There’s a new book about Spain on store shelves and fans of food from Spain are in for a treat. A Taste of Barcelona: The History of Catalan Cooking and Eating is a new book from Rosi Song, a Spanish professor at Bryn Mawr University in Pennsylvania. To co-author is Anna Riera, a professor of food studies at Abat Oliba CEU University in Barcelona. Riera also founded the graduate program in gastronomic and oenological communication, the only program of its kind in Spain.
Song came to write the book as a result of her current research, which involves looking at regional identities in Spain, and especially in Catalonia. She soon started looking at food and began to use it as a way to look at the differences in the country and the region and, more specifically, how they are “perceived, narrated and historicized,” according to the university’s website.
In short, this book takes an up-close look at the urban and culinary development of Barcelona, starting in the Middle Ages and leading up to today. It looks at how Catalonia’s culinary prestige has grown over the years. Barcelona, for example, has been an important city since the 1700s, given its location and, notes Song, “the city has always been well supplied with food, and its residents built a strong culinary tradition enlivened by its contact with other cuisines and novel products afforded by its geographic location and the people who migrated to the area,” according to rowman.com.