Pyrénées-Orientales

Catalan cuisine

Pyrénées Orientales are a very rich agricultural land. The soil is very fertile since the Plaine du Roussillon is irrigated by 4 rivers which bring nutritive elements and the climate is warm and sunny. Roussillon is a land of orchards and a paradise for cherry trees (the earliest cherries are picked up in Céret for Easter), peach trees, apricot trees and Mediterranean vegetable such as eggplants, peppers and tomatoes. Earth produce in Pyrénées Orientales are very tasty since grown under a glorious sun.
The Vermilion coast also has an important fishing tradition particularly in Banyuls and Port Vendres renowed for their anchovies which are usually marinated and consumed as appetizers as is the simple yet very tasty 'Pan tomate' (grilled bread rubbed over with garlic and fresh tomatoe). ‘La bullinade’ is a rustic fisherman’s soup. Of course one can find all types of Meditarranean fish like seabass or gilt-head that are grilled ‘à la plancha’ served with ‘l’escalivada’ (grilled Mediterranean vegetable in olive oil).
There are many sweet recipes in the catalan cuisine and to begin with the famous ‘crème catalane’ a preparation with eggs, vanilla and brown sugar. Rousquilles are also a typical pastry and only for sugar addicts!!
 

Wines and vineyards

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In France Pyrénées Orientales are renowed for their ‘vins cuits’ (cooked wines) such as Banyuls which is an incredible vineyard clinging to the hills overlooking the Mediterranean and benefiting from one of the oldest AOC in France and Maury which is set in a wonderful and quiet valley in the foothills of the Pyrenees.

Muscat de Rivesaltes (sweet wine) is also famous and very appreciated for the ‘apéro’.

Collioure is also an AOC producing mainly powerful red wines and also rosé and white wines