The territory

The Empordanet

Come and enjoy the Empordà

The Empordà petit or the Empordanet, names that Josep Pla used when referring to the Baix Empordà region, is, effectively a small region, but one that is greatly humanised with a great diversity of landscapes, caressed by the Garbí wind from the south-west and lashed by the Tramuntana from the north. 

 

Mountainous landscapes such as the southern crestline of the majestic Montgrí Massif, the Gavarres mountains that delimit the region to the west, the mountains of the Cape of Begur and of the coastline between Calella and Palamós and the Cadiretes mountains that close the region to the south, beyond the Vall d’Aro.

On the plain, a whole host of small hills add colour as well as being home to villages and towns.

The plain, which is still basically agricultural, combines fields sown with oats and barley and others full of alfalfa, sunflowers and rice fields, between the town of Pals and the banks of the River Ter.

There are also large plantations of fruit trees, particularly apples and peaches, olive fields with hundred-year-old trees as well as more recent ones, and old and new vineyards, small and medium allotments and a smattering of strategically placed farmhouses which take care of this agricultural production.

Some of these farmhouses have herds of cows, and they all have chickens and an area for ducks and geese, rabbits and pigs and, in a few cases, magnificent flocks of sheep and goats.

All this surrounds the small villages of mediaeval origin which still maintain all the charm of the past: Pals, Palau Sator, Peratallada, Monells, Ullastret, Llavià and so on.

Along the coastline, the villages have grown a great deal in recent decades as a result of tourism, for example L’Estartit, Calella de Palafrugell, Llafranc, Sant Antoni de Calonge and Platja d’Aro. Others which were already large, such as Palamós and Sant Feliu de Guíxols have also grown and have been transformed by the tourist activity, as well as those that are slightly inland, such as Palafrugell, Torroella de Montgrí and Calonge.

However, you can still find small maritime nuclei that are absolutely delightful: Sa Riera, Sa Tuna, Tamariu, S’Alguer and others.

This is the Empordà region.

THE PRODUCE

The cuisine and the gastronomy of this country date back hundreds of years and are the result of a whole series of influences received from the many cultures that have travelled and settled in this corridor that connects the south, the centre and the north of Europe, as well as those who have come from all the shores of the Mediterranean.

Therefore, history has shaped a traditional cuisine with a great personality based on our two basic sauces: picada (finely ground ingredients including almonds used to thicken sauces) and sofregit (finely chopped ingredients such as garlic, onion, peppers and tomatoes sautéed in olive oil) and on our own local ingredients.

Fish caught on a trawl line, fish found among the rocks, seafood, fruit and vegetables, legumes, poultry, game and meat from the animals raised on the farms inland are the basis of our dishes, cooked using DO Empordà olive oil and paired with wines with the same denomination.

Therefore, the proposals from our restaurants are mainly based on the use of local products, from the sea and from the land, carefully prepared by our chefs, who are impulsive, imaginative people, as well as professionals.

The ability to mix meat and fish with sense and meaning gives rise to one of our most emblematic, unique dishes, the so-called "mar i muntanya" (sea and mountain) which, along with suquets (fish stews), rice dishes and meat dishes, are still the basis of our gastronomic offer.

All this has meant that today, ours is still one of the most highly appreciated cuisines in the world, which we encourage you to try out and, of course, to enjoy.

  • “We are convinced that the best cuisine is always local” La substància · dins El meu País
    Josep Pla.

  • “The whole Ampurdán, it smells to tempting stoves, where they cook innocent offers of happiness. The Ampurdán is a horizon of soft hills and near villages, a human landscape, as would say Josep Pla, where in addition the chimneys smoke with smell slightly fried and elaborated well nosedive, The traveller of palate is never wrong almost in the Ampurdán …” Manuel Vázquez Montalbán

  • “It would initially seem that there is nothing riskier than putting a chicken and a crustacean, both of which have their own personality, in the same pan. When you explain this to a stranger, not to mention a foreigner, they hold up their hands in astonishment.” El que hem menjat
    Josep Pla.

  • “The identity of local people is shaped by their cuisine. It is deeply rooted in the land and marks the traditions and the tastes of those who live in it.” Rosa Regàs