Sunday, 31 October 2010

THE GASTRONOMIC DELIGHTS OF BARCELONA


The love of ham and sausages almost reaches cult status and is so apparent in this Xarcuteria where all the choice cuts are so proudly displayed.

The City of Barcelona is a place of exquisite beauty. It is a place where all the arts are in the highest order. Its architecture and arts are like no other and are renowned the world over. The whole place is like a gallery of their artistic heritage. It is also a place where food is showcased in every manner in every part of the city. It is a gourmand's definition of heaven. Food, glorious food, lots of it and everywhere! And so beautifully presented, you can't help but gape and marvel at all the gastronomic delights presented as an art form.
 
A whole stall dedicated to mushrooms.
The supermarkets have not replaced
the traditional markets (Mercat) in Barcelona. The people still prefer their fresh produce and gourmet products to commercially produced ones. They are not tucked away but are located in places of prominence and are one of their tourist attractions. Their markets are like no other_each kind of food is presented with pride in a very  beautiful tableau. You can just walk around and fill all your senses.


Each stall specializes in certain products and they only sell the best of it. I was amazed by the extensive variety of artisan hams and sausages at the Xarcuteria. The high quality of these products are due to the unique conditions  that the Iberian Peninsula provides. The aroma is heady as you approach. Some stalls offer a free taste and some, to my delight, sell little bits of Jamon Serrano in french fries boxes so you can snack on them as you stroll. There were cheeses of every sort, fruits, vegetables, spices, nuts, meats and seafood. You can also hop on a bar stool at the seafood shop and let them cook your chosen treat while you watch. If you want to keep walking, there are also lots of pastries, sweets, shakes and fruit salads to eat on the go. There are also tapas bars on site. You can't be more spoilt for choice. It would be such a shame to walk away empty handed.


Dried fruits and nuts.
Candied fruits.









   



Fresh fruits.




Yummy pastries.













Restaurants abound, most of them serving the renowned tapas. Those tasty  little morsels just aim to please. Even the very simple bread smeared with tomatoes (pa amb tomaquet) is surprisingly delicious. Pastry shops sell traditional specialties. Sweet shops sell their indulgent sweets such as turron, polvoron and yemas. Always, the shop is as beautiful as the wares.  

Fideua, same as paella but uses fine pasta instead of rice
This elegant shop sells turron de almendras,
polvoron, yemas and other decadent delicacies.
Tapas selection.


The place is full of well preserved history yet has all the influences of modernism.  As you walk along the streets, your eyes will be drawn upwards to their magnificent buildings. It is not only the landmarks that are beautiful but the local architecture and town planning as well. The residential buildings are of the old world yet the introduction of modern commercial establishments on the bottom floor does not cause disharmony at all.
  
A gelato shop.

I thought the locals would observe their siesta, but actually the city never seems to sleep! The streets are busy, morning 'til night. Of course the food is available at all times. 
 
Beautiful place, exquisite food, Barcelona is totally fantastico! 

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You might like these Spanish recipes

Calamares Fritos 
Catalan Fideua
Seafood Paella
Patatas Bravas

1 comment:

  1. I think I would LOVE Barcelona! Great picutres! I love exploring new places, really for the food! :-) Nice to meet you!

    ReplyDelete

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