A culinary journey through Catalonia.

A culinary journey through Catalonia.

Catalonia — Spain it is not quite. In striving for the independence of the region — its largely distinct from other parts of the Iberian Peninsula history, its own Catalan language, specific national traditions, culture and even the kitchen.

So unique … Catalonia Barcelona with its Gothic Quarter and Gaudi’s creations — one of the most beautiful cities in Europe …

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Exciting views of the Costa Brava … And the legacy of the «great crazy» Dali …

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And the kitchen — unique, as well as the entire region. Of course, for many years «living together» Catalan cuisine has absorbed many Spanish features, but still in the spirit it is closer to the «neighbor» of the French, Provencal. And, besides, the Catalan chef are more prone to all sorts of experiments and new trends in culinary art.

So what is there to eat for dessert? Firstly, fresh fruit and berries (sometimes wine), fruit salads and compotes thick.

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And, of course, cheese — just like in France. Soft young cheese with fresh berries, jam or honey — a classic Catalan dessert. Fresh goat «mato» served with honey, dried fruits or nuts, but on the basis of tender curd «river» make stuffing for baking or sweet cream. In combination with the quince jam, figs, melon or watermelon — simply delicious!

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 But the region’s most famous dessert — «Catalan cream», or Catalan cream.

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For those who love creme caramel or crème brûlée, Catalan dessert may seem familiar, although some differences attentive chef notice. «Cream Catalan» prepared in different ways, using the milk, the milk and cream, the whole eggs, the yolk alone, for adding flavor vanilla, cinnamon, orange or lemon peel. Even the methods of preparation may vary — in the oven, or pan in a water bath.

Recipe dessert  «cream Catalana», which is considered a classic.

We need:

1 liter of milk
8 egg yolks
1 ¼ cup sugar
1 tbsp. spoon of starch (preferably corn)
on a stick of cinnamon and vanilla, zest of lemon and / or orange

¾ liter of milk to pour into the pan, add a cup of sugar (the rest postponed), cinnamon, vanilla, zest and cook over medium heat until boiling. Remove from the heat and give a little brew and strain. Dissolve gelatin in remaining milk, mix with the yolks, rub well. Combine the two mixtures and boil until thickened — it typically takes about 15 minutes. Pour the cream into molds and chill. In the warm cream will feel very yolk, chilled — will remain a delicate creamy taste and delicate aroma peel, vanilla and cinnamon. Before serving, sprinkle the remaining need dessert with sugar and caramelized, for example, on the grill. You can also make a caramel sauce and pour over the cream. Do the same for the Catalans this there is a special burner — which did not come up!

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The name «Rioja» heard all those who even slightly versed in the wines. The autonomous region with the same name — the most famous wine-growing region of Spain. Therefore Vine and Wine is dedicated to all — even the local cuisine.

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Favorite desserts Rioja — wine sorbet, oranges, plums, peaches and other fruits in wine or wine sauce. Even the famous Spanish marzipan then make a wine taste — very unusual turns and gently. I offer to cook pears in red wine — as is customary in Rioja (however, this dessert like in Galicia, the Basque Country and Asturias).

We need:

6 firm pears
750 ml dry red wine (of course, it is best to take Rioja)
250 ml water
cup of sugar (can substitute honey)
spices for mulled wine — cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, allspice, citrus peel, anise. All together, of course, is not necessary.
Pears peel, but leave the legs. Bottom fetuses cut to pears can stand exactly. In a saucepan, mix the wine with water, sugar and spices and cook until sugar is dissolved. Place the pears in the pan — it is desirable to immerse themselves in the liquid. Cook over low heat for about an hour. Then remove the pears, spread out on a plate or in portions kremanki and cool. The remaining liquid can be made into sauce, continuing to cook until thick and then watering pears.

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They love fruit in wine and is located next to the Catalonia Aragon. Especially the peaches — because it is the main fruit of the region. And in general in Aragon tourists expect a lot of interesting — a mysterious ancient Zaragoza, impressive mountains with green valleys and excellent desserts!

It is here, as is commonly believed, it began production of chocolate confectionery — back in 1511 from Mexico have not won one of Saragossa monasteries brought cocoa beans with the corresponding recipe. Small chocolate factory, confectionery, and now — an important part of the culinary culture of the city. And then make excellent candied fruits and berries, including a popular cocktail cherry.

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North of Spain is much less popular with tourists compared with Catalonia, Andalusia and Valencia. And it is in vain! There are historical monuments of almost any age, fantastic beautiful views and a very interesting cuisine.

Asturias has to offer its guests the ancient Spanish church, picturesque mountains, which hide between lush green meadows and sandy beaches among the spectacular cliffs.
And yet — the hospitality of the locals, who gladly will treat traveler dishes his hearty cuisine. I am sure that especially impress you with the dessert menu — because the inhabitants of Asturias are known for their passion for sweets all over the country. Here, like biscuits «borochinos» impregnated with white wine, almond — «karbayones» — in a gentle lemon icing, puff pastry «kasadiles» with sweet nut filling and finest pancakes «friksuelos» who served with cream.

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If you add a rich assortment of confectionery and chocolate (Asturians claim that all the famous pie «Three chocolate» they come up), you can understand why all lovers of sweet just be sure to arrive in Asturias! And I have not told you about the many desserts made from apples that have become the most popular fruit in the region.

However, for apple desserts and you can go to the neighboring Basque Country — will not regret! After relaxing in the resort of San Sebastian, admiring the masterpieces of modern architecture imbued with the ideas of Bilbao and the Basque uniqueness, do not forget to try the local cuisine.

Unsubscribe from a variety of apple pie (! Are dozens of recipes, if not hundreds) of very hard, from jellies and puddings — almost impossible. Of course, apple French toast and sweet omelet (tortilla) with caramelized apples you can surprise, but do not be afraid to taste — it is very tasty!

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But perhaps the most common local (though they are loved all over the north of Spain) dessert — baked apples. They are stuffed with nuts and dried fruit, stuffed with quince jam or butter cream, whipped cream or pour melted chocolate — lots of options. One of them, I suggest you cook.

We need:

solid sour apples
prunes (can substitute raisins or dried apricots)
walnuts
honey or brown sugar
spices to taste: cinnamon, cloves, cardamom
butter
semi sweet white wine, liquor or any light
Chop the prunes are not too small pieces, soak in a small amount of wine or liquor, let it stand for about an hour. Grind nuts and spices, mixed with prunes, add honey or sugar. The stuffing should be moist but not liquid! In prepared for stuffing apples put on a small piece of butter and fill them with stuffing. Coat the apples with butter or olive oil and bake in the oven until cooked. Apples are served warm or chilled, with ice cream, whipped cream and various sauces.

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Yet another dessert that is very popular in the north of Spain. «Arrosion con leche», or «rice milk», as a complete dinner looks very unusual. This thick very sweet rice porridge with milk, served cold, liberally sprinkled with cinnamon.

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Especially popular this dish in Navarre and Cantabria, famous for its dairy products. Even if «arrosion con leche» did not impress you, that does not surprise me, it’s not a reason to refuse other desserts in these regions.

Impressive views of Cantabria

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… Perfectly complement the local sweets — unfortunately, a very high-calorie. It will be milk and cream creams and puddings, «cheesecake», reminiscent of our curd pudding and cake, very similar to the prescription cheesecake.

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Love cheesecake with cream and in Navarre — amazing region whose history was associated equally with Spain and France. Probably, in such beautiful scenery he spent his childhood and youth of the future king of France, Henry of Navarre …

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And, maybe, and amazing pastries with cherries — he loved?

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In cool and rainy Galicia (by Spanish standards, of course) — expanse for rural tourism, which contributes to the well preserved nature.

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Kitchen Galicia differs thoroughness, and relative simplicity. For dessert they serve delicious «orelyas» — layered cakes with cognac, various meringue and candied chestnuts.

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But the most famous sweet dish of the region — a magnificent cake «Santiago», named after St. James. Homeland cake is considered to be one of the most important pilgrimage centers of Catholics around the world — the city of Santiago de Compostela, the cathedral which, according to legend, the apostle is buried.

Let’s try to cook the famous cake?

We need:

250 g roasted and crushed almonds into the flour
250g icing sugar (1/4 postpone for sprinkling)
6 eggs (yolks separated from the whites)
grated zest of ½ lemon
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon brandy
butter for greasing form
flour for sprinkling

Beat the egg yolks with the sugar. Add almonds, brandy, cinnamon and lemon zest, mix well. Connect with whipped in a solid foam proteins. Pour into a mold, well missed butter and floured. Bake for about 30-40 minutes at a temperature of 160-180 degrees. Slightly cooled cake on a dish to pass. And then — the most traditional and spectacular! The surface of the cake should be sprinkled with powdered sugar, after putting a stencil with a cross of Saint James. In Galicia buy a stencil — not a problem, but we’ll have to cut it or themselves, or to dispense with traditional decorations. On the palate it is, as you might imagine, does not affect!

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Cake «Santiago» — the completion of a good travel «sweet» in Spain.

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