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Zarzuela is a traditional dish in Barcelona which represents a fish stew.

Similar to the operetta zarzuelas which combine various songs and dances, this fish stew gives consent to use various combinations of ingredients. The classic recipe of this dish calls for the use of such ingredients as mussels, shrimps, squids, fish fillets, onions, tomatoes, bacon and garlic.

Zarzuela consists of three main components: the stock, the base and the fish. The first two components are the ones which give the dish its specific flavor. The base is made of vegetables, herbs such as parsley and saffron and various seasonings. Though there are many variations of zarzuela throughout the Mediterranean, almonds are the ones that constitute the incontrovertible Catalan touch.

Unlike meat and chicken stews, which obtain their flavor during a long boiling process, fish stew must be cooked hastily.

Zarzuela is usually accompanied by slices of baguette.

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