Barcelona’s Mediterranean character is reflected in the traditional tolerance in human relations, in the lively atmosphere of local markets and in the rich Catalan gastronomy.
Catalan cuisine provides a rich range of typical dishes, with fish stews such as suquets and zarzuela, as well as dishes such as escudella and calçotada. Pa amb tomàquet — bread smeared with olive oil and tomato — is typical in Catalonia and accompanies many meat and cold-meat dishes, as well as being used for sandwiches (entrepans). Allioli (from the Catalan “all-i-oli”, meaning “garlic and oil”), and romesco are the most characteristic sauces within Catalan cuisine.
Of particular note are the varieties of sausage produced in the county of Osona, especially the fuet from Vic.
Catalonia is also renowned for its great winemaking tradition. The areas with denomination of origin, such as Penedès, Alella, Priorat or Segre produce a wide range of wines and cavas. The Penedès area is noteworthy, with the leading producers and exporters of the most highly regarded wines and cavas being family firms such as Torres, Freixenet, Codorníu, Segura Viudas and Gramona, amongst others.
Catalonia has a wide range of restaurants with typical dishes from all regions of Spain, as well as international cuisine. Whilst Barcelona is the city with the largest number and widest variety of restaurants, the most famous and highly regarded restaurants, with Michelin stars, are:
“El Bulli” owned by Ferran Adrià (accredited as the best chef in the world) in Rosas, Girona
“Sant Pau” owned by Carme Ruscalleda in Sant Pol de Mar.
“Can Fabes” owned by Santi Santamaría, located in Sant Celoni.