Flavours of autumn
A sea of riches. Langoustines, red prawns, cuttlefish and squid are some of the most sought-after riches to be found in the fish markets of Costa Barcelona. As well as being exquisite with the simplest of preparation, they are also highly prized in sea and mountain recipes. If you visit the Calamarenys food fair in Maresme, you will discover how these dishes are cooked in the region's restaurants.
Mountain paradises. The forests of Berguedà and Osona are true paradises for mushroom pickers, who delight in being able to breathe in the fresh mountain air, while they collect saffron milk-cap, black chanterelle and grey knight mushrooms, which can be added to many seasonal dishes to fill them with flavour. If you want to join them, remember that mushrooms should only be cleaned with a damp cloth – never under running water.
The roots of the earth. Autumn is the time of year for root vegetables and, in the crop fields of the interior of the regions of Barcelona, they grow in abundance. In Osona, Bufet potatoes are highly prized and, in Berguedà, Jerusalem artichokes, sweet potatoes and mountain potatoes are very popular for their sweet flavours and smoothness of texture. They can be fried, boiled, steamed, baked in the oven or in embers; added to casseroles, purees and soups; or combined with meat, fish, eggs and vegetables. However they are prepared, root vegetables are delicious and never disappoint.
Trees that keep giving. Table grapes are one of the most delicious fruits of the season, along with pomegranates, persimmons, quinces and apples. And the most traditional nut at this time of year is undoubtedly the chestnut. One of the stars of the All Saints' Festival, the custom is to roast them over an open fire and eat them with panellet biscuits, washed down with a glass of sweet wine. The chestnuts of Montseny are particularly tasty and available at the chestnut fair held in Viladrau in late October.
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