AGRI FOOD - SEAFOOD AND FISH
Fishing and seafood breeding define the seafaring character that still preserves the villages of the coast of the Ebro. In fact, the Ebro Delta is an area rich in nutrients, for the combination of the sweet water with the salted one that gather the optimal conditions for the capture of prawns, eels and the breeding of shellfish. The sweet and salted flavours contribute with nuances and diversity to the gastronomic tradition of the Ebro Delta.
The Ebro Delta is known by the quality of its mussels and large oysters. The little depth of the water, the good temperature and the abundance of nutrients make of this natural area an ideal place for the breeding of the shellfish. Its place for the breeding is focused in the Bay of Lodazal, in the Ampolla, and the natural harbour of the Alfacs, in San Carlos de la Rápita. At present the Ebro Delta accounts nearly a 100 of nurseries and 35 enterprises producers of mussels and large oysters.
The cultivated mussels are of a great quality and highlighted for its firm and fine texture. On the other hand, in the early seventies, it was introduced the cultivation of large oysters as a complement to the production of mussels. The large oyster, which is much bigger than the oyster, but the taste, is more intense, its texture is fine and tasty which usually is consumed fresh, without any type of manipulation. Meanwhile the mussels usually are cooked steamed accompanied by a seafaring sauce.
The coastal populations of Ampolla, Alcanar and San Carlos de la Rápita celebrate gastronomic days and popular festivals where one can taste cooked dishes such as mussels and large oysters.
The langoustine of San Carlos de la Rápita is one of the fishing products best known and appreciated of the Ebro Lands. It is consistent, brilliant and without black stains. It is captured mainly in summer, coinciding with the period of reproduction. It is excellent as ingredient for a great number of dishes, but for its quality one of the recipes more typical and simple is the toasted langoustine, grilled on coarse salt. Fish Market - Fishing Port
The fish market is placed in the fishing port of San Carlos de la Rápita and it was founded by the fishermen association Virgen del Carmen in 1919. Nowadays it is a modern building built in the environs of the fishing port, where you can enjoy the arrival of boats and sailors fish loaded about to make the auction.
Until recently the auction was performed in the traditional style, in the middle of a circle of fish surrounded by the people, still one can hear the song of the prices, subjected by the shout of a buyer.
In 2003 all the process of the auction and expedition was modernized, and it was installed a new fishing market with electronic system. This system has two bands with digital projections in order to ease and expedite the sale. At present distributes the maximum of quality and quickness, between 25 and 30 tons of fish daily. The association has a fishing fleet of 60 trawling boats and 48 of minor arts craft and 20 loading docks.
The visitors can enjoy the sale of the fish in live from a corridor in the first floor that surrounds the fish band conveyor.
The arrival of the boats is at 15:30 from Mondays to Fridays, except May and June that is when the boats stop the fishing.