One of Europe’s most underrated culinary destinations, Barcelona, is home to a variety of unique delicacies. As the capital of the Iberian Peninsula’s Principality of Catalonia, Barcelona cuisine is chock-full of the finest gourmet dishes and beverages that hail from Catalan culinary tradition.
Not only are these culinary offerings incredibly delicious with elaborate presentation, they also tend to be packed with fruits and veggies. As such, Barcelona is the perfect gastronomical destination for anybody seeking to tantalize their taste buds on a Celebrity cruise.
Even a lifetime in Barcelona wouldn’t be enough to experience all of the amazing Spanish food the area has to offer, but these tips will help you sample an array of local delicacies, all using high quality ingredients.
No visit to Barcelona is complete without at least one tapas sampler. Tapas serve as a quick and very welcome introduction to the vast array of flavors and aromas Barcelona cuisine has to offer. The following are a few especially popular tapas dishes in the Barcelona area:
Montados: One of the simplest, yet most satisfying varieties of tapas, a montado consists of a small slice of baguette topped with fish, pork, sausage, vegetables or cheese.
Patatas: Daring tourists are encouraged to try patatas, which, despite their deceivingly bland appearance, can be incredibly spicy. This Spanish specialty consists of small white potato wedges fried in oil and served with aioli.
Tigres: Seafood enthusiasts adore Barcelona’s stuffed mussels, which are typically referred to as tigres. Even those who barely tolerate seafood may enjoy this dish, as its mussels are mixed with onion, pepper and tomato sauce before being breaded and fried.
``One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating. ``
JAMÓN: A LOCAL SPECIALTY
A dry-cured ham that is popular throughout Spain, jamón is a popular snack among Barcelona residents and tourists alike. While it may not seem like a luxury food, the quality, taste and local flavor will convince you otherwise!
Two main types of jamón are available: jamón serrano, which is made from landrace pigs, and jamón ibérico, which is made from black Iberian or cross-bred pigs.
Both varieties are very similar to prosciutto, although they are cured much longer. Many tourists make a point of visiting one of the city’s many specialty shops and purchasing jamón as a souvenir; others prefer to eat it sliced thin as an appetizer.
AFTER DINNER DELIGHT: POPULAR DESSERTS IN BARCELONA
Barcelona is the perfect place to satisfy an unrelenting sweet tooth, as the region boasts a wide array of delectable desserts. Gelato and ice cream are popular on hot summer afternoons, but the discerning foodie must seek out local treats that are difficult to find elsewhere.
Xuixo (which hails from the city of Girona, but is also popular in Barcelona) is a Catalan favorite that consists of a deep-fried cylindrical pastry chock full of crema catalana.
Although xuixo is the perfect treat to cap off a delicious round of tapas, this delectable pastry is also an excellent option for a sweet and surprisingly hearty breakfast.
Xuixo is available all year round, but seasonal desserts also abound in Barcelona; those who visit during All Saints Day are encouraged to eat at least a few panellets — local cookies made primarily of marzipan and frequently covered in pine nuts.
COUNT ON CAVA
Although great wine, beer and hard liquor is plentiful in Barcelona, the region’s number one alcoholic beverage is cava. The Spanish version of champagne, cava is a delicious sparkling wine served at weddings, birthday parties and baptisms. This unique beverage is also frequently consumed on a casual basis — no occasion is too small for cava! Lighter than a typical glass of wine, cava is a great option for an impromptu picnic lunch.
One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating. – Luciano Pavarotti
Cava can be paired with a variety of delicacies, but it is especially satisfying when consumed alongside a fruit and cheese platter. The drink also compliments heavier meals, such as chorizo grilled cheese sandwiches or bocadilla rolls stuffed with fish or Serrano ham. An excellent dessert beverage, cava is especially refreshing alongside pastries and gourmet chocolates.
From tapas to xuixo, Barcelona has no shortage of mouthwatering culinary traditions. The food lover averse to the overly sophisticated dishes of other European cities will adore Barcelona cuisine, as it is simultaneously refined and unpretentious.
Grab a tapas platter and a glass of cava and get ready to enjoy an amazing meal!