Tarragona’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.
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
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.