Catalan cuisine has Iberian, Greek, Roman and Arab roots. Actually Greeds and Romans introduced the Mediterranean trilogy ( bread, wine and oil ) and spices imported from the Indian Ocean. In the 14th century , the most prestigious creations were compiled in three recipe books: the “LLibre de Sent Soví”, the “Llibre de totes maneres de potatges” and the “LLibre d’aparellar de menjar”.
It was a sophisticated and expensive cuisine, which combines the finest local products with exotic ingredients. From the 9th to 12th centuries, Arabs accclimatised sugar cane, citrus fruits, spinach, aubergine and rice to the Mediterranean plants that originated in the Far East.
In the mid-15th century it reached Italy through Naples and Rome, from where it spread throughout Europe. Medieval cookery literature in Catalan came to an end in around 1485 with the “Llibre de Coch” by Mater Robert. In the 16th century the bean, pepper, tomato, potato, turkey and chocolate come from America, and they became everday foodstuffs.
At the beginning of the 19th century, Catalan Renaissance period, the four volumes of “La cunyera catalana” were released. Later on, in the 20th century, “La teca” by Ignasi Domènech expanded that bourgeois cuisine and “El que hem menjat”, by Josep Pla , became a staple work.
Catalan cuisine has grown spectacularly from such solid roots. Now , as in the Middle Ages, it is at the forefront of world gastronomy, reflected by the recognition of Ferran Adrià and Joan Roca as the best chefs in the world.