I am just back from Barcelona and my mind is still there. It was my first time there and I have to admit that it was an experience. Even the smallest restaurants serve very decent food - sometimes not even special but the quality of the produce is what makes it still great. I spent most of my time in El Mercat de Boqueria - and let me tell you, I almost moved in. This is a cooks paradise. The amount of fruit and vegetables is amazing. The fish stalls are set up in a circle in the middle of the market and seriously guys - O'Connells in Cork has nothing seen yet. The variety of seafood was outstanding and mindblowing. The different types if fish were too many to count. And of course the tapas bars.....don't forget the tapas bars in the market. Wow, I am short of words for the generous portions of tapas you get served for almost pennies.
At the meat stalls you can buy any part of an animal, from head to toe really means from head to toe. Small piglets were on offer as well as sheep heads, noses, tails and feet of pigs etc. etc. etc. Although I don't eat meat....I was eager to take something home with me. Sofie and Linda advised me against smuggling the piglet into my suitcase :-)
What struck me the most???? The friendliness and calmness of the people living there despite the armies of tourists taking photos and standing in their way. Everyone smiled and was very helpful (which I really needed as my Spanish is non-existent).
If you haven't been already, make sure you go....this market is as a market should be. The regulations are actually quite strict we were told. An inspector comes at least once a day and checks on all the stalls regarding their hygiene, freshness of the produce and even the quality of the displays. The stall holders are taking great care of the appearance of their stalls and it works. I felt right at home there.
We spent most of our lunch time at the bar de Boqueria. A very busy tapas bar where the locals eats (always the best indication for quality)....I hope they miss us as much as we miss them (espcially Sofie and Linda as they loved their coffee brandy ;-)
Will I go back......hell yeah...
Next time I will write about the restaurants we have been to. Watch this space