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A Taste of Barcelona: The History of Catalan Cooking and Eating (Big City Food Biographies) by [H. Rosi Song, Anna Riera]

A Taste of Barcelona: The History of Catalan Cooking and Eating (Big City Food Biographies) Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 4 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


Barcelona is one of Spain’s most visited cities. With a culture and language unique from the rest of the country, the metropolis attracts many who are involved in some type of culinary pursuit. Song and Riera richly document the origins of Catalan cooking in this book, delving as far back as the Middle Ages up to the present. They also focus on the rise of such celebrated chefs as Ferran Adrià of the restaurant elBulli, soon to reopen as elBulli 1846. Digging deep into the history of medieval Spain, they examine Muslim influence on both Spanish food and culture, and also how French gastronomy shaped Spanish cuisine. A section on Barcelona's restaurants is included, with a glimpse at their histories and how they contribute to the overall gastronomic landscape of the city. A final chapter provides a sample of traditional Catalan dishes, along with building blocks of this style of cooking, such as allioli or garlic-olive oil sauce. Recipes include rabbit with chocolate sauce, rice with artichokes, and panellets, or Catalan marzipan sweets.Booklist

This deep dive into Catalan cuisine aims to provide a culinary history of the region and its largest metropolis, Barcelona, that isn’t typically found in guidebooks. Authors Song, a Spanish professor at Bryn Mawr, and Riera, who teaches food studies at Barcelona’s Abat Oliba University, start with some of the biggest names that put Barcelona on the map as “a gateway to a revolutionary culinary world”—particularly chef Ferran Adrià of El Bulli, known for pioneering molecular gastronomy (with dishes like 'spherical melon caviar' and 'exploding olives'). The authors track how the region’s distinctive cuisine and dining culture evolved through political takeovers and uprisings from the Middle Ages to the present, often 'adapting foreign dishes to local tastes' (such as the tomato, which was brought from Cuba in the 18th century). The book concludes with a chapter of recipes for classic 'building blocks of Catalan cooking' such as allioli (a sauce of garlic and oil) made in a mortar, and sofregit, a 'jam-like' base for many dishes made of 'diced onion, slowly cooked until caramelized.' This food biography will satisfy foodies and travel lovers looking to learn more about Catalonia’s culinary and cultural identity. ―
Publishers Weekly

Song and Riera achieve a harmonious balance between an accounting of major historical events and the story of Catalan food and cookery, thus providing a deeper understanding of Barcelona’s unique food culture . . . Overall, the authors have fashioned an informative and engaging story of the cooking and eating of Barcelona, drawing on Catalan historical cookbooks alongside an extensive collection of writings by Catalan journalists and food writers of the twentieth century. . .

Gastronomica: The Journal of Food and Culture

H. Rosi Song and Anna Riera Pi take readers on a mouth-watering journey into the culinary delights of Catalan cuisine and gastronomic history. Reading this book will make you want to pack your bags and start making restaurant reservations. If a trip to Barcelona isn’t in your books then all the authentic, Catalan recipes will do the trick. -- Maria Astrand, Founder, Photographer, and Social Media Strategist, Barcelona Food Experience

A Taste of Barcelona is a much needed deep dive into Catalan cuisine. Ranging from the Catalan kitchen’s medieval roots to its modern molecular practitioners that continue to push cooking to its very limits, this well-researched book offers readers a better understanding into exactly what makes Catalan cuisine so great. -- Jeff Koehler, author of "Spain: Recipes and Traditions"
--This text refers to the hardcover edition.

About the Author

H. Rosi Song is Professor of Spanish at Bryn Mawr College and author of Lost in Transition: Constructing Memory in Contemporary Spain (2016), and co-editor of the volumes Traces of Contamination: Unearthing Francoist Legacy in Contemporary Spanish Discourse (2005) and Towards a Cultural Archive of la Movida: Back to the Future (2013). She has published widely on contemporary Spanish culture, film and literature. Her frequent travels to Barcelona over almost two decades has have shaped her appreciation and knowledge of Catalan culture and its gastronomic traditions.

Anna Riera teaches Food Studies at Universitat Abat Oliba CEU, where she started the graduate program in Gastronomic and Oenological Communication, the first of its kind in Spain. She lectures on Food & Communication at the Universitat de Barcelona. Informed by her travels in South America, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, she has examined the close relationship between landscape and local food culture. She shared these experiences in her radio program Cuina'm in Onda Cero Catalunya (2006-08). A frequent speaker at gastronomy conferences in Spain, she is a writer for and member of the management staff of the magazine supplement Gourmets published by El Periódico de Catalunya.
--This text refers to the hardcover edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B07VKZLCH8
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (July 24, 2019)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ July 24, 2019
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 6268 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 237 pages
  • Page numbers source ISBN ‏ : ‎ 153810783X
  • Lending ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.3 out of 5 stars 4 ratings

Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed in the United States on October 1, 2019
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