|The Catalan / Valencian cultural domain|
Catalan cuisine is the cuisine from Catalonia. It may also refer to the shared cuisine of Northern Catalonia and Andorra, the second of which has a similar cuisine to that of the neighbouring Alt Urgell and Cerdanya comarques and which is often referred to as "Catalan mountain cuisine". It is considered a part of western Mediterranean cuisine.
There are several Catalan language cookbooks from the Middle Ages that are known to modern scholars. The Llibre de Cochflor de macis), cinnamon, saffron, cloves (clauells de girofle), wine and honey. Salsa de pagó took its name from the peacock (Catalan: el paó) that it was intended to be served with, but could accompany any type of poultry, and was part of the medieval Christmas meal. Salsa mirraust (or mirausto alla catalana as it's called in the Cuoco Napoletano) was half-roasted (mi-raust) poultry that was finished in a salsa thickened with egg yolks, toasted almonds and breadcrumbs. In the version of the recipe from the 14th-century Llibre de Sent Soví , the sauce is thickened with mashed poultry liver instead of egg yolks.(1520) was one of the most influential cookbooks of Renaissance Spain. It includes several sauce recipes made with ingredients such as ginger, mace powder (
Hippocras (pimentes de clareya) was spiced wine made with cinnamon, cloves, ginger, pepper, honey and wine pressed through a manega, a pastry bag shaped cloth that was originally designed by Hippocrates to filter water.
Catalan cuisine relies heavily on ingredients popular along the Mediterranean coast, including fresh vegetables (especially tomato, garlic, eggplant (aubergine), capsicum, and artichoke), wheat products (bread, pasta), Arbequina olive oils, wines, legumes (beans, chickpeas), mushrooms (particularly wild mushrooms), nuts (pine nuts, hazelnuts and almonds), all sorts of pork preparations (sausage from Vic, ham), sheep and goats' cheese, poultry, lamb, and many types of fish like sardine, anchovy, tuna, and cod.
Traditional Catalan cuisine is quite diverse, ranging from pork-intensive dishes cooked in the inland part of the region (Catalonia is one of the main producers of swine products in Spain) to fish-based recipes along the coast. These meat and seafood elements are frequently fused together in the Catalan version of surf and turf, known as mar i muntanya. Examples include chicken with lobster (pollastre amb llagosta), chicken with crayfish (pollastre amb escarmalans), and rice with meat and seafood (arròs mar i muntanya).
The cuisine includes many preparations that mix sweet and savoury and stews with sauces based upon botifarra (pork sausage) and the characteristic picada (ground almonds, hazelnuts, pine nuts, etc. sometimes with garlic, herbs, biscuits).
There are 11 Catalan wine-growing regions qualified by the INCAVI (The Catalan Institute of Wine): Priorat, Penedès, Catalunya, Costers del Segre, Conca de Barberà, Montsant, Alella, Tarragona, Empordà, Pla del Bages and Terra Alta.
The sparkling wine cava, made mainly in the Penedès and Anoia regions, is the Catalan equivalent to champagne. It is widely exported.
"Moscatell" (Empordà), is a sweet Catalan wine which have similar varieties in other countries such as France, Italy, Portugal, Albania, Slovenia, Greece, Romania and Turkey, as well as other regions of Spain. However, Catalan moscatell is thicker than French muscat and is not drunk before the meal (aperitiu) but after it, either with or after dessert.
Some Catalan authors, such as Josep Pla, Jaume Fàbrega or Eliana Thibaut i Comalada, and others like Colman Andrews, have suggested that, besides Catalonia proper, this cuisine takes in the Balearic and Valencian cuisines, but this opinion is challenged as politicised, and is not widespread, nor is it supported by either the Balearic or the Valencian government, while the Catalan government itself provides divergent points of view. In any case, mutual ties do exist between Catalan gastronomy and other western Mediterranean gastronomies, such as Balearic cuisine, Valencian cuisine, Southern French cuisine, Aragonese cuisine or Murcian cuisine.
Catalan cooks and chefs are widely renowned and critically acclaimed all over the world. Three of The World's 50 Best Restaurants are in Catalonia, and four restaurants have three Michelin stars. The Michelin Guide Spain and Portugal 2022 edition awarded 49 restaurants across Catalonia with a total of 64 Michelin stars. Barcelona has 28 Michelin stars across 18 restaurants including Cinc Sentits and has been chosen as the best gastronomical city by the American TV network MSNBC in 2009, topping the list of the ten best gastronomical cities in the world. In Province of Girona are two of the best restaurants of the world, El Celler de Can Roca, the best of the world in 2014 and 2015, and elBulli, in Roses, the best one in 2002, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2nd in 2010, before its closure, in 2011.