WHETHER you’re looking for a cookbook, history lesson or a travel guide, Barcelona Cult Recipes offers a bit of everything.
Inside its coffee-table-worthy hardcovers you’ll find more than 250 pages of pure Spanish inspiration, traversing everything from tapas and raciones (main dishes) to desserts, drinks and even addresses for some of the city’s best bars and restaurants.
Those lucky enough to have visited the colourful Catalonian capital will delight in being able to recreate the flavours of holidays past; think iconic dishes such as gambas
al ajillo (prawns in garlic sauce), albondigas (meatballs), patates bravas and, of course, crema Catalana.
Spanish gastronomy is stunning in its simplicity, which is why many of the recipes in this book call for fewer ingredients, but demand quality.
A recipe for pan con tomate (bread with tomato, a hallmark of Spanish breakfast cuisine), for example, requires only rustic white bread,
ripe tomatoes, garlic cloves, olive oil and salt — so sourcing the best you can find of each is what will take it from nice to next level.
As you flick though the pages, you’ll notice fish and seafood form a significant part of Barcelonian fare, with boquerones (anchovies), bacalao (cod) and gambas (prawns) some of the region’s most celebrated mainstays. Peppers, potato, paprika and artichoke also feature heavily.
While some of the ingredients may be harder to source (such as padron chillies, sea urchins, borage — a herb native to the Mediterranean, or wild boar), most are readily available, or can be substituted.
For those yet to journey to the coastal mecca, consider this a
mouth-wateringly illustrated introduction to its cultural and culinary customs, annotated with anecdotes and insights into the Spanish ways of eating, dining and drinking.
A must-have for fans of Spanish cooking, customs and culture.