Can you typify a cuisine?

by Martin Bailey

I left the the north of England  with its multi-cultural influences and relocated to France in 2014.
I know that Asian cuisine is a big part of British culture, with its many facets; spicy, vibrant, refreshing, and unctuous. I know that France plays with point and counterpoint tastes in such dishes as the savoury confit de canard and a sweet compote de figues. I know the many flavours of Spanish tapas which I adore.

But what about Catalan cuisine?

Catalan cuisine is based on the region’s colourful historical background and reflects Spanish, Arab and Jewish influences.

Think of sun-beaten olives, fragrant garlic, white beans, a myriad of fish and seafood, simple salads, anchovies, a hunk of meat grilling on an open fire, unctuous paella and spicy sauces you’re close to typifying the dishes of this area. 

Over the next few months, I’ll be bringing you a variety of tapas and other recipes that will go down really well here in the P-O. Enjoy!


Tapas doesn’t have to be savoury.

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! 


Serves 3-4


Almond mini250ml of almonds (skinless or with skins)

Almond mini250ml caster sugar

Almond mini250ml water

Almond mini1 tsp of cinnamon 


1. Add the ingredients to a medium sized, heavy based pan.

2. Bring to the boil for 15 minutes.  During this time the water evaporates and a caramel sauce forms.  Watch the pan constantly, stirring all the time until the crystallisation point is reached. Take care because it’s easy to burn the sugar syrup.

3. Pour onto grease proof paper, separate the almonds and allow to cool.

4. Using a rolling pin bash the cooled mixture.

5. Eat.


Walnut stuffed dates

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