As the evening temperatures continue to decrease and the nights grow longer, it’s definitely time for comforting stews which promote a sense of well-being and contentment, especially since this recipe has the colours of the Catalan flag too!

Here’s a new take on an almond dish. Adding cinnamon gives a warming and comforting feeling whilst eating them. If you’d like them hot add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of chilli powder.
Take care with boiling sugar. The use of a rolling pin in the final stage allows lots of opportunities for kitchen humour!

French poet Leon-Paul Fargue described eating oysters as like ‘kissing the sea on the lips’.
Exotic, erotic by reputation….and not everybody’s tasse de thé, the sight and texture of an oyster has made many a strong man (and woman) gag. Still alive as you tip it into your mouth, might it wriggle and jiggle and wiggle inside, like the old day who swallowed a spider?

I don’t think I have been in a tapas bar from Sanlucar to Girona, Madrid to San Sebastián, which has not had this dish on their menu. It is possibly the epitome of Spanish tapas. After decades of sampling versions filled with all sorts of exciting ingredients, I have come to the conclusion that the traditional Catalan Truita de Patata is simply the best.

Fiona Sass and Cindy Guilbert have much in common. They both live in the High Vallespir….and they both have a passion for edible and medicinal weeds and wild plants.

I have been impressed by the difference in the styles and tastes of the vinegars available from the Vallespir vineyards. The latest addition to my collection of single estate vinegars is from Treloar Vineyards, which nestles into the base of Mount Canigou. It is wonderfully sweet yet savoury.

I met the wonderfully knowledgeable and enthusiastic couple who own the Vallespir’s saffron farm (Domain Casanoveas, Maureillas Las Illas) at a Goat Festival in Arles sur Tech. Their passion for farming was completely evident as they explained how they lovingly raise their crocuses. Each stem is hand-picked and carefully dried in an oven to produce wonderful golden saffron which crumbles in your hand and has such rich earthy aromas.