Giant evergreen shrubs make the best hideouts. Their tallest branches form umbrellas as they sweep down to the ground. When I was a little girl I used to push my way through the prickly needles until I reached the open area in the middle. I could play for hours without being seen. I loved my secret hideout.
Andorra is a lot like the giant evergreen shrubs. Tucked away in the middle of the mountains between France and Spain, Andorra survived for centuries without being noticed or impacted by her neighbors. In fact, she just got her first university in 1997.
Andorra is only 175 square miles (To give you some reference, that’s 30% of Tulsa county… or 37% of New York City). Population: about 84,000.
Despite her small size, Andorra is perfect for explorers. The tiny country boasts more than 60 lakes and 65 mountain peaks. Can you imagine all of that in a place 37% the size than NYC?! Incredible. Understandably, favorite pastimes include hiking and skiing.
The country’s foods are a product of the geography. Here are several points regarding Andorran cuisine:
For most of the country’s history it was isolated, and the significant importation of food products from outside areas did not exist.
As a rural mountain society, meals consisted primarily of meat, home-grown garden vegetables and fruits, bread (especially dark rye bread made from locally grown rye), fish, and wild game. Those traditional foods still dominate the diets of today’s Andorrans.
One of the main reasons Andorrans enjoy hiking and camping in the mountains is the opportunity those experiences offer to hunt for wild herbs, celery, berries, and mushrooms. In fact, Andorrans have been long referred to as mycophilics, or mushroom lovers. [… some restaurants] serve three course meals that consist of nothing but delicious dishes cooked with mushrooms.
Source: Cultures of the World, Andorra by Byron Augustin
The Official Andorra Tourism web site has a page with local dishes and authentic recipes … View them here. NOTE: Many of the recipes do not include measurements, so these are more about learning Andorran cooking methods and ingredient combinations, rather than the exact recipe.