On a route through the capitals of xató

On a route through the capitals of xató

History of the xató Route

Since 1997, the towns of the historic Penedès veguería have celebrated the Xató Route, which aims to popularize this dish that is usually consumed from November to April, and to learn about the different variants of the original xató recipe.

The Xató Route is a gastronomic itinerary that links five municipalities around this historical dish. The gastronomy of Alt Penedès, Baix Penedès and Garraf has as a common denominator a seasonal dish, xató. To discover it, we go on a route through the 5 capitals of xató: Calafell, El Vendrell, Sitges, Vilafranca del Penedès and Vilanova y la Geltrú.

The Xató Route is also an experience that goes far beyond good food and good drink, it is a gastronomic route, closely linked to the DO Penedès wines and a unique dish in the world, the tasty xató, originally of our lands. It includes more than 200 proposals for leisure, culture, nature, beach, wine tourism, shows, festivals, museums, hiking, tastings, competitions, popular xatonadas, themed getaways and other activities that will allow you to enjoy as a couple, with family or with friends.

A real incentive to start living the experience of the Xató Route, where the best restaurants in Calafell, El Vendrell, Sitges, Vilafranca del Penedès and Vilanova i la Geltrú, offer their culinary talent.

History of Xató

The origin of xató is located in the wine world. Once the wine was about to be tasted, the butt was illuminated, a fundamental ceremony in the entire process that consisted of placing a small tap (the tap) that allowed the wine to come out of the container.

This moment marked the beginning of the new wine festival, a celebration that was accompanied by a meal composed of salty ingredients such as fish, found in the homes of local farmers and fishermen, served with leaves of the vegetables corresponding to the season. winter and salad with a special sauce.

This ritual meal that accompanied the ceremony of lighting the wine bottle is the origin of today's xató. That is why the paternity of this traditional dish in the Penedès and Garraf regions continues to be highly debated. Currently, the 5 towns have their own variant of the recipe for this dish, which is why the traditional xatonadas have become popular, which are popular gatherings in which participants taste this dish.

Xató recipes from the 5 towns

The xató

Xató is a light and, at the same time, intense and at the same time refreshing but tasty dish; traditional and innovative, made with the best products from the sea and the garden, a very healthy dish with all the benefits of the Mediterranean diet.

Ingredients: crunchy escarole, mixed with the honeyed texture of cod and tuna, with the acidic touch of anchovy or anchovy. All this bathed with an exquisite sauce based on nuts, ñoras and virgin olive oil, among others. Traditionally it is eaten accompanied by artichoke, bean or black sausage tortillas and paired with a good Penedès.

Xatonadas are the traditional delicacy of the days of debauchery of Carnival. They consist of a first course of xató, a second course of various trout and dessert with chicharrones cake. A meal that has its greatest exponent on Fat Thursday.

The popular xatonadas or festivals around this dish, distributed throughout the region, are celebrated from November to March, always on Sundays throughout the morning.

The first is the Xató de Vilanova Festival

Just at the beginning of each new season of the Xató Route, which usually falls on the last Sunday of November, the Xató Festival of Vilanova y la Geltrú is celebrated, a unique opportunity to learn about and acquire the products necessary to make the authentic Xató de Vilanova.

The objective of the Festival is to take another step towards consolidating this event as a showcase of Vilanovina gastronomy: its dishes and its products within the emblematic framework of the Mercat de Mar. Within the events of the day, a contest of master xatonaires is held, prior registration.

On a route through the capitals of xató

Tren del Centenar de Vilanova i la Geltrú. Foto: rutadelxato.com


 Xató is the star dish of the Carnival, and Sitges celebrates it throughout the week to enjoy a proper Carnival. Because as it is well known, as tradition dictates, a good Xató cannot be missing at the table for Carnival!!

The Sitges Carnival is considered one of the 10 best in the world. It is the most crowded party in the city's calendar of events, which begins on Maundy Thursday and ends on Ash Wednesday. The two most participatory days are Sunday and Tuesday, with children and adults parades, with more than 2,000 active participants each year.

Xató is the star dish on the table during the Sitges Carnival, which can be tasted throughout the week at the restaurants of the Xató route. The delicious xató salad is always accompanied by various omelettes (egg sausage, bean, artichoke,...), to finish with a delicious lardon cake.

On a route through the capitals of xató

La Dona Mediterrània de Sitges. Foto: rutadelxato.com

Popular Xatonada of El Vendrell

The gastronomic festival is celebrated on the Rambla de El Vendrell, with the Master Xatonaires Competition, the Exhibition of Children's Xatonaires.

Throughout the morning, in the traditional popular distribution of xató and wine, more than 1,000 portions of this dish are sold, accompanied by a glass of DO Penedès wine.

On the other hand, there are also entertainment shows, stands related to the world of xató, the Fair of natural and artisanal food products, coffee tastings and the Cava bottle meeting.

On a route through the capitals of xató

Museu Pau Casals, El Vendrell. Foto: rutadelxato.com

Xató Festival of Vilafranca del Penedès

The Vilafranca Xató Festival is held on Rambla Sant Francesc, a unique opportunity to taste the different xató recipes that are made in the towns that make up the Xató Route: Calafell, El Vendrell, Sitges and Vilanova i la Geltrú and to get to know the authentic xató of Vilafranca del Penedès up close, while enjoying a wide range of activities related to this traditional winter food.

During the morning a children's workshop is held to learn how to make xató, next to the traditional crafts, brocade and painting market. With children's entertainment for the girls and boys attending the Party to dance non-stop.

On a route through the capitals of xató

Camí del Vi de Vilafranca del Penedès. Foto: rutadelxato.com

Xatonada Popular de Calafell

In this event, which is held in mid-March , around 800 portions of xató are usually sold at a charge to the municipality's restaurants that are part of the Xató Route at a popular price that includes bread, xató and wine from the Penedès DO..

Around midday there is a children's xató workshop run by students from the municipality's schools and for everyone who wants to sign up, always led by the Calafell Xatonaire Masters.

Throughout the morning you can walk through the artisan food fair and the traditional cava bottle gathering.

On a route through the capitals of xató

Ciutadella Ibèrica de Calafell. Foto: rutadelxato.com

On a route through the capitals of xató

La Ruta del Xató. Foto: rutadelxato.com

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