This week’s excursion involved traveling 2 hours outside of Zaragoza to San Carlos de La Rapita for a guided tour of their harbor and mussel and oyster farms, which would be topped off with a tasting session. Sant Carlos de La Rapita has been recognized as the gastronomic capital of “Terres de I’Ebre” (one of the seven territories of Catalonia) and is one of the biggest producers of mussels and oysters in Catalonia. This harbor is not only famous for the amount of seafood they produce but also popular for fishing and restaurants and city it borders. Fun Fact: One of its islands is a filming site for Game of Thrones!
Although I am not a huge fan of oysters and mussels, the ones tasted at the tasting session were so fresh that I couldn’t resist. The hint of saltiness in the oysters confirmed their freshness and for me came off a bit overwhelming, but the lemon wedge offered a counter balance of flavor that mad it just fine. To reinforce Spanish tradition, the tasting was accompanied with Cava, Spain’s own version of Champagne.
Following the tasting we visited a nearby restaurant where we were able to get one of Spain’s most popular dishes, and my personal favorite, Paella. Paella (name originating from the actual skillet the dish is prepared in) is an assortment of seafood compiled in a bath of rice, cooked to order and made to be shared. Paella is a very typical dish found in Spain as you move outland and can be found altered in ways to appeal to certain appeals. What makes a batch of Paella authentic varies in definition: for some, it must consists of snails, while for others it must consist of mussels and calamari. Nonetheless one thing agreed on is it is a tasty dish!