Xató is a traditional dish from the Garraf and Penedès regions. There are different stories about the origin of its name; the most common is the one which links the name of this delicious sauce to the act of d’aixetonament, or tapping the barrel (when a tap is inserted into the barrel to taste the first wines of the harvest). The main ingredients of the dish are curly endive lettuce, desalted fish (tuna, cod or anchovies), olives and the sauce, which is made from almonds, hazelnuts, garlic, dried peppers, water, vinegar, olive oil and salt. Although this is the basic sauce recipe, there are variations depending on where it is made.
The Festa dels Mercats (Markets Festival) also takes place during the Festival del Xató, bringing the market to visitors and offering more than the usual range of goods; combining the festival spirit with the activity of the market and adding the value that the town markets have always had and still have to this day. The stallholders open their stalls to celebrate the Festa dels Mercats together with the Festival del Xató. The Mercat del Centre (town market) turns into a big celebration to a backdrop of live music where visitors can buy and taste high quality tapas made by the stallholders using produce from land and sea.