One of the many joys of life in Catalonia is packing up a picnic basket and driving to an idyllic spot to lunch in the countryside. Blessed with a Mediterranean climate, and positioned in the northeast of the Iberian peninsula, visitors and locals alike are able to picnic all year round in most parts of Catalonia.
For our suggested itineraries for the archaeology tours of Barcelona and Catalonia, the full day tours can include lunch in selected restaurants, or an option for a specially prepared, gourmet Catalan picnic.
For the picnics, we prepare and provide typical, fresh, and delicious local delicacies, selected by us from our local market and shops. Some of the cuisine includes:
Pa amb tomàquet (bread with tomato)
The cornerstone of any self-respecting Catalan picnic is pa amb tomàquet (Catalan for bread with tomato), made at the picnic. Here, we get a slice of bread, sprinkle it with salt, cut a tomato in half across the middle and rub on the bread until only the skin is left which is discarded, leaving you with a tomato-soaked slice of bread which is then drizzled with olive oil. Simple, but a wonderful accompaniment and ritual to the picnic.
Escalivada (grilled vegetables)
Escalivada is one of the key techniques of traditional Catalan cuisine. Here, vegetables such as aubergine, sweet pepper, onion, garlic, and tomato are grilled (traditionally over embers) whole and with skin on. These are cooled, peeled, and served. Again, a simple but delicious dish.
Embotits (cured meats and sausages)
There are a bewildering array of Catalan cured meats and sausages. We select two types of embotits that are prepared with traditional methods and do not contain modern artificial colours or preservatives. We also select a high quality Spanish cured ham, again without modern preservatives.
When people think of Catalonia, cheese does not usually come to mind. But, Catalonia actually has the most varieties of cheeses in Spain, and over the past number of years there is a growing revival of artisanal cheeses. For our Catalan picnic we pick three cheeses, including a local goats cheese made in our neighbourhood in Vilanova i la Geltrú at La Formatgeria del Garraf.
Vi i Cava (wine and Cava)
For a wine to accompany a Catalan gourmet picnic, we are of course spoiled for choice with an abundance of high quality, local organic wines. We will pair a wine with the food, but we can also provide any wine that may be your preference.
For dessert, we like to finish the picnic off with a local organic Cava (Catalan Champagne), accompanied by chocolates from our local chocolate shop – Cornet in Vilanova i la Geltrú – that we reckon makes some of the best chocolates in Catalonia!
We can prepare the picnics based on any special requests, along with any dietary requirements or restrictions, including vegetarian and vegan options. For the wine and Cava selection, we like to use wines from our favourite Penedès vineyards, but you can order any local wine or Cava that you may wish to try.