CALÇOTS CON SALSA ROMESCO
It is a gastronomic must in winter, and especially in some municipalities south of Barcelona: for example, the town of Valls, considered the cradle of calçot. As in the previous case, it is a very simple recipe, consisting of grilled chives wrapped in newspaper to better retain heat. The outer layer of these vegetables is removed before consumption, using plastic gloves to avoid getting your hands dirty. Yes, that’s what you’re thinking: calçots are eaten without plates or cutlery. Although this is not the best plan for a romantic getaway to Barcelona, we guarantee that you will suck your fingers (literally).
But if this simple preparation is delicious, the romesco sauce with which it is accompanied is no less so. Typical of the province of Tarragona, it has tomato, fried bread, hazelnuts, garlic, chilli or pepper and olive oil.
The formula is simple: a succulent combination of aubergine, bell pepper, onion and roasted tomatoes. Escalivada is a dish of Catalan cuisine. Its name comes from the Catalan verb escalivar, which means to cook over hot coals. Dare to try it!
Bombas are one of the most irresistible tapas in the Catalan capital.
Basically, it is meatballs made from mashed potatoes and meat served with a spicy sauce. Haven’t you ordered them yet?
5. COCA (Sweet or Salty)
One of the heavyweights of Catalan gastronomy could not be missing from this list: coca. Sweet or savory, this bread dough admits an infinite number of combinations and ingredients. Among the most popular cocas, it is worth mentioning the coca de Montserrat, baked in this beautiful mountain in impossible shapes, and of course, the coca de Sant Joan, the perfect culmination in the verbenas with which the summer solstice is celebrated.
6. ARROZ NEGRO (Black Rice)
Rice dishes are one of the main dishes of the Catalan cookbook, especially in the Empordà area. And among them, the black rice stands out, a kind of seafood paella with cuttlefish ink, shellfish, tomato, onion, garlic and, sometimes, fish such as cod.
In any of the restaurants in Barcelona with sea views, you can taste this specialty. An equally recommended variant is the fideuà, which is prepared with thick noodles.
7. MEL I MATÓ (Honey and Mato’s Chesse)
It is very simple to prepare, since it consists of covering a little cottage cheese or fresh cheese with honey (and if you want, nuts). Can you think of a better option to finish your lunches and dinners with a good taste in your mouth?
8. CANELONES ROSSINI
This Christmas classic in Barcelona has its origin in Italy; specifically, its invention is attributed to the composer Gioachino Rossini, who is said to have been an accomplished chef. In the mid-nineteenth century, this recipe for pasta rolls with meat au gratin in the oven became fashionable among the Barcelona middle class.
And so to this day, consolidating itself as the star recipe for Saint Stephen’s Day, December 26 (the filling is made by reusing the meat from the stew that is served the day before). In addition, cannelloni accept many other variants: for example, replacing the meat with spinach or mushrooms, which makes this dish a great choice for vegetarians (and even vegans, if a vegetable béchamel is used).
9. CREMA CATALANA
Known in France as crème brûlée, this dessert based on milk, egg, cinnamon, vanilla, lemon zest and burnt caramel topping cannot be missing from any table. And it is that, since the 17th century, it has put the finishing touch to endless gastronomic events in Mediterranean Europe and, of course, in Catalonia.
You will repeat!