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Towards Barcelona...

Catalonia, from Collioure to Barcelona, has been successful in preserving its culture, its traditions and its own particular language. There, they use the Catalan, and not the Castilian language, and they are always ready to assert and claim their difference, their particularism.

Its cuisine offers rustic dishes that are nevertheless tasty and full of flavours. The sun seems to have dropped a little of its saffron yellow, and its spicy red... The cuisine is also a language whose "garlicky" accents have enhanced the fluid sweetness of the olive oil.

Here, I suggest a typical Catalan meal for 2 persons. However, I’ll avoid the customary “Catalan Cream” to give you instead the recipe of the genuine Spanish chocolate: El xocolata!

Garlic soup (starter)

- 2 garlic heads, peeled
- 1 egg yolk
- Olive oil
- Thyme
- 2 slices of stale bread, mixed
- Some slices of chorizo

Bring to boil half a litre of water together with the thyme and the garlic for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolk and the olive oil till they thicken.
Out of the heat, mix some garlic soup (remove the heads) till you obtain a more or less thick consistency, depending on your preference.
Add the mixed bread, add salt to taste, sprinkle the slices of chorizo and serve immediately.

Snails with sauce (main course)

- 2 dozens snails (already cooked)
- A cup of diced bacon fat
- 1 cup of small pieces of chorizo
- 1 small onion
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 tablespoon skimmed over with flour
- 1 glass of white wine
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 big tomato
- 1 glass of water

In a large stew pan, brown the thinly minced onion and garlic in some oil.
Add the diced bacon fat, the small pieces of chorizo, and the diced tomato. Add salt to taste.
Cook over a low heat for about 10 minutes.
Sprinkle with flour and make sure that the tomato is thoroughly crushed. Pour in the white wine and water.
Add the snails and allow to simmer for 30 minutes.
Serve with saffron-flavoured rice.

El xocolata

- 50g of a black chocolate bar
- 3 teaspoons maïzena
- 1/4 litres milk
- Sugar, depending on your preference

Thin out the maïzena in some milk.
In a saucepan, melt the chocolate, which should be cut in small pieces, or better, grated.
Add the milk gradually, then, the maïzena and the sugar.
Cook over a low heat while stirring constantly till the mixture thickens.
Eat with churros (doughnuts that can be found in the frozen food section of hypermarkets).