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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Learn Catalan Cuisine at These Cooking Classes in Barcelona

Stand of homemade Catalan favorites, Mercat de...Image by Jen SFO-BCN via FlickrBy M Ottersen
Madrid has recently become one of the most exciting culinary destinations in Europe. But we love the cuisine of Catalonia. Just as Barcelona has unique language, art, and architecture, the food there is also fresh and original.
The sunny climate means there's wonderful produce in abundance, and plenty of Mediterranean seafood and shellfish. And, of course, plenty of good wine to accompany your meal.
One of our favorite beverages in Barcelona was sangria made with Cava, the Spanish version of Champagne. Lighter and cleaner than the traditional red wine sangria, Cava sangria is made with lemons, limes, oranges, and occasionally strawberries. It's delightfully refreshing on a hot, summer day.
Cooking is an integral part of Catalonion culture and many of their traditions are based around food and enjoying good meals. Taking cooking classes in Barcelona will acquaint you with not only the cuisine, but also the culture, which the Catalonians fiercely try to preserve.
Romans, Jews, and Arabs have all been the dominant culture at one time or another, and each has left a mark on the local cuisine. Delicious and healthy, it makes the most of local ingredients, especially seafood.

Barcelona is blessed with one of the best food markets in Europe - La Boqueria - and many of the cooking classes in Barcelona start with a visit there. It's a great place to gather ingredients for a feast or simple picnic lunch. And it's a fun spot to grab a churro and hot chocolate for breakfast.
One of the most popular cooking classes is taught by Cook & Taste, which has taught more than 4,000 students. They offer 3-1/2 hour classes at 11AM and 5PM every day of the week. Following a trip to the market, students learn to make traditional dishes like paella, gazpacho, tortilla Espanol, and assorted tapas. Students with more time can take a three-day advanced class.
Another good choice is Catacurian, which has general classes, as well as classes that focus on tapas, paellas, or other specific dishes. Meals are served with wine from Priorat, cava, coffee, and brandy. The cost depends on how many people sign up.
GotoLearn offers both half and full-day classes from their school near the Placa San Jaume. Because classes are limited to a dozen participants, students receive personal attention.
Travelers staying in an apartment with a kitchen in Barcelona can call CatalanCooking. They'll come to your apartment and give you a cooking class there. Classes can be taught in English, German, or French, and you can choose from several three-course menus.
Find cooking classes in Florence, or Rome.

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