The Barcelona Beer Festival takes place this month with more than 300 limited-availability beers on display. In May, Lleida hosts the Snail Festival, celebrating the culinary delights of the little molluscs.
In October, the Mercat de Mercats (Market of Markets) takes place in Barcelona, bringing together food and wine producers from all over Catalonia. The gastronomic fair sees stalls arranged in front of the cathedral and a 12 Euro ticket allows you to choose four tapas from whichever stalls you like. In addition, 10 Euro gets you four small glasses of wine or cava (plus you get to keep the glass).
Some 30 market stalls, 50 local food producers, 12 of the city’s bars and restaurants and 16 wineries took part in last year’s edition. Amateur chefs should take good note of the fact that they can get great tips on how to perfect their dishes from world renowned Catalan chefs. It’s a weekend that offers the chance to discover and taste the products sold in the markets, enjoy a variety of tapas and wines and get to know much better the gastronomy of Catalonia.
It’s little wonder that Catalonia’s food is world famous. In 2014, the area has 63 Michelin stars across 53 restaurants. In addition, El Celler De Can Roca in Girona (three Michelin stars) has been named ‘Best Restaurant in the World’ by Restaurant Magazine and Chef Carme Ruscalleda is the most awarded woman in the world with seven Michelin stars. She received these for Sant Pau (Barcelona - three stars); Moments (Barcelona - two stars) and Sant Pau (Toquio - two stars).
Catalonia’s culinary tradition varies as you move from the coast to the interior, from north to south, and provides a wide range of opportunities to delight the palate. The tastes of dry-farming lands, of the sea and of the high mountains create unique experiences, both traditional and contemporary.
Produce changes with the seasons in Catalonia with mushrooms prevalent in restaurants and fairs in autumn. Winter sees the traditional calçotades and xatonades take the forefront while fresh fruit like strawberries and cherries share the stage in spring. In summer, it is the time for reaping and threshing corn, for tasting embotits and for enjoying meals beside the sea.