Recipe Roundup: The Cuisine of Tarragona

img_3891Tarragona’s food has everything to do with its location on the Mediterranean sea. Shellfish, a local bluefish, and a variety of other seafood make up a large portion of the local diet. The surrounding area’s soil also grows olives, many fruits and vegetables, and nuts in abundance.

Vegetables and seafood in chestnut or almond sauces aren’t unusual. Seafood paella is another traditional favorite. And at many city restaurants, breathtaking views of the ocean combine with salt-scented air to create the perfect atmosphere to savor the local cuisine.

Calçotada

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Calçots in Tarragona, via Xauxa on Wikimedia Commons

In Tarragona, Calçotada is as much a tradition as it is a dish. These small, sweet onions are harvested and grilled, then served with a savory nut-and-pepper romesco sauce. Locals are so crazy about the dish that the calçotada has become an annual outdoor BBQ ritual, not unlike our Memorial Day celebrations.

This recipe brings the flavors of Calçotada home using ingredients you shouldn’t have trouble finding in your town.

Cassola de Romesco

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Seafood with Romesco Sauce, via FineCooking.com

The most typical traditional dish in Catalonia (the region in which Tarragona is home) is cassola de romesco, a type of casserole typically made with local seafood (usually the catch of the day) and a rich nut sauce crafted from locally-grown nuts. Try this recipe with a glass of Tarragon wine for the perfect Spanish evening, no matter where you are!

For more inspiration–particularly if you want to prepare a palette of Tarragon recipes for a dinner party (or your own enjoyment!), visit TarragonaBlog.com or TarragonaTurisme.cat. You’ll find more culinary and cultural ideas than you could possibly use.

 

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