Catalonia – the capital of great food - Al Fresco Holidays

THE ONE factor that will determine whether your holiday is a success or not is the cuisine.

If the food is just a fast-food version of what you get at home, it is likely you’ll be disappointed.

Fortunately, for those traveling to the Costa Brava, and staying at Al Fresco Holiday’s fabulous Castell Montgri site, you’ll be absolutely spoiled for choice when it comes to cuisine.

Catalonia is renowned for its rice dishes. And the Costa Brava is famous for its meat and poultry.

There’s a reason that Girona Veal is so popular – because it is an absolute delight on a plate.

The rock fish, which is prepared freshly every day with a bucketload of imagination has rightly become world famous.

Tourists will also be stunned by the dizzying array of locally made sausages on offer, including butifarra which is roasted or fried with mongetes – white beans – to make a modest but tasty dish, one of the most typical in the land.

Accompanying most sausage dishes is another very traditional treat: bread with tomato with a uniquely Catalan twist – rubbing the tomato into the bread and adding olive oil and salt, then adding a slice of ham or even a whole omelette on top.

The wines in the area are magnificent too. And numerous.

Well worthy of special mention are those of El Priorato, which are thick and mild reds difficult to source outside Catalonia. El porrón or ‘glass jug’ is also very popular in the area

Of all Catalonia, Girona – just over half an hour’s drive from Castell Montgri – really has the best cuisine.

Popular dishes include turkey, goose, duck and other poultry stuffed with a mixture of pears, turnips, apples and olives…It may sound odd but it’s delicious.

It is also famous for its Christmas turkey, stuffed with sausages, butifarras, raisins and pine nuts. Game is also common in local recipes. Rabbits are prepared with fine herbs, hare with chestnuts, partridge too.

Typical local dishes like to mix flavours, never more apparent than in the little known Mar y cel (sea and heaven), which contains sausages, rabbit, shrimp and a local fish called angler and is prepared in Estartit, on the doorstep of Castell Montgri.

If you don’t find something in that little lot to whet your appetite well, there’s just no hope for your tastebuds, is there?

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