What to Eat in Catalonia

Typical about the Catalan cuisine is the combination of ingredients from the sea and the mountains

Creme Catalana

The first cookbook, written in a Roman language, is written in Catalan and is named “El Libre de Sent Sovi, which is also the oldest surviving culinary text in Catalan. It is anonymous and, like the majority of medieval cookery books, is the product of a complex process of transmission, with multiple manuscript copies and readers who have left their mark on it.

Successive cooks have recorded their own methods of preparing the dishes and recipes included, blending several culinary traditions in a single work. Since the moment of publishing this recipe collection in the 14th century, the local Catalan cuisine became an important part of the Catalan culture.

Typical about the Catalan cuisine is the combination of ingredients from the sea and the mountains, the so called Mar i Muntanya dishes (sea and mountains).

A characteristic example is shrimp combined with chicken. This is often combined in Paella, which is one of the most typical meals in Catalonia. Also very typical are cured meats, which is actually popular in whole Spain and mostly produced from the black Cerdo Iberian pig, the Spanish Chorizo. It is often used as an ingredient in Catalan dishes.

Ingredients which are often used in the Catalan kitchen are almonds, tomatoes, onions, eggplants, peppers, rice, pork, olives and olive oil, cherry, cherry-vinegar, pepper, seafood, squid ( In Catalan: Calamares), prawns and all kinds of fish.

Desserts are usually very sweet in Catalonia, and of course very delicious. Think about the well known Crème Catalana, and all kinds of Ice Cream dishes.

The Catalan cuisine is of course a little bit influenced by neighbouring regions, and the other way around. So, the well known Paella is originated in Valencia and was normally cooked with chicken. Catalonia has developed it into a Paella Mar I Muntanya dish, in which prawns were added as ingredient, or it was just cooked with different kinds of seafood. In general, the Catalan cuisine is a Mediterranean cuisine with lots of fresh and mixed vegetables, lots of fish and different kinds of seafood. You can find beside the fish and vegetables, a variety of different meats on the menus of restaurants.


The Catalans like to drinks a beer, while having dinner, which has reduced consume of wine a little bit. White wine is not typical for Catalonia, but the Catalans like to drink it. The most famous wine region in Catalonia is Penedès, where in the 4th century BC. Grapes were grown already. There is another wine region located in Priorat, around Montserrat monastery; here they are mainly produce red wines. Beside the wines from Penedès , the Cava is very popular in Catalonia. It is like a Catalan sparkling wine and is often used as aperitif. At last but not least, the number one drink in Catalonia as well as in Spain is the well known Sangria. This drink is particularly popular by the Spanish youth.

With all these original Catalan and Spanish recipes and beverages Barcelona has to offer, there is definitely something for each preference. So this is a reason to look forward already to your stay in Barcelona with all these Catalan delights. Taste the Spanish way of life.

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