The Romesco is one of those dishes deeply endemic to its geography, although it is little known outside of Tarragona. In fact, in recent years the custom of cooking it within the capital itself has been lost, and unevenly in different parts of the province and the Costa Dorada ((its own environment), in some towns such as Cambrils, Torredembarra, La Pobla de Mafumet, Santa Coloma de Queralt, Valls, El Vendrell or Ametlla de Mar.
The intention of this website is to contribute to diseminate the world of Romesco, projecting this great heritage asset of Tarragona in the most global way possible. To do this, it explores the historical and social factors that make the Romesco much more than just a culinary phenomenon: an important cultural attribute of Tarragona in many ways yet to be discovered. Therefore, although this website does not pretend to be exhaustive, it does aim to stimulate the interest in the world of Romesco. In short, add more avoiding all adanism and always starting from the base of the pre-existing work.
From the utmost modesty, it is also intended to appeal to public institutions. For too many years the study and development of Romesco has remained practically only in the well-intentioned hands of private enthusiasts, be they writers, chroniclers, journalists, cooks or cultural associations. All of them have put their passion at the service of promoting Romesco, and have sometimes worked with very limited resources. It would be time for the Romesco to be fully recognized by the institutions for what it is: an important heritage asset of Tarragona, so that it is assumed, managed and protected as such. This website aims to contribute to taking this important step that should not wait any longer.
Finally, this website aims to help clarify at least three aspects that are frequently heard related to Romesco:
• Romesco as an expensive dish: Romesco is an original dish of Tarragona’s fishermen, humble workers who normally did not have great financial means and who took advantage of any modest fish for their romescos. However, some luxurious versions of Romesco may have contributed to transmit an image of the Romesco as a plate only available to high purchasing power. Romesco is actually a very scalable dish: it can indeed be prepared with high-quality fresh fish and seafood and is therefore a luxury dish, as would be any dish that contains these types of ingredients. But it can also be cooked with frozen cod and a handful of clams and then it is a very affordable dish. They are both Romesco and both are healthy and tasty.
• Romesco as a complicated dish: going back to the above. The old fishermen of Tarragona did not usually have much time or many means in the boats to cook. Romesco is actually a kind of “fast food” made agilely based on a few affordable and easy-to-preserve ingredients. To make a good Romesco all you need is a desire to learn and, yes, a lot of love and passion.
• Romesco as a very strong dish: indeed, Romesco can be prepared very spicy to create a consistent preparation, but it also admits softer and more pleasant versions without losing any of its gastronomic capabilities. That is why it can be argued that Romesco is a digestive dish with excellent nutritional characteristics. When looking for a recipe that brings together all the best of the Mediterranean diet, it is difficult to find something as perfectly suitable as Romesco: a rich and appetizing dish that is very healthy at the same time.
Finally, this website also intends to contribute to clarifying the important confusion that currently exists between Romesco (stew) and romesco sauce (cold dressing sauce).