canalons

A guide to food in Spain

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canalons (Catalan): cannelloni

Canalons a la Barcelonesa is the classic version originating from Italian immigrants during the nineteenth century, it is also worth noting that Sardinia was once part of the Catalan ‘empire’ (Catalan can still be heard in Alhero) although it would be highly pretentious to suggest earlier antecedents for this dish. It is similar but different from the version that you see in the UK . The stuffing is based on pig’s liver and turkey meat and contains no tomato whatsoever, the dryness is made up for in an abundance of béchamel sauce and the dish is gratinated and always served red hot – so beware. A delicious spinach version, canalons d’espinacs , is also popular and suitable for vegetarians. You will see Canalons de l’àvia or ‘granny’s cannelloni’ in some menus but it’s effectively the same and doesn’t contain even the tiniest bit of the proprietor’s ancestor! Canalons are traditionally served on the feast of Sant Esteban, i.e. Boxing Day.

By Simon Rice

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