Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Travel Market: Barcelona


When I visited Barcelona with my sister and brother-in-law, one of our favorite things to do was to stroll the stalls of La Boqueria, the colorful and amazing market of fresh produce, shellfish and meats in the heart of La Rambla. Sure, it's full of tourists and may not be where the local shops, but it is such an adventure for the eyes and stomach!


See what I mean about color? This fruit stand was just overflowing with local and imported fruits of all kinds. I felt like I was on Mars because they were so unusual.

White asparagus was plentiful in Spain, and they looked so beautiful. I fell in love with them, which is why I cook with them whenever I see them at Bay Area grocers.


Speaking of unusual, I still don't know what kind of shellfish these are above. Anyone knows?

On some days of the week, the market (or mercat) gets so full that it spills over into side streets with extra vendors. Above, this guy was selling candied fruits. (By the way, all the men and women in Spain were so beautiful and thin. Must be the lifestyle.)


La Boqueria has several food stands where people pull up a stool and order fresh dishes. This particular stand is in the back and has been written up by many travel guides. We ate here for breakfast several times. Their specialty is grilled fresh cuttlefish (or calamari) with a delightful olive oil and basil sauce. It was so clean, fresh and tasty.

9 comments:

Seth said...

did a little troogle (translation google), percebe is a relative of the barnacle. Something similar is found in the Americas called picoroco (I've never heard of it).

Chef Ben said...

thanks Seth. I was thinking of Googling it but ran out of time before my trip. A barnacle huh? Doesn't really sound appetizing, but I bet they use it for appetizers! LOL.

Anonymous said...

The "percebes" are a kind of shellfish very appreciated in Spain. The best come from Galicia and they have a strong sea flavour.

Seth said...

What a world of wonder in which we live. percebes at youtube

Seth said...

Oooops, try

Percebes

Chef Ben said...

Looks like it'll be like either eating escargot or cow's tongue. I'm not a big fan of escargot. I couldn't tell how they prepared the percebe in that youtube video but that woman was really getting into it. Thanks for posting the link Seth. Who knew YouTube could be so educational? LOL

Pedro said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pedro said...

You are really gourmand. I agree with you that food in Spain is really good and tasty even in cheap cafes! I visited Barcelona also twice and I really like this city.
Unfortunately I don't remember names of cafes where I have been. And I haven't so much time to visit many of them. But I know that in Barcelona hotels is also cooking very good.
Most of all in Barcelona I liked Gaudi's masterpieces. They are awesome beauty and great!
Thanks for interesting blog.

Maria said...

This popular food market has some of the best food stands in all Spain. The quality is excellent and the presentation too. OK, you won't buy many fresh food, but anyway, this Barcelona place deserves a visit, not only for the local ambiance, but also for the architecture of the place and the nice coloured glass. Spanish writer Vazquez Montalban, known as a gourmet, came here daily to buy fresh products...