Catalan Recipe: Crema Catalana
From quick fish medleys by the sea to slow-cooked meats from the mountains, Catalonia’s cuisine is as diverse as its geography. In this series of video recipes provided by the Catalan Tourism Board, we see how staple ingredients like garlic, wine, olive oil, and tomatoes unite the region’s gastronomy. And with such a broad base, Catalan cooks have whipped up truly unique dishes through time.
A typical Catalan desert, crema catalana is the simple, artful combination of milk, eggs, cinnamon, corn flour, sugar, and citrus. The steps are minimal, just like the ingredients. After boiling the milk and sugar with orange and lemon rind, a chef must add eggs. Simply strain the cream through a chinois sleeve, then burn sprinkled sugar on top until a caramelized crust forms. Voilà! Sometimes, simplicity is the best ingredient for a timeless dish.
Try the crema catalana at the Folklife Festival! They are for sale in La Masia del Alabardero and the Catalan Café on the National Mall. If you’re in the mood for another classic Catalan desert, try the bunyols, a cinnamon sugar-covered donut.
Aidan Keys is a senior at Howard University double majoring in English and Spanish. She is currently interning with the Catalonia program of the 2018 Smithsonian Folklife Festival.