If something deserves as many posts in the blog, this is food. Because we all share this love for delicious recipes and the number of typical Catalan and Spanish dishes are infinite. Thus, we encourage you to continue enjoying Barcelona including all your senses, mainly taste, and recommend some traditional food that cannot wait to be tasted.
Welcoming the warmer weather and the summer, here comes ‘Orxata’. It is a refreshing beverage, made of tigernuts and sugar, which has some resemblance to milk, but is completely dairy-free. A tigernut is a root which gives a characteristic and delightful flavour to Orxata, and the best ones are said to be grown in Alboraya, València, where it originated. There is even a legend explaining how Jaume I ‘the Conqueror’, the king of the old ‘’Corona Catalano-Aragonesa’’ [introducing some Catalan history here ;)], fell instantly in love with it. When a girl offered it to him, he pronounced "Això és or, xata!" (that’s gold, cutie!), and the beverage was officially baptised. Nowadays, it is really popular among Catalunya and València, but it can also be enjoyed in other parts of Spain. With the new season, many ice-cream parlours and cafés incorporate it to their menu, but you may better go to the traditional sites where they specialise on it: where they curiously sell ‘orxata’ and ice creams on summer and ‘turrones’ during winter. [Turrón is a sweet treat usually eaten during Christmas, made of chocolate or almonds usually]. You can also drink it with ‘fartons’, a sweet pastry which some people like to dip in Orxata.


To continue in a sweet line, there are the famous "Ensaimades de Mallorca", a must when visiting the Island. Found in most bakeries in Mallorca but also around Spain, they are a pastry with a spiral shape made of sugar, flour, and eggs mainly. It commonly has "Cabell d’àngel" in the middle, a delicious paste that would be translated as "angel’s hair", maybe for its sweetness and texture. However, in reality it is composed of pumpkin and sugar. It is worth giving it a try.


Nonetheless, you may also crave typical dishes not related to desserts. Here comes a traditional and comforting Catalan dish that won’t let you indifferent: el Fricandó. It is a main course made of calf and a warm sauce, and it is usually served with mushrooms. Characterised by its tenderness, it is easily melted in your mouth and it is commonly found in countryside restaurants, in order to give you a good restoring after long walks through the mountains.


Finally, we close with the tasty "Bocata de Calamares" from Madrid, simple but tremendous. They are known as squid rolls or calamari rolls and are spotted everywhere in Madrid, so they are easy to take away during a long day visiting the city. For sure, they will keep you going as they usually come in big sizes, only to ensure you don’t miss anything out.


Hungry? We hope so! Let your inner Spanish and Catalan gourmet shine and don’t forget to discover but also savour all the places left to see. Iberian gastronomy is here to ensure your Erasmus leaves you "un buen sabor de boca" (a good taste in your mouth).

ESN Barcelona UPF Team


Photo 1: Orxata with fartons (via youvalencia.com)

Photo 2: Ensaimada de Mallorca (via viajejet.com)

Photo 3: Fricandó (via lasirena.es)

Photo 4: Bocata de Calamares (via elpais.com)