A Catalan taster

Last night we returned home from a wonderful holiday in Valencia, Xativa and Barcelona. We had so many delicious food experiences, too many for a quick post on my return, so for now I’ll just give a taste of Barcelona where we stayed for our last couple of nights and went with friends to one of their favourite local restaurants – not a tourist place at all, just somewhere people who live there eat because we were lucky to have local guides. What I didn’t photograph but will remember for a long time was the best veal I have ever tasted, a piece of fillet lightly griddled and served simply with fried potatoes – it was wonderful. To start the meal all four of us shared this plate of embutidos y queso, mixed charcuterie and cheese, and a huge pile of toasted pan amb tomaquet, toasted bread rubbed with tomato.

 

And dessert was the Catalan speciality mel i mato, fresh cheese with honey.  There are many different versions of this dish, some of which we have here in the Languedoc as we’re next door to Catalunya. This is the individual style of presentation of the restaurant we went to that night, with very dark honey.

 

Next morning, just before we had to leave to catch the train home, we went to the local market hall – mercat in Catalan – filled with tempting fish, meat, cheese, vegetable and charcuterie stalls.

 

We were tempted to have one (or more) of everything, but we wouldn’t have been able to carry it all, so we restricted ourselves to some cured sausages and these colourful olives. They are green Sevillenca olives, stained red by the paprika added during the curing process. They’re very tasty, slightly peppery along with the flavour of the olives.

 

The green ones in the background here were a free extra given to us by the friendly woman on the stall who asked if we had olives at home and was interested when I said in my very broken Spanish that we had olive trees in our garden.

I’ll be posting more very soon about the amazing market in Valencia and some of the other delicacies we found while we were there.

9 thoughts on “A Catalan taster

  1. Wonderful to read about an obviously enjoyed and somewhat more than a gustatory holiday experience > into your memory banks🙂 ! Love those paprika stained olives!!

  2. Many years ago we lived in Castelldefels which is south of Barcelona and the mercat was fantastic, I especially remember when the octopus decided to make a break for it and legged it across the floor. They never got away. The main mercat in Barcelona is a real experience.

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