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Regional Foodstuffs of the Pyrenees

REGIONAL GASTRONOMY

Traditional Mountain Fare
Regional gastronomy has too often been regarded as of secondary importance in the snowsports holiday experience. Now however, more discerning travellers are seeking to complement their time in the mountains with great meals too.
The rich diversity of European regional cuisine is nowhere more enjoyable than in the actual regions that created it, surrounded by the harvest of fresh natural ingredients that go into making it so distinctive and delicious.

With just two per cent of Andorran land suitable for cultivation, surviving the harsh high-altitude winters has always required a rustic, hearty diet which made full use of the limited range of local foodstuffs. So it is fair to say that regional cuisine here was born out of necessity; relying heavily on meat, game, a few hardy fruit and vegetable crops, together with cured and dried foodstuffs harvested and preserved during the summer and autumn. Pork, cured sausages, lamb, poultry, eggs, snails, wild boar, venison, rabbit, duck, trout, wild mushrooms, beans, nuts, berries, cheese, honey, olive oil, cabbage, spinach, onions and garlic all feature as staples in the region's traditional cuisine.
Regional Influences
This noble culinary heritage was in danger of being lost with the development and dominance of ‘international’ hotels and snack restaurants in the resorts. ‘Bland but filling’ seems to be their maxim. But, away from the standard resort fare, a renaissance of true Andorran cuisine has blossomed: a refinement of traditional, wholesome, seasonal basics has been further enhanced with techniques and ingredients assimilated from the neighbouring regions and their former colonies.

After all, Andorra's neighbours aren't exactly lacking in gastronomic pedigree: France, consistently living up to its reputation as the world's foremost provider of gourmet food and fine wines; and Spain, a country of vibrant, spicy Arabic influence and credited for introducing tomatoes, potatoes, peppers and chocolate into Europe from the Americas. This border-straddling region has certainly had the benefit of plenty of positive gastronomical influences over the centuries.
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