A guide to food in Spain – O-P-Q
picada: a seasoning to add spice to a dish at the end of cooking. The ingredients are variable: garlic, fried bread, almonds, dry pepper, hazelnuts, pine nuts and tomato, mainly.
Picades come from the word picar meaning to prick or stab in both Spanish and Catalan. A picada is used as a seasoning to add spice to a dish at the end of cooking. The standard picada is a mixture of raw crushed garlic and parsley, often mixed with olive oil and stored ready for use. The picada is traditionally made in the characteristic yellow and green mortar using its wooden pestle to crush the ingredients, but a modern hand blender is just as good. Crushed nuts (usually almonds or hazelnuts but may be pine nuts) can be added or used on their own. More exotic still, strong chocolate is added in some recipes.. Other sauces, like All i oli and Romesco, are also used as a picada, this is one reason Catalan dishes have such enormous variety.
By Simon Rice