Eating “slowly” and locally is no longer a trend, but a mainstream way of life for many in Barcelona. That means buying locally grown food and eating traditional Catalan dishes that are in season. Not only does “slow food” support the environment and the communities, but Catalan food tastes incredible too! So how can you eat locally in Barcelona in the winter? Read on to explore delicious foods and dishes in season from January through March.
Local Supermarket Food in Catalunya
One way to eat locally is to consume KM0 foods, which come from producers less than 100 kilometers away. Try the pears from Lleida or crispy apples from Girona. Or, load up on healthy veggies like carrots and celery from Baix Llobregat or crisp lettuce from Villadecans. For seafood, try the freshest dorada (bream) and lenguado (sole), all fished from the Mediterranean Sea.
Winter Dishes to Warm You Up
Calçots is a sweet and tender green onion, in season from November to April. They’re cooked over a flaming barbecue grill until the outer layer is blackened. Then, you peel off the layer and dip the onion in a tomato-based sauce, like salvitxada or romesco. Raise the calçot above your head so it’s vertical, then you eat up as much as you can chew. It’s a fun Catalan ritual to do with friends!
Mandonguilles amb Sipia
Because of the varying landscapes surrounding Barcelona, the Catalan people created dishes called mar i muntanya, or “surf and turf” dishes. The mandonguilles amb sipia is a warm dish of meatballs and cuttlefish, simmered together. It’s a rich and flavorful dish that gets the best of both worlds!
Butifarra amb mongetes
Translated as “Catalan sauce with beans”, butifarra amb mongetes are made with just a few ingredients. The butifarra is a Catalan sausage made with pork, garlic, pepper, and other spices. It melds well with the Catalan ganxet bean, which has a delicate flavor and buttery texture. Together, they make a savory dish as its topped with olive oil, salt, garlic, and fresh parsley.
Suquet de peix
Suquet de peix is a fish stew with a medley of different seafood textures and flavors. Historically, local fisherman used up the leftover fish at the end of the day to create this suquet. Every recipe is different, but it often includes monkfish, shrimp, or even mussels. It has the perfect cold-weather broth to slurp up afterward!
A rural Catalan beef stew from the Middle Ages, fricandó is tender beef fillets with tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, garlic, and red wine. It’s slow-cooled as it becomes layered with flavors. Technically, mushroom season is in the fall, but dried mushrooms such as moixerons (St George’s mushroom) and cama-secs (Scotch bonnet) can be used.
So where can you find local dishes in Barcelona? Join us on any of our Barcelona food walking tours, and you can sample seasonal dishes from Catalunya and learn about the history behind the tastings!
Have you tried any of these winter-y dishes in Barcelona? Let us know what you thought in the comments!
Words by Justine Ancheta for Eye On Food Tours