Anchovies in Catalonia aren’t “some sad pizza topping” but, rather, a delicacy. They are used frequently in all kinds of recipes, and are eaten grilled, in sauces, and cured. There are even places, such as the small town of L’Escala, which hold an annual anchovy festival.
At the moment, anchovies are being served on some of the most exquisite tasting menus in the city. At Moments, at the Mandarin Oriental, Carme Ruscalleda serves toast with anchovies, strawberries and white wine.
All of the ingredients are sourced from Maresme. At Suculent, anchovies make their appearance marinated with olive oil, water, lemon, lime and orange zest. Bodega 1900, run by Albert Adrià, customers can order a gilda, a tapa made with piparra peppers and an olive-filled anchovy.
Alkimia is another restaurant helping to raise the profile of anchovies with a dish made with vermouth slush, anchovy with spices, and herb butter in an olive pastry.
In short, there are many restaurants, in Catalonia, the rest of northern Spain and beyond giving pride of place to this little fish with a big flavor, creating dishes that highlight the unique flavor of anchovies.