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REGIONAL SPECIALITIES

All (or ail  in French)  Garlic. Almost two-thirds of all French garlic is grown in the Midi-Pyrénées;  the Garonne Valley, around Toulouse, is one of France's most prolific market garden regions, producing over half a million tonnes of superior quality vegetables and fruit per annum.

Anxova  Anchovies. The best are from Collioure on the French Mediterranean coast, and from Escala in Gerona province on the Costa Brava;  anchovy paste tapenade (called anchoïade), made with olive oil, garlic and basil, is spread on bread as an hors d'oeuvre.

Confit d'Oie  Preserved cooked joints of goose (usually thighs and drumsticks) set in goose fat and packed in jars.

Foie Gras  Infamous ‘luxury’ goose/duck liver product originating from the Midi-Pyrénées and Gascony. Foie gras d'oie entier is regarded as the finest.

Haricots Tarbais  Fine beans from the French town of Tarbes. Considered to be the best variety for refined cuisine.

Oli d'Avellanes  Catalan hazelhut oil. For dressing salads.

Oli d'Oliva  Olive oil. The ‘Denominación de Origen’ organic extra virgin oil, from the ancient groves in Lleida province, should be top of your list.

Mel  Honey. Of particular note are the rosemary, rhododendron and heather scented varieties from the Pyrenean foothills.

FLAVOURINGS & SAUCES

Regional Flavours
Despite the strong influence of French cuisine on Andorran gastronomy, many of the basic flavourings and sauces are Spanish in origin:
Aliño  Spanish version of vinaigrette;  made using olive oil, garlic, parsley and lemon juice or wine vinegar.

Allioli (or aïoli  in French)  Olive oil and garlic emulsified like mayonnaise, but traditionally made without egg yolks;  generally served as a very strong, thick dip.

Bolets  General Catalan term for wild mushrooms (called setas  in Spanish) which feature heavily in Andorran cooking, seasonally fresh or dried. Groups of friends and family can be seen scouring woodlands collecting them in the Autumn.

Fruita Seca  Nuts and dried fruit. Nuts are found in many Pyrenean recipes:  the most popular are avellanes (hazelnuts), ametlles (almonds), pinyons (pine nuts) and castanyas (sweet chestnuts).

Picada  Finely ground hazelnuts, garlic, breadcrumbs, saffron, wine, olive oil and sometimes even a little chocolate;  mixed into meatballs (albóndigas) as a flavouring, or used in meat dishes as a base for gravy.

Salsa Romesco  The classic Catalan sauce. Tomatoes, garlic, paprika, parsley, olive oil, ground hazelnuts and almonds, breadcrumbs, salt and vinegar are reduced to use as a flavouring ingredient, or served thick and creamy as a dip.
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