Catalonia is known for its proud artisan food production, as well as its interesting and modern interpretations of traditional dishes.
Meals in the Catalan Pyrenees often include fresh vegetables, legumes, pasta, pork sausages, lamb, chicken, fish, and game.
Another tasty passion, and favourite ingredient of the entire Province of Catalonia, and especially the forests of Lleida, are the wide range of wild mushrooms.
The most popular types of mushrooms found here are: boletus, wild mushrooms, meadow mushrooms, chanterelles, elms and gomphidus.
If you’re here in Autumn, you just may want to grab a basket and go mushroom picking with the locals.
However, do be sure to go with a guide, or have someone who knows which ones are safe look at what you’ve got afterwards. Otherwise, it could be quite dangerous.
To wash down those delicious wild mushrooms, why not sample something from Catalonia’s fantastic selection of wines.
This area of Spain is known for producing lovely, light, white wines, powerful reds and fresh rosés.
However, the most highly regarded, and exported wine of the region is called Cava. It is equivalent to a Spanish version of Champagne, and is widely recognized as one of the best natural sparkling wines in the world.
Typical foods of the Catalan Pyrenees:
Verduras, setas (del bosque), trufas – Vegetables, truffles, and wild mushrooms from the forest(Rovellons or Pinatells.)
Pa amb tomàquet – Bread with an olive oil, garlic and tomato sauce on top.
Calçots – Specially cultivated onions, grilled and served as a “Calçotada”, often eaten with a romesco sauce.
Esqueixada, or Escalivada – Mixed grilled vegetables .
Arroz – Rice
Legumes – beans, lentils (lentejas), chickpeas (garbanzos)
Vedella – Veal
Carne de Caza – Game: wild boar, rabbit, partridge etc.
Embotits – A generic name for different kinds of cured pork meat, including Fuet (a characteristic type of dried sausage) and Salchichón, or Llonganissa/longaniza (salami).- xolís, xoriço (chorizo), secallona, botifarra traïdora, confitat amb llom, tupí, etc.
Girella – Lamb sausages
Serrat, formatge de tupí – Cheese
Trucha – River Trout
Foie gras – Pâtés
Caviar and sturgeon from the Val d’Aran.
Cheese and Butter from la Cerdanya, and Alt Urgell.
Allioli – A thick sauce made of garlic and olive oil, used with grilled meats or vegetables, and some dishes. Allioli means garlic (all) and (i) oil (oli) in Catalan language.
Typical Dishes of the Catalan Pyrenees:
Escudella, Putxero or Ollada – A thick soup, often made with vegetables, chickpeas, pasta and meat.
Confitat de porc -Pork preserve
Trinxat – A traditional dish made from cabbage, potatoes and bacon.
Coca or Coques – Savoury pastries with a pizza-like base .
Cargols amb salsa,or Cargols a la llauna – Snails cooked in a sauce and spices.
Esqueixada or “esgarrat” – Salted cod salad mixed with tomato and onion.
Mongetes amb botifarra – Beans served with pork sausage.
Pa amb tomàquet – Bread smeared with an olive oil, garlic and tomato sauce.
Sweets and Desserts of the Catalan Pyrenees:
Crema Catalana – A famous yellow cream dessert, like custard, with a solid burnt sugar layer on top, sometimes served with biscuits.
Mel i mató – A dessert of mató cheese served with honey, and sometimes with walnuts (nueces.)
Sweet coques – a sweet, pizza-shaped pastry.
Peres de LLeida – A typical dessert from Lleida, made of peeled pears, cooked in a kind of lighter crema catalana, served cold, covered by meringue and decorated with cherries.
Orelletes – Thin fried pastries covered with sugar and eaten at Carnival festivals.
Carquinyolis – Little crunchy almond biscuits.
Xuixos – Fried pastries, originally from Girona, stuffed with crema catalana.
There are 11 wine-growing regions in Cataloniawhich are qualified by the INCAVI (The Catalan Institute of Wine): Priorat, Penedès, Catalunya, Costers del Segre, Conca de Barberà, Montsant, Alella,Tarragona, Empordà-Costa Brava, Pla del Bages and Terra Alta.
The famous Catalan sparkling wine, called cava, is made mostly in the Penedès and Anoia regions.
It’s basically Catalonia’s equivalent to champagne.
Moscatell(Empordà), is a sweet Catalan wine which has similar varieties in other regions of Spain and in other countries as well.
Catalan Moscatell is thicker than most other kinds, and is often drunk after meals, rather than before.
Catalonia Pyrenees County and Village Guide.