In Terra Alta, they are honey and sagí cócs, in Ibiza biscuit cócs, in Vinaròs angel hair cócs or stuffed with “boniato”. Cócs de Fraga, and in Amposta apple cócs. Tomato and “primentón” cóc in La Matarranya. In Morellac cóc with ham, sardine and tomato. In La Segarra and l’Urgell, roasted eggplant and pepper cócs, with herring or sausage, or the beloved zucchini and onion cócs with a touch of bacon. In Segrià and La Noguera the varied coques de recapte, in Valencia the coca escudellà. In Majorca the vegetable coca or the coca de trempó. In Alicante coca de dacsa, in Cocentaina coca de sardina with onions and tomatoes. Dozens of names and varieties, for a simple and practical gastronomic concept: the Cóc, or the Coques salades.
There are those who talk about cóc, such as the local adaptation of Italian pizza, imported from Tuscany in the 15th century. Others, as the historian Pere Balañà, state that “the gastronomy of New Catalonia has kept ingredients and techniques of elaboration of Islamic tradition, such as in the coques de recapte”. Wherever it comes from, the fact is that cóc is an original and traditional food of our culture, and as such we must promote it and make it known everywhere.
When the Aplec del Cóc was set up in Tàrrega in 1988, it was intended, on the one hand, to revitalize the “Festa Major del Maig”, and on the other to begin a process of recognition of the qualities and virtues of the cóc. This process has been expanded over the years with the exhibition of bakery products “Firacóc” and the participation of bakeries in other regions.
If you go to Tokyo, Berlin, New Delhi or Sydney you will find a “pizzeria” everywhere. If you go to Barcelona, it will cost you a lot to eat a good cóc. Many things still need to be done, in order to extend, beyond our borders, the knowledge, the valuation and the commercialization of the cócs. We know that in the end, it must be the market and the initiative that must accept and generate the supply and demand of the product. However, public institutions need to have clear ideas and move forward in promoting and disseminating the cóc.
Many years have passed since when my grandmother sent me to the oven of Cal Manonelles with the ladle loaded with peppers, eggplants, herring, sausage and oil, and the next day to collect the fresh cócs goods, crunchy and tangy. Today we find, without having to order them, bakeries and bakeries, as well as frozen in many supermarkets.
The cóc is an exquisite delicacy that can be easily made at home and made exclusively with local produce.
We will share a recipe if you want to entertain yourself, making a healthy product from the country.
- 500 gr. of wheat flour.
- 30 gr. fresh yeast
- 5-10 gr. of salt
- 200 ml. of water
- 65 ml. of virgin olive oil
- Grilled peppers and eggplant
- Fresh or salted herring, or cooked sausage, or canned anchovy or tuna.
Prepare the dough with flour, water and yeast. Mix and knead until the dough is very compact. Then we leave it in a deep bowl, covered with a cloth for three hours until the dough rises. We knead everything again for a while, add the olive oil, continue kneading and let it sit for another half hour.
Once we have the pasta made. We take the one that we can spread on an oven plate. So we take a roll to flatten the pasta. We need to make it thin and spread it, preventing it from breaking. We remove the oven plate with oil to prevent the paste from sticking and spread it on it. Add the roasted vegetables to strips, spread over the surface of the plate. Put the herring or sausage on top, and with the oven hot to 180º. We can bake it for 20 minutes or until the pasta is cooked. In the case of anchovy or tuna, it is put in the oven.
When removing it, add a dash of oil on top and to enjoy.
Jaume Ramon Solé.
(Photo of start: Cóc of Sausage or tuna, and escalivada)