Winter treats

Winter is the time of year for soups, broths, potages and stews. Spoon dishes that warm the body and comfort the spirit with a much appreciated heartiness. In the regions of Barcelona, there are also other dishes to enjoy during the cold days of winter. Seasonal treats that will entice you with their intense flavours. Would you like to find out what they are?

Artichokes. The artichoke is a vegetable that has been cultivated in the region of Baix Llobregat for almost 100 years. The most flavoursome and tender are those from Prat de Llobregat – a claim that you can check personally if you visit the Pota Blava and Prat Artichoke Food Fair held in the town in March. Grilled, boiled, breaded, fried, roasted or stuffed, they are an excellent accompaniment to stews and vegetable dishes. However they are prepared, they are delicious!

Xató. This salad made from escarole lettuce and romesco sauce is one of the great dishes of winter. A typical speciality of the regions of Garraf and Penedès, xató is traditionally served to large gatherings, when the first frosts of winter arrive. The xatonades of Vilafranca and Vilanova i la Geltrú are obligatory stops on a gastronomic trail that includes many other attractions.

Legumes from the land. Although legumes can be eaten all year round, they are particularly popular when the temperatures drop and the days shorten. Cooked and served with vegetables, chickpeas, beans and lentils are healthy and easy to prepare starters. And the best part is that the farmers of the regions of Barcelona know how to grow them well: Vallès chickpeasAnoia chickpeas and Oristà chickpeas are very tasty local varieties that are highly sought-after in all of Catalonia, and the Ganxet bean has achieved Denomination of Origin status in Maresme, Valles Oriental and Vallès Occidental

Black truffle. We finish this brief overview with a fungus that grows underground in wet forests. The black truffle is a highly-prized gem of an ingredient for its aroma and is usually grated over food or sliced into almost transparent shavings. Between November and March, it can be bought fresh from markets in the regions of Bages, Berguedà, Osona and Anoia, and also in fairs held in the municipalities of Centelles and Olvan. The various restaurants along the Berguedà game and truffle trail are ideal places to sample this delicacy and decide which truffle dish you prefer.

More information:

Directory of local food products
Pota Blava and Prat Artichoke Food Fair
Xató Gastronomic Trail in Alt Penedès, Baix Penedès and Garraf
Gastroteca recipe finder
Truffle Food Fair in Centelles
Truffle Food Fair in Olvan