9100801 Barcelona, Spain
Yes, we just returned from a wonderful vacation in Barcelona. We did almost nothing in the way of sight seeing except to walk around the city with some sort of destination to which we almost never arrived (unless by cab). So easy to get distracted in such an architecturally and culturally diverse city.
On our first walk on our first day we strolled up La Rambla and quickly found ourselves among the hanging Iberico hams at the opening gates of the famous food market La Boqueria.
Luckily for us we arrived late in the day and the market was comparatively empty. We could ogle and nosh and snap at will.
Hearts, and heads, and blood of beef and tripe. The blood of beef in cubed form is used in some Catalonian stew style dishes.
Salted cod fillets.
I think the above is some kind of cured tuna.
I tried these snails the following evening in Barceloneta, simply steamed in water with a little butter and salt, they were mild tasting, meaty, delicious.
Percebes are also commonly called goose barnacles and I didn't see them in any menus while in Barcelona. Not sure I would order them if I had, although they are considered a delicacy. Harvested north of Barcelona in Galicia, they are often harvested for export to Canada or Morocco.
When spoken of by the locals, La Boqueria was referred to (to me) as the fruit market. And while there is definitely a strong produce component I wouldn't call La Boqueria a fruit market if I were describing it to a friend. However, D buys us a fruit cup.
WHO took a bite out of that dragon fruit?
Dozens and dozens of varieties of pure and mixed fruit juices,
Needs no explanation.
Some markets in Barcelona label these as the French figue and some as breves. Nevertheless, they are much, much larger than figs grown in California. These are almost the size of my hand.
The exotic rambutan.
A baby pineapple. One of these was about the size of two of my fists put together. So cute.
There are many stalls for dining in La Boqueria. The two most well renowned (El Quim and Pinotxo) were two people deep even late into the afternoon. We stopped instead at the open barstools of this unassuming little tapas spot, had a nosh and great service. Booze is omnipresent in Barcelona, all day long. The little blonde woman at this spot had a full bar. Salud!
Lightly fried sardines.
And our first tapas of many, a grilled squid with pepper and a fried shrimp pinned through a sauteed mushroom. These were very good compared to tapas we drunkenly came across later in the trip. Be picky. You literally cannot get away from tapas, so choose wisely. These were good.
Boquerones en vinaigre...the meat in the middle is chicken if I recall correctly. Again, nicer than boquerones I came across later in the trip. The breaded part was very light and fluffy, the red sauce tart and not spicy.
So many different offerings. Eggs, from all kinds of birds in all sorts of sizes.
Herbs and spices.
D did backflips for this stand. His favorite candy is anything gelly: Sourpatch Kids, Good n' Fruity, Gummi Bears, etc. This stall is a gummy candy celebration with amazingly authentic flavors. Every fruit under the sun.
And other more inspired fruity flavors: caipirinha, sangria, citrico, mojito.
The tail end of the market at the end of a long afternoon. It still looks light outside but the sky doesn't actually darken in Barcelona in June until well after 9 pm.