La Boqueria de Barcelona
We’d heard in advance that you can get anything you want at La Boqueria, and we learned on the spot that you can also get a few things you might not want.
We went in the late morning of Christmas Eve day, in time to see all of Barcelona arrive to stock up for their Christmas dinners, as well as for the Catalan holiday of Sant Esteve on the 26th. It was a madhouse to rival any madhouse I’ve ever seen. It was also a treasure trove of beautiful food, although it’s a good thing we really weren’t prepared to buy anything, since approaching most of the stalls was out of the question.
The fish vendors were the most swamped, and it’s only courtesy of a zoom lense that you can get any idea of how busy it was.
The fish were flying out of the stalls, along with mountains of briny-smelling shellfish
and heaps of dried cod.
You don’t find a lot of chile in Spanish food, which is perhaps why the chile seller is in hiding here, but for a true chile afficionado these were glorious. There were whole rows of stalls piled with fruits and vegetables, including plenty of these calçotadas, which can be charred on the grill and dipped in romesco sauce for an excellent appetizer.
There was candy,
pizza made to order,
foods for Francophiles with a sense of humor,
and even a stand ready to fulfill the, um, needs of vegetarians.
And for the shopped-out, or those fortifying themselves for another foray into the stalls, there was beer flowing freely and seafood grilling a la plancha. This is supposed to be one of the nicest places in the market for a fresh bite of something and a canya, or beer on tap, but we couldn’t get close enough to verify this tip for ourselves.
I can’t wait to go back on a calmer day to check out my first impression, which is that it would be worth moving to Barcelona just to be able to shop here every day. Moving to Barcelona probably wouldn’t make me feel any better about lambs’ heads than I do now, but you never know.