D.O. products are usually agricultural food products that come from a specific geographical area and and owe their outstanding attributes to the region and/or a special human characteristic (expert farming, artesanal production). What’s special about this indicator is that it guarantees that the product was grown or created in the region whose name it carries. Catalunya has a number of D.O. products which are known throughout Spain for their quality.
Reus Hazelnuts (Avellana de Reus): Hazelnuts are a staple in the Catalan diet. It’s common to find them in Catalan recipes, and they are often served as a snack before lunch or for the merienda. Reus hazelnuts are available in three forms: with shell, without shell and toasted. The varieties that are grown in the D.O. region are Pauetet, Gironella, Morella, Cuplana and Negreta, the latter being the most common.
The areas that grow the famous Reus hazelnut are the comarques Baix Camp, l´Alt Camp, Tarragonés, Priorat, Conca del Barbera and Terra Alta, and commercialization takes place in the city of Reus. The marketing of these nuts has been regulated by the “lonja” of Barcelona since the 18th century, though D.O. was first recognized in 1997.
Garrigues Olive Oil (Oli de oliva les Garrigues): This type of olive oil is available in two varieties: “afrutat” (fruity), a green full-bodied oil with a slightly bitter taste harvested earlier in the year, and “dolç” (sweet), harvested later, which has a milder flavor. Garrigues is produced with two types of olives: Arberquina and Verdiell, which are harvested by hand in the traditional fashion.
Siurana Olive Oil (Aceite de oliva Siurana): Siurana, like Garrigues, is made with hand-harvested olives of the Aberquina (90%), Morrut and Royal varieties. Siurana olive oil is native to the comarques of Priorat, Tarragonés, Ribera de l´Ebre, l´Alt Camp, Baix Camp, el Baix Penedés and Conca de Barbera.
Depending on the season in which the olive is harvested, the resulting oil can be fruity, green and thick, or sweet, with a yellow color and more liquid in consistency.
Terra Alta Olive Oil (Oli de oliva Terra Alta):The comarques of Terra Alta and Ribera de l´Ebre are home to this delicious olive oil. The main type of olive used to produce this oil is the Empeltre, though it may also contain Morruda, Farga and Arberquina olives in smaller quantities.
Harvesting is done by state-of-the-art machines, which preserve the aroma and flavor of the olive’s oils. Terra Alta oils are yellow to gold, with a flavor varying from piquant to bitter, and an aroma reminiscent of almond and pecan.
Baix Ebre-Montsia Olive Oil (Oli del Baix Ebre-Montsia): Baix Ebre-Montsia olive oil is produced in the Sierra of Coll Redó y and the Ulldecona plain with Morruda, Farga and Sevillenca olives. Color depends on on the harvesting season, but ranges from greenish yellow to golden yellow. The flavor varies from fruity to sweet depending on the season, as harvesting is done year-round.
Harvesting is done using the traditional vareo method, which involves shaking the branches of the olive tree until the olives fall to the ground.
L’Emporda Olive Oil (Oli de l´Emporda): L’Emporda oil is produced in all of the comarques of lower and upper Emporda, and in some comarques of Girona, using Argudell, Corivell, Verdal and Arberquina olives.
The resulting oil is transparent with a liquid consistency, and a flavor that is fruity with bit of piquant and acidity. The aroma is reminiscent of almond and artichoke.
L´Alt Urgell i la Cerdanya Butter (Mantega de l´Alt Urgell i la Cerdanya): This butter’s history goes back to the beginning of the 20th century in the comarques of Alt Urgell and Cerdanya. The product is all natural, made using pasteurized milk and fermented lactose and no artificial coloring.
Delta de l’Ebre Rice (Arròs del Delta de l´Ebre): In the areas between the towns of Aldea, la Amposta, Camarles and Sant Carles de la Rapita, this very special rice is grown. This D.O. produces the famed “paella rice”, Bomba, along with five other varieties: Bahía, Tebre, Sénia, Fonsa and Montsianell Delta de l’Ebre earned its D.O. distinction in 1985 because of its unparalleled quality. The rice is harvested for only one month out of the year, beginning on September 15th.
Lleida Pears (Pera de Lleida): This pear is produced throughout the comarca of Pla d´Urgell, which has a perfect microclimate for pear production. Lleida pears are available in three varieties: Limonera, Blanquilla and Conference, and are known for their juiciness and aroma. The Conference variety is rounder than the others, and is a bit wrinkled when ready to eat.
Ganxe Vallés-Maresme Beans (Mongeta del Ganxe Vallés-Maresme): Ganxe beans are produced in the comarques of the Western and Eastern Vallés reigon. The bean is white, slightly shiny and flat, and when cooked exhibits a wrinkly skin and a smooth, creamy texture.