I wanted to welcome spring in Barcelona and I flew for a few days to Catalonia. Catalonia is amazing place for me. Architecture, fresh food, modern cuisine, nice people, mountains and sea there were main points of my visit in Barcelona.
My first steps were to grocery market. There are a few markets with fresh food in Barcelona. The Boqueria Market near main touristic street of Barcelona is very famous. I visited this market on Saturday morning when many Spaniards were doing shopping. Place is big and old and looks like a meeting center where people meet and talk about various things, they eat in small tapas bars and sometimes buy things. This market is special because many tourists visit it, take photos and buy fresh fruits or juice and smoked meat.
The Boqueria Market have a special arrangement in the front, near main gate there are stalls with fruits, juice, vegetables, smoked meat and sweets and there are many tourists. Seafood is in the middle part of market, there are many stalls with fresh meat and bread. There is a lot of variety kinds of meats and seafood and I regret that I couldn’t make any dish. Interesting stalls are far away from the main gate. There are cottage vegetables, eggs, bread which maybe didn’t look very attractive but had good taste and smell. I was in seventh heaven.
I bought a few vegetables, fruits and very tasty breads. Because I was thirsty, I tried juices for tourists. So, drink was horrible. My mug included sugar with water and juice of different fruits. It wasn’t a good choice.
There is a small street near the market where I looked for a shop with Spanish wine. I know a little about Spanish wines and I walked around shelves with wine and I didn’t know which bottle included beverage of god. I was reading labels and my mind made small trips to regions where there wine were produced but I still asked the same question: which wine is the best? I decided to buy wine of Catalonia from Penedès. So it was very good choice. Wine was refreshing, smelled sunny, sea wind and fruits especially cherry. It tasted fruits and light. This wine was very good to drink on its own or with bread and seafood. I had bread. So I bought spread of salmon and we had a feast at night. During my visit in Barcelona I often saw people drinking wine instead of water. Sometimes I couldn’t buy coffee or tea but wine was in every tapas bars and restaurants.
When we watched Sagrada Familia we met people eating something. I didn’t know what it was. There was a fiesta near the church. The street was closed for cars and they put tables where people were eating and drinking. There was a special place where they were serving bundles of green vegetables with red sauce. There was a bonfire where they roasted green vegetables and put on newspaper and served. The vegetables looked like leaks or scallion. That was a special kind of scallion, and the dish itself called Calçot. The most traditional way of eating calçots is in a calçotada, a popular gastronomical event held between the end of winter and March or April, where calçots are consumed massively.
Calçots are then wine roasted and dipped in salvitxada sauce or romesco, and accompanied by red wine or cava. Pieces of meat and bread slices are roasted in the charcoal after cooking the calçots.
So I have tried a traditional food!!!
"Cuisine of Catalonia is modern but it draw with tradition not only Spanish." It is a famous opinion, is it true? Yes, the Catalonian gastronomy is characterized by its variety and influence of other cultures. Its origin goes back to the time of the Romans. Since then it has been obtaining recipes from the Italian, French, Greek, Provençal, Arabian and Jewish gastronomy. The result is a cuisine of great complexity with excellence. Dishes taste well, they are light and fresh. Chefs are talented to create new dishes.
The best meal we ate was in small tapas bar far away from city center where staff didn’t speak in English and we chosen at random, but it was a good choice. I had fried eggs, salad whit black olives, green peas, cooked carrot and parsley root with mayo and fried potato fingers. Next very good meal was on the beach. There were many restaurant and tapas bar. We sat in an open air tapas bar where we couldn’t order coffee but we ordered very god seafood salad and amazing cod marinated in pesto. Place was beautiful, meal was very good, I felt happy.