Authentic products; an infinite number of flavours
The gastronomic experience reaches very high levels in the Ebro Delta. To the great variety and quality of its products, we must add the hands of an artist when preparing the dishes. Each season brings its products that are pampered and combined to obtain different tastes and nuances. The rice dishes, of course, are the star of Delta cuisine and, in addition to the classic and delicious paella, you must try the rice from the galleys, with artichokes, the “arrossejat”, the rice with cabbage and beans …
What a great adventure for the senses is to let yourself be carried away by the intense flavours of fish such as eel, in “xapadillo” or in sauce; or give yourself a bowl of elver. The sea is inspiring and offers us some tasty “land” mussels, freshly caught seafood, gilthead bream, sole and sea bass; clams, cockles…
Let the people of the Delta tell you what each dish is like and how best to eat it. Try the black pudding with rice and the wild duck cooked with rice or roast. But, above all, let yourself be carried away by the authenticity of this cuisine and its products.
Baby eel or elver is one of the most exquisite products of the delta. It is fished on the coldest days of the winter, when the young eels begin their journey to the sea where they will eventually develop. The fresh water courses facing the sea are the best place to catch them, where the so-called “bussons“, the system used in the Delta, are installed. It used to be considered a poor meal because of its abundance; today it has become an exclusive, highly appreciated and expensive dish.
Rice is the basis of the delta’s cuisine and its cultivation occupies half of the territory. There are different varieties, one of the most appreciated being the bomba, which has a round grain and is always loose; the marisma, which is very suitable for making brothy rice, and the carneroli which is used for risotto … In the delta there are also important initiatives regarding organic rice, which is increasing the amount of cultivated area.
The orchard, and to a lesser extent citrus fruits, are the others traditional crop in the delta. In winter the artichokes and broad beans are the queens of the kitchen; while in summer everything is ready to make preserved tomatoes to be used the rest of the year. And to mitigate the heat, melons and watermelons. Autumn is the time for some of the most characteristic fruits of the delta such as jujubes, persimmons and quinces. There is also a great tradition in the elaboration of angel hair jam, made with the very abundant pumpkins at the end of summer the summer months.
Sweets are an essential part of the Terres de l’Ebre gastronomy. To the traditional “pastissets” of angel hair jam or sweet potato, we have added the fillings of jam, cottage cheese and chocolate. There is also a great variety of “cócs“, from the “quick one”, the “scalded one”, the “imperial one” (with cream and angel hair jam) to the “massana” one made with a kind of native apple that is somewhat acidic and only available in summer. The “panoli” are festive sweets, covered with sugar and cinnamon. At Christmas you can taste the “paracotes” filled with dried figs and battered.