12 Barcelona Dishes for a Merc with the Most Authentic Flavors

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Mercy Festival They deserve lunch and/or dinner in style. And what better way than to pay tribute to Barcelona’s patron saint with some of these city-born cuisine,

To do so, we’ve turned to Nuria Bouguena, who explained (almost) all the secrets of these expansions. Few people know more about the subject: a graduate in the humanities, she conducts research on the development and history of cooking, she wrote ‘Cuiner i Mainzer a Barcelona (1850–1900)’ and ‘De l’Antiga Roma a la Teva’ Books have been written. cuina’, among others, and Professor of Culinary Heritage, is a lecturer and curator of popular culinary exhibitions.

So all you have to do is choose which of the 12 Barcelona Dishes You are going to sink your teeth these days. Bon appetit and enjoy the holidays!

1. Bomb

A lid containing the place and date of birth: in La Cova Fumada, Barcelona, ​​1955. This was the work of Grandma Maria, the grandmother of the current owners of the business. “The first version had meat with pine nuts.” Magi, father, had a lot of fun selling them. ‘Alioli’ and hot sauce with oil and cayenne pepper and… the rest is the secret. double batter? An Andalusian fry? Who knows. “One day, a neighbor named Enrique tried it and said: ‘It’s the bomb.’


2. Zarzuela

A festive dish that began to be served in the late 19th century, when restaurants opened in Barcelona. Zarzuela was a very popular musical genre back then because it was fun, and that is why they gave this name to the dish, which they considered good as zarzuela. In the ‘Fondes de Sisos’ (establishments that are considered the forerunners of the city’s current popular restoration and which serve an abundance of traditional dishes at great prices) they prepared zarzuelas in three acts: one portion of king shrimp, two Mussels and a squid. Fry with all the oil, onions, tomatoes, salt, pepper; A small and nice juice. And with humor he summoned Zarzuela with the Lobster Opera.


3. Monkfish Soup

Another very Barcelona creation. And in this case is popular because it was eaten in many homes in the city. Therefore, there are some variations in the recipe: you can prepare the fish raw and make ‘fumate’, or make ‘fumate’ with grated sofrito and chopped almonds and garlic. You can also add bread and bring to a boil in the pot, or boil rice and add in shredded monkfish (usually made from monkfish heads).


4. Barcelona-style sea bream

María Mestre de Ichague (Bilbao, 1877–Madrid, 1949), also known as Marchiones of Parabere, was a Spanish gastronome, author and businesswoman who wrote several cookbooks and culinary studies that were recognized for her great success in the war. was republished after. In one of them, ‘The Complete Kitchen’, appears Barcelona-style sea bream, cooked in a saucepan over low heat: pound of fish, chopped onions, garlic, hazelnuts, saffron and parsley, oil, Milk, salt and pepper.


5. Parelada Rice

Julie María Parellada was a Barcelona nobleman who went to eat at Suisse restaurant, and there it was customary for her to order a rice casserole with all the fish peeled, sliced ​​and boneless. The waiter, while singing the order in the kitchen, “A rice for Mr. Parellada!” Said, and over time the name was shortened until it became “a parellada”. The dish became fashionable among other customers and Suisse chef, Joan Matas, incorporated it as a star dish that spread to other restaurants in the city. According to journalist Lluís Permanyer, this dish was created around 1902. Its other names are: ‘sense feina’ (without work), ‘sense entrebancs’ (without barriers), ‘senyoret’ (they called it the popular and cheap ‘fondes de sisos’)…


6. Cannelloni

Juan Antonio (Giovanni Antonio) Ardizzi opened the Baco del Raco in 1815 (it is not clear whether it was in the Carrer de Bottas, in Plaça Nova or in the Capellans), where many suggest that the first cannelloni came from there. In 1903, French brothers Charles and Michel Pompidor opened Plaça Catalunya at number 22 to Maison Dory, where they served cannelloni as queues of people took them home. Ramon Flo founded a “pasta” company in 1898, which began manufacturing cannelloni plates (by then they were imported from France) in a factory on Borel Street in 1911, marketed under the Los Pollos brand, a name Which was replaced by El Pavo in 1914. Due to judicial warnings from some French who defended the company la Paule. Cannelloni became even more popular thanks to El Pavo plates, making their preparation cheaper, and many households began to cook them for Sant’Esteve and other special days. Later, Barcelona-style cannelloni acquired its own profile for tomato sauce and béchamel sauce.


7. Sara Cake

Sarah Cakes was created on behalf of the boyfriend of Sarah Bernhardt, an actress who starred in the city between 1883 and 1895. He wanted to give her a unique and personal cake, and the result was a Genoese sponge cake filled with butter cream and covered with crumbled almonds. Given the popularity of the cake, it has become a great base for all kinds of celebrations, as well as Easter cakes decorated with chickpeas and feathers. Monkeys, which are understood as chocolate figures, began to be sold only from the 30s of the last century.


8. Enquesadas

There are references to enquedas from the 19th century, but there are hardly any traces of them in today’s Barcelona. It is a short-crust pastry shaped like totilla cheese, powdered with icing sugar and filled with a meringue that is not as sweet as a meringue. The filling is more towards the base, so that it is more airy than above. Fortunately, there are still people who make them, such as Kusach Pastry Shop, where they have been available since their workshop opened during the first half of the 20th century. Then they were the grandparents of the current owner, Gloria Kusach, who currently grooms them with her team every Monday (and some Wednesdays too) and puts them up for sale. There are customers who go to buy them only on that day.


9. Masini Cake

Angelo Masini (1844–1926), an Italian singer nicknamed the “angelic tenor”, who performed in Liceu and Principal, was a much-loved character in Barcelona. There is even a dedicated street in the Les Corts neighborhood. The city’s pastry chef wanted to pay tribute to him with a three-layer sponge cake: cream, truffle (this came about in the 20th century) and burnt yolk.


10. Balls

Since the 19th century, Barcelona already has horchatries, whose owners came from the Valencian community. Some even dressed in regional costumes to sell their authenticity, such as Tio Nello, in the 7 Ports building (he was a neighbor of the restaurant and closed in 1890). Bolados were also sold there (La Colmena, in Plaça de l’Angele, still makes them): they are sugary and spongy pastries with flavors that are diluted in fresh water to give them flavor. An old-fashioned drink (given a touch of lemon juice or dried fennel) that was at the time similar to the industrial sugary soft drink of today.


11. Pajamas

Related news

Another dish, in this case a dessert, arose from the early 20th century (1951), curiously, by a mistake, when some marines of the United States Sixth Fleet ordered a Pache Melba at 7 Ports. As his pronunciation was difficult to understand, the restaurant’s manager, Paco Parellada, did not make that dessert, but instead made an interpretation based on the instructions of the military, who explained what it was like. And the result was fruit, a creation based on fruit in syrup, ice cream and cream that was inspired by Puche Melba.


12. Nougats

They arrive in Barcelona from Alicante in the mid-19th century, so they can be considered a Barcelona snack, according to Bouguena. On special dates such as Christmas, Alicante nougat sellers came from their lands to the Catalan capital and settled in the gates of wealthy houses to sell their products, such as the Portal de l’Angel and the Plaines donat in Cucurrulla. Many of them remained permanently.





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