the tipycal foods en barcelona, between the sea and mountains. part II
The calçots and their sauce
Calçots are one of the most popular dishes of typical Barcelona cuisine during the coldest months of the year.
Although it should be said that it is a meal more associated with the rural world than with the city.
It will be, above all, because these long and tender spring onions need to be burned in a wood fire (wrapped in newspaper) to give them their consistency and, above all, their delicious flavor between sweet and smoky.
The calçots are dipped in this sauce, whole, and eaten with their arms raised and their mouths wide open, in a ritual that is as fun as it is delicious.
But a good calçot would be nothing without the sauce in which it is dipped: the romesco sauce. And it is not so easy to do it. Apart from being necessary several ingredients, each one requires its own preparation. These are:
- Roasted tomatoes and garlic, better if it is in a wood oven.
Bread, which may or may not be fried and which ends up being mashed with garlic.
- Dried red peppers or ñoras.
- Toasted almonds and hazelnuts, well mashed.
- Olive oil.
- Salt and pepper.
All this is crushed well to give the sauce a thick consistency. The calçots are dipped in this sauce, whole, and eaten with their arms raised and their mouths wide open, in a ritual that is as fun as it is delicious.
The stew of fish:
As in other regions of the Mediterranean, in Catalonia and in particular in Barcelona, stews based on seafood are of great importance.
Basically, the suquet de peix, or fish soup. This is a dish that has its origin in the cuisine prepared by the fishermen themselves on their boats, using whitebait fish.
That is, the fish that, due to their size or because they were very spiny, could not be sold in the markets. Potatoes and some vegetables are added to this cooking broth. The combination of all this results in a truly delicious stew.
That same fish broth is the fumet with which the seafood rice dishes are made. These are very popular in restaurants along the Barcelona coast, especially in the La Barceloneta neighbourhood.
In fact, it is rare where paellas are not made, although it should be said that this dish is more typical of the Valencian Community.
It is the tapas par excellence of the Barceloneta neighborhood and, by extension, of the city of Barcelona.
Its appearance is similar to that of a croquette, and it is filled with mashed potatoes mixed with minced meat seasoned with a sauce. The best?
Eat it when it is freshly fried, once the egg and breadcrumb batter is still crispy. The origin of this delicacy is not well known, nor what is the secret ingredient that makes it so different.