This blog post was originally posted on October 9, 2014, and was updated on October 27, 2017.
Spain is huge in the culinary world! However, each region, city, and every town boasts their own specialties!
You can enjoy truly authentic foods that you may not find anywhere else in the country no matter where you are. Traditional foods in Barcelona include fideuà, paella’s noodle cousin and crema catalana, the ancestor of creme brulée. This list could go on for days! However, here is a brief introduction to some of the most typical and also traditional foods in Barcelona.
Escudella d’Olla, a hearty Catalan stew, is something you will most typically find between October and May. Two courses make up this traditional dish. The first, a broth and then the varying solid ingredients. These can include anything from different vegetables and pasta and of course, lots of meat. Botifarra, or Catalan sausage, and botifarra negre, blood sausage, are also common in this savory dish that will warm your body and soul.
If escudella d’olla is a dish reserved for the cooler days of the year, then esqueixada would be its warm weather opposite. It is also often referred to as the Catalan ceviche. This refreshing salad consists of bacalao, or salt cod, with peppers, tomatoes, onions, and olives. Furthermore, you can often find it topped with the delicious nutty romesco sauce.
Suquet de Peix
Seafood obviously plays a huge role in the traditional foods of Barcelona. Therefore, it’s no surprise that a Catalan favorite is the suquet de peix, a potato-based seafood stew. It can be made with a wide variety of fish, really whatever is found daily at the market, mixed up with some garlic and oil to finish!
A lot of people come to Barcelona without realizing that, for the locals, paella is often sidelined next to its noodle version, the fideuà. A good fideuà comes in just one variety however! A delicious mix of seafood, including cuttlefish, prawns and other seafood delights. Enjoy it with some freshly made alioli, a thick garlic, and olive oil sauce, and you won’t go wrong.
One of the most famous dishes of the region also happens to be one of the simplest. Escalivada, which comes from the verb escalivar, which means to roast on ashes. This is a smoky vegetable dish usually consisting of eggplant and bell peppers. Furthermore, it is sometimes accompanied by onions, tomatoes and garlic. People eat escalivada as a tapa, or sometimes also as a relish for other savory bites of fish or meat.
As far as desserts go, Catalonia has various mouthwatering specialties. One of them is crema catalana, a custard dessert similar to creme brulée but not without its differences. Unlike the vanilla flavor traditional of the French custard, crema catalana is a bit lighter with citrus and cinnamon flavours. Many people debate on which came first, but there’s really no need! Crema catalan recipes began appearing in Catalan cookbooks in the 14th century. Whereas creme brulée made its debut in French ones in the 17th.
Mel i Mato
A dessert even non-dessert people will like. Mel i mato is exactly what it sounds like. A Catalan for honey and also Mato cheese, a fresh, unsalted soft cheese, topped with walnuts. It makes for a simple, not to mention, delicious and healthy end to a meal.
Check out many of these dishes and more traditional Catalan favorites in the video below!
Want to take your Catalan food experience to the next level? In our exclusive online experience, Trace the Origins of Catalan Experience, Devour Barcelona guide Hannah will introduce you to a medieval Catalan cookbook and show you how to create one of its dishes for yourself!