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The landscape on a plate
Vilanova i la Geltrú is a town traditionally linked to working the land and the sea. This is why its cuisine is based on the quality of the raw materials used in its recipes, traditional or with a modern interpretation, that can be found on the menus of many restaurants around the town.
Fish and seafood from the Vilanova i la Geltrú fish market: More than a hundred boats, loaded with fish and seafood, arrive at the market each day. This is why fish is the main ingredient in many dishes that form the basis of the local cuisine.
The best-known species stand out, such as sea bass, hake, sea bream, sole and monkfish or oily fish, like sardines and anchovies. We mustn’t forget to mention octopus, cuttlefish and squid and with regard to molluscs and crustaceans, there are langoustines, whelks and particularly the famous red prawn of Vilanova, the emblem of the town.
These varieties of fish and seafood enhance the flavour of typical dishes such as soups, suquets, alls cremats, allipebres, grilled and rice dishes and all types of ranxos mariners.
Produce from the land
Different, traditional varieties of vegetables are still cultivated in the fields of Vilanova i la Geltrú. These autochthonous agricultural products are highly regarded thanks to the promotional tasks carried out by the local farmers and restaurant owners.
The native brotons, espigalls and also the paperina cabbage are some of the most popular varieties thanks to their organoleptic properties as are angel hair endive, the undisputed star of xató de Vilanova.
Xató Salad: If there is a dish that can be considered the ambassador of Vilanova, it is xató. Xató is the name of the dish and also of the sauce. The sauce is made of toasted almonds and hazelnuts, garlic, olive oil, bread, vinegar and nyora pepper pulp, which is used to dress a salad of curly endive, cod, tuna, anchovies and Arbequina olives and black olives from Aragon.
Penedès Wine and its Cava
Vilanova i la Geltrú is located within the Penedès Designation of Origin. The winemakers of this region produce excellent wines and cavas from white (xarel·lo and malvasia) and red (tempranillo, carinyena, merlot cabernet sauvignon and sumoll) grape varieties, thanks to the undeniable unique character of its proximity to the sea and the calcareous soil of the Garraf.
The town currently has two permanent markets: mercat del Centre, located in the centre of the town and Mercat de Mar, located in the fishing quarter, next to the church of Immaculada Concepció.
These are modern and very popular markets where fresh produce from the fields and the sea arrives every day.