22 Sep 2020
TOURIST EXPERIENCES AND GASTRONOMY IN AUTUMN
THE MUSHROOMS, THE STARS OF TRADITIONAL SEASONAL CUISINE.
Towards the end of September, with the arrival of autumn, numerous proposals arise to be able to enjoy the chromatic spectacle that nature offers. It is an ideal excuse to get out of the house and taste the typical cuisine of the season or discover new travel experiences. It is traditional in autumn to hold numerous gastronomic shows that take advantage of the best products of the land to prepare tasty and suggestive dishes but, on this occasion, and in the current situation, a large part of these popular gastronomic shows have had to be suspended or are held in a different setting with restrictions that reduce the capacity of popular attendance that they have had in recent years.
The gastronomic tradition of Autumn brings us high quality ingredients, such as hunting, mushrooms and truffles, which make a significant difference to the dishes that have been consumed in the summer months and help to shape the cuisine of a tourist destination. In the case of Catalonia, gastronomy has positioned itself to gain worldwide recognition. A cuisine based both on the quality of its products and on the genius of its chefs. A cuisine that has achieved a harmonious combination between tradition and innovation. The gastronomic groups, spread throughout the territory, have become great ambassadors of their cuisine made with local products, where every season they provide new gastronomic experiences made with local products that can be tasted in each of their dishes.
In autumn, one of the star products of the gastronomy are the mushrooms. Reproductive organs of the mushrooms developed and one of the most emblematic and valued products of the Catalan cuisine. And not only because of its unique flavour, seasoned with grilled food or accompanying rice and meat, but also because of the beneficial effects they have on health. It is therefore not surprising that the deep tradition of mushrooms is now being joined by a growing popularity that fills the forests with amateur gatherers (hunters) and restaurants with menus dedicated to this curious product. In some places known for their mushroom production, taxes and access controls have already been established to avoid overcrowding, which this year will be even more restrictive. And it is with the arrival of the autumn season and, especially, if there has been a rather rainy end to the summer, mushroom production could become exceptional.
To experience mushrooms first-hand, we recommend a visit to the regions of OSONA and BERGUEDÀ, both in the province of Barcelona. Apart from enjoying incredible natural landscapes and places, you can also find a great variety of native species such as mushrooms (in spanish names), “senderuelas”, “robozuelo”, “negrillas”, “camagroc”, “oronjas”, “trumpets of death” or black mushrooms.
It is important to collect them with the maximum care if you want to keep finding them year after year. Experienced mushroom hunters always try to make the minimum impact on the environment, cutting the mushrooms at the base and placing them in a wicker basket to allow the spores to spread.
Some years ago, some communities started to apply restrictive or access control policies to avoid the collapse of roads and paths and situations of saturation in order to continue preserving the environment and the production of mushrooms in the area. In the autumn-winter months, restaurants also offer a menu of dishes based on mushrooms from starters to desserts and accompanied by gastronomic products related to hunting. It is a rich and diverse cuisine which also includes the well-known and popular sausages. Chestnuts are also one of the main ingredients of its dishes, together with the black truffle which, due to its scarcity and high gastronomic value, is a product that is consumed on special occasions.
As well as the gastronomy, the autumn tourist experiences to enjoy the changes of colours that nature brings is another of the attractions of the season. As the day gets shorter and the temperature is already cooler, the more refreshing activities near the sea are left out and people look for tourist experiences in the interior of the forests of Catalonia to enjoy its captivating and chromatically unsurpassed landscape.
To enjoy this environment, there are some travel IDEAS and landscape proposals:
The Montseny Nature Park already shows all its attraction during the year, but it is in autumn when the variety of its flora turns it into a sublime visual show.
2. Sierra del Catllaràs
On foot or by mountain bike, the thick forests of the Catllaràs mountain range, in the north of the Berguedà region, are particularly beautiful between September and December.
3. La Fageda d’En Jordà
One of the most spectacular places in Catalonia at this time of year. La Fageda d’En Jordà, presents the most spectacular image, with the chromatic variations of the vegetation, which ranges from green, ochre, reddish, golden and chestnut tones.
4. Virós Forest
In the Alt Pirineu Natural Park we recommend a visit to the Virós Forest, considered to be one of the most valuable in Catalonia. The brightest yellows and reds of the deciduous trees can be contrasted with the more or less dark greens of the pines and firs.
5. Els Ports Natural Park.
Of the beech forests in Catalonia’s tourist destination, the Retaule in Els Ports Natural Park is the most hidden and mysterious. The presence of beech trees in this part of the territory is so exceptional that it has been protected with the creation of the Partial Nature Reserve of Els Ports’ Beech Woods.
6. Natural Parks of Catalonia.
In a wider proposal so that visitors can enjoy nature in the middle of autumn. The tourist destination of Catalonia has a wide range of tourist routes in its different natural parks where you can enjoy activities in groups or with the family, where the proposals for routes for hiking, Nordic walking or cycling stand out.