Indicació Geogràfica Protegida
Chickens (possibly headless) flapping and clucking along the runway amongst the aircraft: this was the image, still indelible, that popped into my head the first time I heard the name Pollastre del Prat. El Prat de Llobregat is the municipality on the Llobregat Delta where Barcelona’s El Prat airport was built, but the chickens (and capons) go way back to the area’s agricultural past (along with artichokes). Also known as Potablava (blueleg), the El Prat chicken is an autochthonous breed highly adapted to the Delta and is the only chicken in Spain to boast the blue and yellow Indicació Geogràfica Protegida (Protected Geographical Indication). This is given to products that are traditionally and at least partially manufactured (prepared, processed or produced) within the specific region and so acquire unique properties.
For the El Prat Chickens and Capons there’s a pile of highly detailed specifications about the colour and texture of feathers, feet, eyes and beak, but all you really need to know is that they are fed a diet of 80% grains and are allowed to live for a minimum of 90 days.
El Prat chickens are not the only Catalan foods with the real-deal IGP. For starters (in season) calçots from Valls. Serve your chicken with potatoes from Prades. Or just toast a doorstep of Catalan farmhouse bread (pa de pagès), rub it with real tomato, slather it with D.O P olive oil, and eat with llonganissa sausage from Vic or anchovies from Cotlliure (in French Catalonia). Wash it all down with a D.O wine like Priorat. For dessert, clementines from the Ebro or apples from Girona. And at Christmas time, turron from Agramunt.
L’informàtic is the computer guy, the tech, more often than not a shy, awkward, mumbling geek until he gets his hand on your mouse, when he instantly transforms into the quintessence of grace and zen-like concentration. And charges you a fortune for his time.
Ioga and Iogurt
Where English, Castilian and most other languages have y-, Catalan has i-. Iaia (pronounced yaya) is grandma, granny. And here’s the one that still throws me every time: iot. No prizes for guessing.