Pa de Sant Jordi Recipe

Sant Jordi is one of the most eagerly awaited days on the Catalan calendar. This year the great literary event has officially been postponed to 23rdJuly, yet as we explain in our article here, you can still celebrate this much-loved event from home on 23rdApril.

So whilst at home this Thursday why not try your hand at baking one of our favourite Sant Jordi recipes? What better way to enjoy your favourite books than with the smell of freshly baked bread floating through your home?

We’d like to share with you the recipe for Pa de Sant Jordi (Sant Jordi bread), which was first made 25 years ago by a baker in Barcelona. Normally sold in bakeries across the region, with this traditional yet simple recipe that even the youngest members of the family can help with, you can recreate the colours of the senyera (the Catalan flag) at home. Enjoy!

Ingredients

500 g of strong flour
– 80 g of grated emmental or Parmesan cheese
– 80 g of Mallorcan sobrasada sausage 

– 40 g of walnuts or mixed nuts
– 8 g of yeast
350 ml of lukewarm water
– 2 tablespoons of olive oil or butter
– 1 teaspoon of salt
– 1 teaspoon of sugar

Method

Please note: Remember to wash your hands thoroughly and any work surfaces before starting to bake.

Finely chop the nuts and put them to one side. Take the Mallorcan sobrasada out of the fridge.

Next measure out 350 ml of lukewarm water. Add the yeast and stir making sure there are no lumps.

Measure out the flour and add it to a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the middle and add the water and yeast, the salt and the olive oil.

Mix together and knead slowly until the dough no longer sticks to your hands or to the side of the bowl. If necessary add more flour. Cover the dough with a cloth and put it aside for 30 minutes. 

Next, divide the dough into three equal parts – one for each of the flavours.

Add the room temperature Mallorcan sobrasada sausage to one, the cheese to another and the chopped nuts to the final part. Mix each section of the dough together with its ingredient and knead well for ten minutes. Cover with a cloth and leave them to rest for one hour.

Now it’s time to shape the bread. Shape four strips of sobrasada mix and five of strips of cheese mix. With the nuts mix make one longer and thicker strip, which will act as the frame of the flag. Stick the strips together in the form of the Catalan flag using wet fingers if necessary.

In a pre-heated oven at 190 degrees, cook the bread for around 45 minutes. It’s really important not to open the oven during this time to ensure the bread rises properly

Once the bread is golden brown, take it out of the oven and let cool on a rack.

Serve with your favourite book!

We hope you enjoy your Pa de Sant Jordi from home this year!

PA-DE-SANT-JORDI RECIPE

Travel to Barcelona 2020: Facing Trying Times

Hello From Barcelona,

One year ago Mercedes took this picture of me on the terrace of our lovely Ferran Batik apartment in sunny Barcelona. Little did we know at the time, that today there would be no travel to Barcelona, or anywhere else, and I would be writing this message from the cocoon of our home as we follow the rule book of a new world: instructions to stay home, maintain social distances, etc. In short, everything that all visitors to Barcelona used to like doing is now verboten.

Read more
Dolphins in Barcelona during quarantine

Dolphins take advantage of lockdown in Barcelona to swim in one of the city’s ports

The quarantine is generating a whole parade of animals that can be seen in places where until a few days ago it was unimaginable.

 

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A new date for Sant Jordi 2020!

A new date has been announced for Sant Jordi 2020. This year, given the current circumstances, the official Booksellers Guild and Florists Guild of Catalonia have decided to postpone this eagerly awaited event on the Catalan calendar in line with Government guidelines. 

Sant Jordi – which is normally celebrated every year on World Book Day on 23rdApril – will be postponed to 23rdJuly with the safety of all in mind. All events, workshops and readings will also be postponed to this date, in addition to the Sant Jordi discount on books.

Why is Sant Jordi so important?

If you’ve had the chance to experience this day in Barcelona before, you’ll understand just how important it is. It is a day on which the young and old alike take to the streets to buy their loved ones a gift. All the main streets of Barcelona are lined with bookstalls and on every corner you’ll find rose sellers selling single roses. 

The origin of this literary celebration is a popular story in many cultures and is based on the story of Sant Jordi and the dragon. To read more about its history and how it’s celebrated, check out our Sant Jordi article here.

Sant Jordi at home

Lovers of Sant Jordi don’t despair! The good news is that you don’t need to wait until July to celebrate this wonderful event. Sant Jordi can also be celebrated from home!

This year, Casa Batlló is encouraging the citizens of Barcelona to bring the magic of Sant Jordi into their own homes. Every year on this day, this beautiful Gaudí house inspired by the mythical dragon is normally adorned with hundreds of red roses. 

So, be sure to follow the #SantJordialBalcons (SantJordiBalconies) initiative on social media and join in from home by decorating your own balcony with pictures, roses, dragons and book covers. Avoid boredom by getting creative and painting, drawing and making together with your loved ones.

Remember to upload your pictures to social media with the above hash tag. The ten publications with the most likes will win a collection of children’s books. 

What’s more, another way to rediscover the story of the princess and the dragon is to head to your balcony, window or terrace at 12 pm and at 6 pm next Thursday. The Booksellers Guild is encouraging everyone to read their favourite stories aloud or to listen those of their neighbour’s. What’s more, afterwards there will be an applause for our favourite local bookstores.

Supporting local booksellers

Additionally, don’t forget that although bookstores throughout the city are closed, it’s still possible to buy books online from local sellers. Thanks to the platform “LlibreriesObertes” (OpenBookstores), you can order your books and pick them up once the lockdown regulations have been lifted.

The initiative was launched in order to support these local publishers and bookstores during these times of hardship. With the objective of selling 30,000 books, these advance sales will ensure the survival of the city’s bookstores.

Check out the website here and help support Barcelona’s bookstores: https://llibreriesobertes.cat

How will you be celebrating Sant Jordi at home this year? Let us know and stay safe!

Pa amb tomàquet recipe step by step

Here is a really easy recipe to make “Pa amb tomàquet” (Catalan tomato bread), one of Catalonia’s most typical dishes!

How to do pà amb tomàquet

Ingredients:

  • Bread (If you can order Pà de Pagès (farmhouse loaf) even better)
  • Ripe tomatoes
  • Peeled garlic
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt

1) Cut the bread into slices.
2) Toast the slices
3) Rub the toast with the garlic
4) Cut the tomato in half down the middle
5) Rub the tomato into the bread

Season with oil and salt and eat immediately so that it does not soften.

It can be accompanied by cold cuts, cheese, anchovies, omelette, etc.

8 essential Catalan phrases you can’t visit Barcelona without knowing

On your next trip to Barcelona you may be thinking that you can just get by with Spanish or English, but if you really want to impress and get to know the locals, these essential Catalan words and phrases will go a long way.

Why not use your time at home over the next few weeks to brush up your language skills in one of Spain’s official languages and add some of these useful phrases to your repertoire.

Whether you’re greeting a friend, ordering food or buying souvenirs, we’ve definitely got you covered. Preparats (ready)? 

1. Bon dia (bon dee-ah) / Bona tarda (bon-ah tard-ah)

Good morning / Good afternoon 

When strolling along the streets of Barcelona, you’ll definitely hear this phrase used again and again. Put a smile on any local’s face with this common greeting (used more than “hola”). Remember, the afternoon starts around lunchtime and lasts all the way until just before dinnertime – which is around 10 pm – so don’t be surprised if someone greets you with “bona tarda” at 8 pm!

2. Si us plau (see oos plow)  & Merci (mehr-see) 

Please & thank you

If you’ve visited Barcelona several times and are familiar with the Catalan language, you’ll know has some similarities with the French language. These two phrases will go a long way during your stay, so please use them abundantly. 

With “merci”, remember to put emphasis on the first syllable “meras opposed to on the final syllable, like in French.

Note: “merci” is used a lot more than “gràcies” but please take into account is is colloquial.

3. De res (deh res) 

You’re welcome

If it makes it a little easier to remember, you can literally translate this phrase as “of nothing”. What’s more it’s just like the French (de rien) and Spanish (de nada).

4. Adéu (ah-deh-ou)

Goodbye

Whether your waving farewell to your new Catalan friends or simply saying goodbye to the owners of your new favourite restaurant, be sure to do so with a friendly and heartfelt “adéu.

5. Bon profit! (bon pro-feet) 

Bon appetit!

The Catalans are a very courteous bunch, so don’t be surprised if you get total strangers declaring “bon profit” as you tuck into your meal at a local restaurant. 

6. Quant costa – ? (kwant coh-sta)

How much is –?

The chances are during your stay at some point you’ll be buying souvenirs, tickets for the museum or a little treat for yourself. Use this phrase and simply add whatever it is you’re asking for or point and say “això” (ay-shoh), which means “this”.

7.El compte, si us plau (el com-teh see oos plow)

The bill, please.

Show off your language skills and impress your friends by asking for the bill in Catalan at the end of your meal. If you really want to blend in with the locals, try switching this phrase for “Em cobres” (um cub-ras), which literally means “charge me” and is used much more frequently by Catalans.

8. Parles anglès? (par-las ang-less)?

Do you speak English?

Whilst the majority of locals speak very good English, this polite question is sure to make you many a new friend in the city. Not only will they be impressed with your Catalan skills, they’ll be grateful you are trying to learn their language.

While we’ve got you covered for the basics, we encourage you to download a learning app or grab a dusty phrase book from your shelf and get studying for your next trip to Barcelona! 

See you soon! Ens veiem aviat!

P.S. Below is a small list of other some additional vocabulary we’re sure will come in useful!

CATALAN ENGLISH 
Bona nit Good night 
Perdó Sorry 
Esmorzar Breakfast 
Dinar Lunch
Sopar Dinner
Esquerra Left 
Dreta Right 
Obert Open 
Carrer Street 
Plaça Square