The historic gastronomy of Barcelona

MUHBA's role as an agent of economic revitalisation and knowledge creation involves different projects in a wide range of areas; from training heritage technicians and publishing a vast number of relevant publications, to developing products based on research into the city’s history and heritage.

Collaboration with entities and institutions (such as universities and research centres) is a crucial factor when implementing these projects. An excellent example of collaboration took place between the Museum, the University of Barcelona, the Fundació Alícia (an applied research centre) and Sosa Ingredients, a company specialising in food, that ensures rigorous industrial production and health and administration control.

Based on research into reproducible heritage elements, Nous patrimonis de Barcelona (Barcelona’s new heritage) is the main framework for the project Historic gastronomy of Barcelona. The project painstakingly reconstructs recipes from the city’s past in order to produce and market food products today.


Emulsion of cheese with garlic. 14th century recipe.

Emulsified cheese sauce with garlic that was once very popular in medieval Barcelona (preceeding the garlic mayonnaise or pesto). In the medieval period and was served with meats. Today we can use it as a salad dressing, or on toast for a tomato sandwich.


18th century recipe.

In the Early modern period, tomato sauce was the usual complement for stew, but nowadays, tomato sauce is used for many more things. It can be an excellent topping  for potato chips or it can be mixed with pasta. Reduced with some olive oil, it is a fresh and healthy dressing and can also be used as a seasoning, especially for  fish or shellfish soups.


Concentrate spice seasoning mix. Recipe from 1520.

It was a mixture of spices like a curry which was useful for seasoning meat dishes. It can be used as a seasoning with roasted meat. It gives an aromatic touch to soups, noodles, fruits or milky desserts, especially yogurt.


Honey and spice mix. 14th century recipe.

Wine with spices in the medieval Barcelona. It was a prestigious drink since the beginning of the 12th century. For best consumption, dilute the content of the bottle in 2 liters of white wine and shake until dissolved. Let rest for a few minutes and drink very cold. Once opened, keep between 2ºC and 6ºC.