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The Taste of the Costa Daurada

The Taste of the Costa Daurada

The Costa Daurada is a gastronomically privileged territory as its location and climate allow it to offer a wise combination of products from the sea and the land, to create a cuisine with a distinct Mediterranean accent. 

The basis of the Costa Daurada’s cuisine consists of the traditional ingredients of the Mediterranean diet, such as olive oil, fish and seafood, vegetables, game, and nuts (almonds and hazelnuts).

On the coast we find high quality fish and seafood from the Mediterranean. The El Serrallo neighbourhood of Tarragona, the fishing port of Cambrils and the seafront quarter of Torredembarra are just a few of the places on the Costa Daurada where you can taste delicious romescos, fish and seafood with rice or noodles, paellas and all kinds of steamed or grilled shellfish and molluscs.

Inland you can try such typical Catalan dishes as olla barrejada (a kind of meat and vegetable stew), pig’s trotters with snails, rabbit with rice, partridge casserole, or truita amb suc (juicy omelette). There is a growing choice of creative cuisine in top-class restaurants and hotels, with chefs recreating traditional dishes (both from the coast and inland) to offer new textures, flavours and aromas.

Many towns on the Costa Daurada hold annual gastronomic festivals to highlight their specialities and most characteristic products. In Baix Penedès county several towns, including Calafell, Cunit and El Vendrell, are famous for their xató (a salad of endives, anchovies, salt cod, tuna and olives with a special sauce made for this dish); in Tarragona in spring, as part of the Roman history festival, many of the city’s restaurants recreate Roman recipes (Tarraco a taula).

Other food festivals held on the Costa Daurada include Altafulla (olla or stew), Cambrils (mantis prawn), L’Espluga de Francolí (carquinyolis – a kind of sweet), L’Hospitalet de l’Infant (tuna), Salou (calamar or squid), Torredembarra (ranxets), and Ulldemolins (truita amb suc – juicy omelette).

The Wine Culture

The cultivation of the grape and winemaking are the essence of the Mediterranean and have a long tradition on the Costa Daurada. Vineyards, co-operatives and wineries are an integral part of the inland landscape. The territory produces whites, reds, rosés, cavas and dessert wines and has five distinct appellations of origin (D.O.). A large part of the Costa Daurada is included in the Cava appellation of origin.

Enotourism or ‘wine tourism’ offers a wide range of possibilities on the Costa Daurada, including visits to thematic wine centres, restaurants, wine tasting courses, and tours of the main wineries and vineyards. There is a winery and Modernist co-operative itinerary that takes in these jewels of late 19th / early 20thcentury architecture in the counties of Conca de Barberà and Alt Camp.

For more information:

Costa Daurada:

Wine Tourism brochure in English:

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NEIL STEEDMAN has been a trade journalist, copywriter, editor and proofreader for 52 years, and News & Features Editor for ‘Irish Travel Trade News’ for the past 42 years.

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