Eating in Sitges and keeping (very) happy in the process
A warning to surfers: you are advised not to read this article if you’re at all hungry. You're not going to enjoy yourself. Not one bit. Because today it’s our turn to talk about what great food there is in Sitges. About local produce and about an attitude and a philosophy that we identify with: Slow Food. Because every place has its own cuisine, linked to its location, its tradition and its culture. Because cuisine cannot be a standardized, homogeneous and predictable resource. Because Sitges tastes like... Sitges.
And what does Sitges taste like? Well, it tastes like local produce and recipes that have been passed down. It taste like Malvasia, a grape variety that arrived in Sitges by sea; it tastes like Sitges-style rice and the 'peruqueta' escarole used in the Xató winter salad; it tastes like octopus, shrimp and ‘Punxent’ sea snails; and it tastes like 'Espigalls' or 'Brotonera Cabbage '. All of them flavors known and promoted by Valentí Mongay, owner of the La Salseta Restaurant, one of the two establishments in Sitges (the other is La Nansa) with the great distinction of the Slow Food signature.
Mongay highlights the relationship that the Slow Food concept has with the 'Kilometer 0' concept, with local produce and, therefore, with local producers. This commitment to localizing produce guarantees, as he himself points out, that they are "good, clean – thanks to their sustainable cultivation - and fair, because the people who grow them are paid appropriately." In fact, Valentí Mongay believes that supporting local producers "is essential to provide continuity to local heritage, which also includes our food, our gastronomic vocabulary and our recipes; that's a treasure that we can't lose."
Temporality or seasonality is another of Slow Food’s key elements. That’s why, depending on the time of year you come to Sitges, the local menus change. Because the 'peruqueta' escarole (that the traditional Sitges Xató salad is made with) is tastier in winter, because 'Espigalls' are harvested from November to January and because fish is caught daily, and not brought in from a fish farm. That’s the beauty of Sitges’ cuisine and of the town itself: the best thing you could do is to let yourself be surprised. So, come, take a walk... and eat ;)