Thursday, 29 March 2012

2009 Catalan Gastronomy - Part One

The capitol of Catalonia: Barcelona.            

In 2009 I was lucky enough to find probably the cheapest flight ticket that summer, a return ticket between London and Barcelona for 8 pounds in total! Please don't hate me!
I went to Barcelona solely for the Catalan Gastronomy, I've had a list in my pocket with restaurants and tapas bars and I knew that is going to be an expensive trip, despite my almost free ticket.
We had to save money somehow so during the day, every day, we had only the cheapest ham, the cheapest cheese plus some bread, we didn’t buy anything at all, we only visited places with free entry, but at the night time, we lived like kings!

That’s sounds awesome and I don't want to ruin this "article" with sad stories but Barcelona can be really dangerous, we have had some craziness with thieves and drug dealers. (Don’t get me wrong we did not want to buy anything, they wanted to sell...) All I want to say with this to my fellow photographers or anyone with a camera to be careful and read this article before you visit Barcelona.

In this part I am going to tell you about the best Marketplace I have ever seen, it’s called La Boqueria.

You can get anything here from wild birds, through a huge variety of local and exotic fruits to seasonal mushrooms, seafood and sausages. One of the most interesting markets of Europe and probably the highest quality fish market in the World. You name it! Octopus, Crab, Oyster et cetera... anything you want really. You can find the market on the main street which is La Rambla.

There are two tapas bars I have to mention The El Quim de laBoqueria and the Pinotxo Bar.
If you ever get there, you should definitely try out both of them.
When you walk into the market you just need to turn a little bit to the right and you will see the Pinotxo right away. This place is one of the favourites of some world-wide known Chefs like Ferran Adria,  Santi Santamaria or Carles Abellán!

Joan Bayén Pérez (the owner) runs the best place at that market, don’t even dream of an empty seat at your arrival, you will need to wait till someone finishes cause there is always “full house”.
But it’s worth to wait indeed! Trust me.

The El Quim is similar in both style and quality, but enough said. Have a look at the pictures!

Tuna head

Freshly made Smoothies

Dried Fruits                                           Lobster
Local and Exotic fruit mixes and numerous vegetables and mushrooms
Bull's Tail
  Wild Mushrooms                           Whole Octopus

Pinotxo Bar from the entrance
Joan Bayén Pérez
Black Mussels and Baby Squid with Chickpeas
Coffee and caramelized pastry

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