The benefits of eating local products when traveling, and some examples for preparing a gastronomic route in Catalunya by yourself. There isn’t a better way to know a land than through their food!
Do you prefer to invest your money in a good meal instead of doing paragliding? Do you have a mental list with all the restaurants that you wish to try and you’re short on time/you need more days to achieve it? When you are preparing a trip, do you normally look for information about the typical foods of the destination and some good restaurants? If you answered YES to all the questions, then it means you’re a foodie; and you feel happy when thousands of pleasant flavors explode in your mouth and you exclaim “Delicious!” while you are still chewing.
So with this post I will rise to your gourmet expectations, telling you about the benefits of eating local products when traveling, and showing you some examples of restaurants in Catalunya, a land that I know very well.
In Catalunya, a land of contrasts, located in the north-east of Spain, we practice the Mediterranean diet; it’s a balanced and healthy diet, in which our olive oil is the main ingredient to cook. We combine vegetables, legumes, and cereals, with fish, sea food and meat, without forgetting fruits, nuts, and dairy products. In addition to all of this rich food, we have excellent chefs that use local, seasonal and ecologic products and create delicious plates to please the most demanding palates.
Before I show you some examples of restaurants that follow this philosophy, I will explain the benefits of being a local foodie traveler:
1 – Eating healthier.
2 – Getting know the local cuisine.
3 – Contributing to the local economy.
4 – Reducing the ecological footprint.
For example, if a restaurant buys a tomato that was grown less than 100 km of distance from it, the CO2 emissions caused by transport are less than if the same tomato would come from farther away. In addition, if this tomato was grown in a sustainable way, the negative impact to the environment is reduced. And if you as a costumer choose a restaurant that uses local products, you contribute to the local economy. Plus, that tomato would be better for your health. Neat, isn’t it?
Let’s see some tried and true restaurants where you can get these benefits without sacrificing taste or quality.
Mas les Comelles.
This is a rural hotel located in la Vall d’en Bas (La Garrotxa), managed by Angels and Pere. She explained to us in detail how every succulent plate we ate was made. Almost all the food they use is organic and locally sourced, and the chef knows how to create an unforgettable gastronomic experience. In this article you can read more about the hotel and the surroundings.
This cozy restaurant is located in the center of Girona, the city where I was born. I like to go there with my friends to celebrate birthdays. They serve local food, like beef, and traditional dishes with an oriental touch. The desserts are tempting, so I recommend you leave some room because you can’t miss the “íssims” of Blanc, the tarte tatin or the brownie. Yummy!
This restaurant is one of my favorites in Barcelona! It’s that kind of place that you pay happily because the quality of the food and the price are in balance, and it doesn’t happen in many places in Barcelona. In addition, the service is excellent. For lunch they offer a very good economic menu. At night, you can choose the tasting menu or dishes à la carte. You can eat local, seasonal, healthy and ecological food!
This is one of the best places to taste healthy, ecological, Catalan cuisine, but with a different touch, because the chef of l’Antic Forn likes to experiment in the kitchen and he created the “Catalan sushi”. They normally change the menu depending on the market products, so I encourage you to taste the sushi of the day and some of the different types of meat cooked over hot coal. It’s located in Cervera, a town with plenty of history.
This is a family restaurant with a great service, located in an antique house in Gavà. Besides the menu, they have dishes depending on the daily market products. Mostly they use products of Baix Llobregat area where the principal ones are artichokes, asparagus, cherries, and the typical dish is chicken “pota blava”. My favorite dishes are “Escalivada” (baked pepper, aubergine, and onion with goat cheese) and chicken with pine nuts and plums. The latter reminds me of the flavor and the smell of a dish that my grandmother normally prepares.
These are only some of the restaurants that use local products in Catalunya. In this website you can check the ones that have the Slow Food certification (they certify that the food has been grown less than 100 km or 62 miles from the restaurant). It’s very important to look for information about the typical dishes and where you can try them before starting a trip.
Are you hungry after reading about these amazing restaurants? If you want to do a gastronomic trip through Catalonia and taste the local cuisine, I can help you arrange it.
There isn’t a better way to know a land than through their food!
Meanwhile, don’t miss the next articles. In the next one, Adrià will explain the negative impact of meat industry to the environment and how Barcelona has been a veg-friendly city, and even recommending some restaurants. Don’t miss it!
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