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Catalan Food and culture

A Guide the Catalan people and their culture in Barcelona, Spain

Catalonia is an integral part of Spain, and the Catalans are integral to the Spanish culture. The Catalans have been instrumental is shaping the histories of the country and its surrounding territories for many years. Catalonia has evolved over a long period of time, with the energy of many generations, traditions and cultures.

The Catalan people are extremely independent and have consistently upheld a desire to be self-governed. Some if the historic events that have taken place over the centuries, bear testament to this spirit, like the Generalitat which was created in 1359 by the Cervera Corts. This institution has its own specific legal system, and works in conjunction with the Constitucions i altres drets de Catalunya (Constitutions and other laws of Catalonia). Catalonia's self-government is founded on the Constitution, Catalan food and cuisineand also on the historical rights of the Catalan people, which, in the framework of the Constitution, give rise to recognition in this Estatut of the unique position of the Generalitat.

Catalonia has many territories and is peopled by many diverse cultures. The people are considered to be a subtle race, their most prominent quality being endowed with a great deal of common sense or a pragmatic attitude towards life.

One of the defining features of Catalan culture is the ownership of large property, whether property, land or house, or livestock in the form of cattle. The families consist of big joint families, although like the rest of the world, this trend is on the way out. The Catalans in Spain enjoy the status of a nationality within themselves, and are given a certain amount of autonomy.

The language spoken by the Catalan people has been derived from the Romance language of the Iberian group. There are quite a few similarities between the Catalan language and the other Iberian languages like Spanish and Portuguese. There are many dialects in the spoken language, although the most popular is Central Catalan.

Catalan cuisine is mainly Mediterranean in nature, with liberal use of olive oil. Milk also features prominently in their diet. Traditional Catalan cuisine includes the bruschetta, a special kind of tomato bread, which is a staple in many Catalan homes. The Catalan cuisine also features very little red meat, and more of fowl and fish; one of the famous delicacies being the Escudella, a traditional fish stew. Their garlic and oil sauce, known as allioli, has become famous around the world for its unique pungent flavour.


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