Trin-shat ("x" sounds like "sh") is a dish from northern Catalunya in La Cerdanya.
This region is in the Pirineus bordering both Andorra and France. Mountainous with snowy winters, this region's cuisine is more familiar than you would expect.
La Cerdanya's agricultural products are similar to other cool, cold regions in Europe and North America- things like:
cabbage, kale, potatoes, turnips, cheeses, beef, eggs, sausages, milk, honey from meadows, fir and pine syrups and products, and of course fruit like the famous Puigcerdà pears.
Trinxat is a simple and hearty dish typical of the winter months. It was documented as early as the 15th century although since the potato hadn't arrived yet from the Americas until the 16th century, it is most likely that the original was made with other root vegetables like turnips. Once the potato was naturalized to the area, in particular varieties like the Kennebec, it was incorporated into the local cuisine.
Some of the world's tastiest and most popular dishes are made from very simple ingredients combined in delicious ways, and Trinxat is no different. Most of what makes it original has to do more with technique than difficult to source ingredients. Comprised of potato, cabbage, and a fatty cut of pork called cansalada viada (similar to pork belly or bacon) and some garlic, salt and oil, it is shaped into a cylinder or cake, and lightly browned on the outside of the form.
Since it is typically a leftovers dish, it's a great way to use up bits of kale, winter cabbage or potatoes from the day before. What a great way to repurpose Thanksgiving or Christmas vegetable side remnants!
Of course, there is a Trinxat festival in Puigcerdà usually the last week of February, but this year it has been suspended because since the weather is cold in the north (30-45 degrees F currently) it is one of the gastronomic festivals that cannot be adapted to outdoor venues. The decision to wait until February 2023 was mostly due to the number of attendees who generally show up - over a thousand people at an indoor venue did not seem likely this year due to COVID. Still, Trinxat can be made at home in the meantime until it's time to head to the mountains next year- to ski, snowboard, eat cheese, and experience the Cerdanya.