The Department of Food Heritage applies research and knowledge to give added value the products of the territory and the natural, cultural and tourist heritage that is linked to gastronomy. 

The studies concentrate on covering the following objectives:

  • Historic research. We carry out research into cuisine and the history of food. We work on dishes from different periods and prepare recipes from this knowledge base. 
  • Enhancement. We design strategies for territorial enhancement based on the gastronomic potentials of food products.
  • Dynamisation. We study territorial dynamisation and gastronomic tourism, linked to the products of the land.
  • Dissemination and promotion. We bring the knowledge of the traditional food heritage to everyone and promote seasonal and local produce.
  • Research and Health. We investigate the possibilities for the culinary evaluation and application of specific produce from our heritage. We are making an in-depth study of the production of products that could improve the health and quality of life of persons with specific dietary needs.

What are the lines of activity of the Department of Food Heritage of Alícia?

  


 

HISTORIC HERITAGE

We study and apply historical recipes as a tool for giving added value to the heritage and the territory. Our aim is to become a centre of reference in this field, due to the precision of the studies carried out. Generally speaking, we are working on the study of the history of gastronomy, but what characterises Alícia is the practical part of this knowledge. 

It is important to highlight the criteria of study we apply, criteria that motivate us and set us apart from others:

  • The culinary vision. We specialise in the application of the knowledge of practical processes.
  • Non-academic speed. We work with precision, but to the rhythm of the kitchen.
  • The informative tone. Our aim is to spread knowledge to as many people as possible.
  • Usefulness. We strive for the study of history to have a specific purpose or purposes. 
What are our activities in the field of historic heritage?
  • The creation and publication of recipes of historical products with the Museum of the History of Barcelona (MUHBA).
  • Gastronomic supervision of the Modernist Nights at Món Sant Benet.
  • Preparation of the chocolate of the 17th century with the Barcelona City Council.
  • Collaboration on the book Cuisine in the Time of the Good Men  (a recipe collection of Medieval gastronomy).
  • Recipe for the preparation of the Sant Joan “coca” or pastry of Santpedor.
  • Participation in the Monastic Fair of Navarcles.
  • Collaboration on the programme Sota terra (Under Ground) (TV3) with Eudald Carbonell.
  • Traditional culinary and gastronomic design.

 



PRODUCTS

We study the culinary and creative possibilities of specific food products with the aim of enhancing them and creating dissemination tools in the gastronomic and cultural field. We give advice to restaurants, restaurant schools, small producers and the general public on the promotion of products.

Studies on products include the following aspects: 

  • Studies of organoleptic characteristics and the possibilities of culinary applications.
  • Research into the traditions and recipes typical of each culture.
  • The identification of the best practices for the handling and preservation of the product.
  • Applicable cooking techniques.
  • Working culinary techniques.
  • The possibilities for the combination of flavours.
  • Good conservation practices.
  • Preparation of recipes.
  • Promotion programmes for producers, cooks and consumers.
According to the criteria indicated by our Department of Health, we direct research studies on specific products that could be capable of improving the health and quality of life of different groups of people.

What are our activities in the produce field?

  • We have prepared a collection of recipes based on produce that carries officially recognised hallmarks of origin in Catalonia: IGP (Protected Geographical Indication) and DOP (Denomination of Protected Origin) for the Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Action of the Generalitat de Catalunya.

    This recipe collection, published in Catalan, Spanish and English, includes texts and recipes devoted to:
  • Rice from the Ebre Delta
  • Reus Hazelnuts
  • Cheese from l’Alt Urgell and la Cerdanya
  • Olive oil from les Garrigues
  • Butter from l’Alt Urgell and la Cerdanya
  • “Ganxet” beans from El Vallès-Maresme
  • Olive oil from l’Empordà
  • Olive oil from la Terra Alta
  • Olive oil from Baix Ebre-Montsià
  • Lleida Pears
  • Olive oil from Siurana
  • “Calçots” (a variety of spring onion) from Valls
  • Clementines from Les Terres de l’Ebre
  • Dry sausage from Vic
  • Potatoes from Prades
  • Chicken and capon from El Prat de Llobregat
  • Girona Apples
  • “Torró” (a kind of nougat) from Agramunt
  • Beef from the Catalonian Pyrenees

 

  • From Alícia we are carrying out a study on the oil from centuries old olive trees.
  • We have written the book La pastisseria i la cuina de la garrofa  (Pastries and Cooking with the Carob) (Onada Edicions – December 2011).
  • From Alícia we have studied, designed and created the recipe for “Pedraforques”, a new sweet identified with the village of Saldes.

 



TERRITORY

We believe that food products are a very important tool for the identification and dynamisation of any particular territory and we analyse the culinary synergies between the various emblematic products of an area as a promotional tool.

We study and experiment with the food production of each zone, emphasising the quality produce that for various reasons has almost disappeared, or whose production has been drastically reduced, and has been left, for this reason, outside the usual commercial channels. These are native agricultural species of great culinary value that with the collaboration of producers and institutions, could be revitalised and thereby stimulate areas and territories. 

What are our activities in the territorial field?

  • We are studying the possibilities for the exploitation of citrus fruit cultivation and its gastronomy in Les Terres de l’Ebre to stimulate tourism in the zone.
  • We are studying the possibilities for the exploitation of the Mediterranean tuna with the aim of creating promotional tools in the gastronomic and cultural terrain.
  • We are studying ancient olive trees in La Sénia.

 



THE MARKET GARDENS OF SANT BENET

To publicise, stimulate and promote the food products of the territory, specific varieties and also native varieties. These are the objectives of the two cultivation areas of:

  • The learning garden. Located close to the monastery, it has a cultivatable area of 4,100 m2, distributed in seven aligned terraces. This has been designed so that visitors can carry out planting, maintenance and harvesting tasks of the different vegetable and garden produce that is grown there. This is a working area for the educational workshops of Alícia, with a very practical standpoint.
  • The gastronomic garden and the orchard. Located on the northern end of the Món Sant Benet complex and separated into two plots of around 1.5 hectares, here we cultivate plants for  culinary use. In one we take care of fruit trees, basically apple and pear trees. In the other, we grow aromatic and spice plants, edible flowers and garden produce, although we place the accent on the treatment of native varieties.

What are the aims of the work in these spaces?

  • To educate and raise awareness in sustainability.
  • To provide visibility and value to the work of farmers.
  • To stimulate local production.
  • To stimulate the consumption of seasonal products.
  • To  revive fruit and vegetable produce of the region.
  • To investigate the possibilities of the use of specific products from the health point of view or of those intended for the diets of groups with specific pathologies.

What are the main activities of the market gardens of Sant Benet?

  • We have revived the cultivation of the white aubergine.
  • We host the Euro-Toques convention, an international organisation of chefs from more than 18 countries.
  • We have promoted the programme called “Our grandparents’ lettuces” to explain the different varieties, differences and flavours of this vegetable to schools.
  • We organise workshops on ecological and local products for the “Llavorae” project, which aims to create new jobs in the ecological produce sector.