Barcelona preview

Spain

Thanks to the inventive cooking style of celebrity chef, Ferran Adria (known for the world-famous El Bulli restaurant), Catalan cuisine has never been more popular. Barcelona cuisine is characterized by an innate creativity that other Spanish regions lack. For example, raisins and nuts are often mixed into vegetable dishes; rabbit is combined with snails; poultry or meat is cooked with fruit. There are several specialized regional dishes, such as pan con tomate (bread with tomato and olive oil), trinxat (steamed cabbage, potatoes and bacon) and crema catalana (Catalan creme brulee) that make even Spaniards from other regions want to flock to Barcelona for a hearty meal.

To begin with, stick to classic, down-to-earth, Barcelona food that would be impossible to achieve without a handful of essential ingredients. Olive oil, garlic and tomato are the top three, so keep plenty handy in your kitchen (Try as many varieties of olive oil as you can - they are amazingly different. The markets are the best places to buy these). It is also a given that you must include the variety of amazing olives and wines to accompany any and all meals! We recommend purchasing fresh olives at your local mercat (or market) and a good vino is never hard to come by, in Barcelona.

Due to its proximity to the Mediterranean, the local cuisine includes great seafood dishes. You will also note neighboring influences …