Typical Catalan dishes you need to try
When you visit Barcelona you might see a lot of tapas, sangria and paella on the menus, but what are the truly local dishes you need to try? There are plenty of Catalan foods to devour, and we have made a list of a few of them here:
Canelons – This pasta dish is very similar to the Italian cannelloni but has some major differences (see our blog post about them here) that distinguish it. Canelons are often eaten on Boxing Day, making use of leftovers from Christmas dinner.
Calçots – Late winter and early spring is the season for this spring onion, and it is often eaten at parties (calçotadas) dedicated to this vegetable usually prepared on the grill. The calçots are served with a romesco sauce. You can find calçots in selected restaurants in Barcelona, but only during the right season.
Escudella i carn d’olla – This dish is said to be the first documented soup to have been eaten in Europe, a Catalan writer called Francesc Eiximenis claimed that the Catalans ate it every day in the 14th century. The Escudella consists of a meat-based broth with a large meatball called a pilota, and seasonal vegetables like carrots and cabbage. During Christmas there is a similar soup served called Sopa de Galets.
Pa amb tomàquet – While it is not a dish by itself it is a staple at most restaurants in the city and in the homes of many Catalans. The name stands for bread with tomato, and although it sounds simple the preparation requires the use of specific tomatoes called “tomata de penjar” which are soft juicy tomatoes that usually hang in a bunch when they are bought. To prepare this bread you rub it with half a tomato, drizzle olive oil over it and a little salt.
Cap i Pota – The name means head and leg and it is a traditional Catalan dish that traditionally consists of offal. It is a great stew for cold winter days, and it has now had somewhat of a revival so you will be able to find it in many restaurants around the city that offers traditional local food.