Sunday, 29 June 2014

French-Catalan or Catalan-French? - gastronomical delights in Perpignan

There are certainly no shortage of eateries in Perpignan, the second most important city of Catalonia (see my previous post on Perpignan).  Tapas bars and restaurants are everywhere to be seen, and chefs from every generation cook up a unique blend of French-Catalan cuisine.  

Every dish begins with the ingredients, and the Pyrénées offers a bounty of great and fresh produce.  Scout around the busy market for local flavours as well as an eclectic (or even exotic) mix of ingredients, from salted bacalao to dried chilli peppers.  

I was led to the legendary restaurant Casa Sansa for lunch, which was half hidden in a narrow lane, steps from the castle tower in the historic old town.  Here is an interpretation of French-Catalan dishes at its finest: fresh, full of flavours, earthy and organic, made all the more interesting with subtle addition of herbs and spices. Nothing is overpowering the freshness of the ingredients and the simplicity of its presentation.  

Very much like Barcelona or Girona, locals sit out in cafés and wine bars wherever there is empty street space.  Catalan flags fluttering in the wind, view of the castle tower, canal and plazas all make up such a pretty sight that even a painter couldn't have captured it better.  

Discover the colourful cuisine of the region here:

So is this French-Catalan or Catalan-French?

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