Every region has its own style of cooking, influenced by its culture and history. Catalonia is located at the northeast corner of Spain surrounding the great city of Barcelona and has a great history and marvelous culinary tradition. This wonderful cookbook starts with introductory material that covers the culture and history as well as all one needs to set up a pantry with the necessary staples and tools. It also includes some make-ahead staple recipes for things such as Caramelized Onion Marmalade or Nut and Pepper Sauce. Seven sections have recipes for Little Bites; Vegetables and Beans; Paella, Rice, and Noodles; From the Sea to the Table; From the Corral; Our Friend, the Pig; and Bread and Dessert. In addition to the usual ingredients and instructions, there are paragraphs explaining when and how each is served as well as gorgeous color photos of each dish. Interspersed throughout are also special sections on things like “Our Daily Bread” and “The Vermouth Hour” to further enrich the cultural experience and asides covering “Tips for Perfect Paella” or “How to Fillet Fresh Anchovies.” Don’t miss the Paella de la Casa (House Paella) or the Coca Dolca (Sweet Catalan Flatbread). This is a must have for adventurous cooks.
Reviewed By: Rosi Hollinbeck