Stuff Catalans Do: Oli d’oliva and Oliveres mil.lenàries

Oli d’oliva Liquid gold… healthy Mediterranean diet… absolutely delicious. And the Catalans do no less than five Denominació d’Origen Protegida extra virgin olive oils: Les Garrigues, Siurana, Baix Ebre-Montsià, Terra Alta, and l’Empordà. Nothing more to say except the over-the-top ‘I would die without it.’ Oliveres mil.lenàries Some of the oldest olive trees in the […]

Stuff Catalans Do: Nit de Sant Joan

If you love being made to jump out of your skin while strolling peacefully through your local square, if dosing your dog with valium is your thing, or locking yourself in with all the windows closed on a hot summer night, then you will positively adore the Nit de Sant Joan – St John’s Night […]

Stuff Catalans Do: Mar i muntanya, Mató, Montserrat

Mar i muntanya ‘Sea and mountain’ is a type of dish that combines ingredients typical of mountain areas (meat, sausages, game etc) with fish and seafood, as in arrós mar i muntanya For example: pollastre amb llagosta – chicken with lobster pollastre amb escamarlans – chicken with crawfish calamars farcits de carn – squid stuffed […]

Stuff Catalans Do: Llobregat

Llobregat “The land of seven harvests” was how the agricultural area of the Delta del Llobregat (lyoobrehGATT) south-west of Barcelona was known historically, thanks to its great fertility, plentiful water and mild climate. Now, this area, the Baix (Bash = Lower) Llobregat, is mostly an ugly and cluttered sprawl given over to industrial estates and […]

Stuff Catalans Do: K

Catalans don’t really do K. It’s the 11th letter of the Catalan alphabet but is only used in words of foreign origin, from kafkià to kuwaitià. According to the rule book, the k- sound before –i and –e is represented in written Catalan by qu- as in quilogram, quilòmetre, quilovat, etc, but these weights and […]

Stuff Catalans Do: Ebre, Esqueixada, Escalivada

Ebre I knew that the Riu Ebre was Spain’s longest river. That its delta was an important wildlife reserve.  For many years I also ‘knew’ that it was the boundary between Catalonia and ‘the rest of Spain’ (Aragon to the west and the Community of Valencia to the south). Except it isn’t.  I honestly don’t […]