Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tasty Tuesday: La Boquería

Colourful spice stand with sundried tomatoes!

Do you guys know how many times you’ve saved me?

When RL (real life) sh*ts all over me as it has been doing in the past while, the only thing keeping me going is all of you – the fact that you read me and support me and count on me to tell you about all kinds of tasty, fun, and/or wonderful things there are in the world.  And that, in turn, gets me thinking and focusing on the positive things in life again.

So on this week’s edition of Tasty Tuesday, let’s take it back to one of my absolute favourite places, shall we?  The gorgeous and intoxicating Barcelona, which I miss with all my heart.
Candy Stall at La Boqueria
Back in December when I planned my trip there, one of my first must-sees was La Boquería, the famous food market in the Old City district just off La Rambla, the famous, charming avenue that leads to the ocean. We heard that the market was a great place to get fresh foods, spices, candies and more, so we were super excited to go there.
One of the many beautiful produce stalls

It did not disappoint!  The appeal of La Boquería is multi-faceted and all-encompassing.  As soon as I walked in, every sense (except, I guess, touch) was inundated with delight.  There were delicious smells of food in the air, the colourful fruit, spices and candies were beautifully displayed, the merry sounds of vendors advertising their wares was very happy, and the food...oh, Cosmos, the food was amazing.  It was here that I had another of my food-induced out-of-body experiences – but more on that later.
All kinds of mushrooms - yuuum.

The market is filled to the brim with many stalls that sell similar things – fruits and vegetables, seafood (YUM!), meats (beware the gruesome sight of skinned rabbits with the eyeballs still in :S), spices, candies, breads... The trick is to make a trip up and down every aisle before purchasing to spot where the best deals are.

The market closes fairly early for Spain standards (it says 8:30pm on Google but I remember it closing early afternoon when I was there – maybe it was for siesta or it was weekend hours – so I’d advise that you get there at about noon.  It will be crowded, but the ready-to-eat produce and juices get marked down as the day winds down, especially in the hour prior to closing.  
Nuts and dried fruit stalls

Like many tourists, we were so delighted by the rainbow display of fruit juices right at the entrance that we grabbed a cup each right away, Superwoman and I.  But we realized that the deeper into the market you go, the lower prices generally are – so I’d advise you to resist the temptation at the entrance and look inside the market first.  Watch out, however, because hybrid juices (with two or more fruits) tend to be cheaper and me, I am a juice purist.  I had mango juice, which I followed with an orange juice, and both were fabulous.  Generally, fruit juices should cost under 2 € a cup.

More candy!

There were also all kinds of munchies – jamon bits served out of paper French fry boxes, fried cod dumplings, ready-cut fruits and fruit salads with plastic utensils... There was so much food and such limited space in my stomach!
Delicious ready-to-eat fruits!

La Boquería is an utter delight and an absolute must-see in Barcelona, in my humble opinion.  I like it much better than the St. Lawrence Market in Toronto because there are a lot more things you can buy and eat while you walk.  Definitely go check it out when you have the chance!

It is located at:
Calle la Rambla, 91 (Liceu Metro Station)
08002 Barcelona, Spain

Salted cod (bacalao)


The hugest crab pincers I've ever seen.
Dried peppers and veggies hanging above a stall.

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