Sunday, July 25, 2010

La Boqueria, Barcelona

In every city I went, I tried to go to the market, especially the open markets. Of all the markets I've been to on my Europe trip, La Boqueria stands out as the most interesting and eye-boggling. Although La Boqueria is covered, the sides are open so it still has that casual open market feel. Set in La Ramblas, this market has hundreds of stalls that specialize in fruits, veggies, seafood, dried fruits, dried veg, jamon, meat and many food stalls that are of restaurant standards. It is open Monday to Saturdays (Europe takes Sundays very seriously--everything stops and the shops and streets are deserted), 10 am to 7 pm.

Go to La Boqueria with an empty stomach because there are many things to eat there. Prices are not cheaper but this is after all on La Ramblas where all the tourists are. Rick Steves mentioned many stalls you can eat lunch at but since I lost his book (very sad about that) somewhere near the Spanish Arc Triomphe, I can't give you restaurant names and street addresses. Rick Steves' Best of Europe really is the bible to travelling in Europe. My copy of Lonely Planet was untouched because it just isn't as good as Rick's Europe. Rick knows Europe like a local and writes in a funny, light-hearted way and rates places of interest--3 triangles means 'must go', 2 means 'don't miss', 1 means 'go if you have the time', something along that line--and I've found all his tips and recommendations very useful, except for the tip on the Uffizi in Florence but I'll talk about that when I come to that.


My daughter and I absolutely love flat/donut peaches. Choose the ones that are unblemished, firm yet fragrant. We don't even peel the skin off.

I've said it before, I prefer Spanish cured ham to Italian.  Look at how fresh the ham is. Here we tried the serrano (left) and the 99 euro /RM400/US$125 per kg Jamon Iberico (right). Both were good, with Iberico stronger in flavor while the serrano was smoother. The jamon was so good, we were a little heady after eating it.

 Jamon Iberico is made from the black Iberian pig and the best jamon Iberico comes from  free-range pigs that feed on acorns in the last few months before slaughtering.


An egg stall. Black ostrich egg omelette anyone?





Porcini mushrooms, dried but very fresh! The dried porcini that I get in Australia is usually  broken, brown and slightly powdery, a sign of age.

If I remember right, these morrels were 300 euros/RM1200/US375 per kg.


Pesticide-free flowers for garnishing.

More edible flowers and some flower-shaped tomatoes.


Wild strawberries

This stall sold Asian fruits like rambutans, guavas, tamarind, dragon fruits, mangosteens, tamarillos, starfruits, lychees etc.

Apart from cut fruits, you can get pure fruit juices thick as puree in various combinations. Refreshingly delicious on a hot day.

Those rabbits were big.

Love them Europeans; like the Asians, they eat every part of the pig .


Oohhh, goose liver. So big I thought it was fat.


Are these barnacles?



1/2 meter-long rectangular crepes come with fruits or savory filling.

Baccala/bacalao or salted cod which the Spanish and Portuguese love. Baccala needs to be soaked for hours to remove the salt. I was disappointed with the baccala fritters because  they were totally bland  (so tasteless that we couldn't finish that small portion) while the baccala balls were slightly better but still not tasty.

A very delicious plate of mixed mushrooms for about 3 euros. That's my copy of Rick Steves' (whom I began to call Stick Reves; I have the tendency to do that. Is it some kind of speech condition?) Best Of Europe 2010.


A couple of guys next to us recommended the grilled razor clams with a plate of baguettes, 15 euros/RM60 (that works out to RM10 per clam!)/US$19.

Grilled and topped with olive oil and parsley, this clam was so savory sweet and fresh!

He was drawing scenes of the market.

Lots of chocolate stalls too.

La Boqueria, an awesome market. Must go. Vic Market in Melbourne needs to learn a lot from La Boqueria in terms of variety, volume, presentation, freshness of produce and ambience.


LianneK said...

I agree! This is my favourite market in the whole wide world. THe fruits stalls stocks everything one can imagine (well, except of Durian) and the seafood stall behind the market serves the best and freshest seafood one can find in whole of Europe. Just don´t order Churros con Chocolate from the stall infront of La Boquera. Cut throat price :-)

gill gill said...

wonderful! good found. does your blog has feed?

Heather said...

this brings back lovely memories of barcelona!
have to go back soon!!!!

Things to do in Barcelona said...

I can proudly say that I'm agree with Lianne. I'm from Barcelona and without a doubt La Boqueria is by far my favourite market in the world.

Congratulations for this delicious blog!

jenn said...

Wow what a variety of items to view, totally yummy food.


the lunch guy said...

i have just spent over an hour reading all your latest posts. again, i must say, (especially as someone who has tried to blog consistently) your efforts are astounding. when i read your posts i feel like the proverbial fly on the wall. i feel as if i have made this "trip of a lifetime" with you.

my taste buds shimmered when you described the oysters and i got that viscous feeling in the back of my mouth that makes me swallow. i traveled back in time to my own trip to Prague when i saw your pics from that wonderful city. i have always wanted to see Barcelona and i am now wanting to even more. and to think, i am even considering Paris now that i have you to guide me.

thanks for every moment, and every image, every taste and smell, every aching foot and leg and even for the rude Frenchman, we all knew she was hiding somewhere.

i am leaving for the states on August 7th to attend my mother's memorial, i will be there for over a month. i will go to NYC, Orient Point, Long Island, NY, Vermont and Connecticut in New England, Atlanta, Georgia and hopefully Salt Lake City, Utah. i'll keep your example as one to post by, and i will do my best to take you along for the ride.

i look forward to your next series of adventures.

Su Kim said...

wow..look at everything! Gorgeous! Everything!

I have always thought Vic Markets failed miserably. Even the Springvale one, although mostly asian, was much better!

Thanks for sharing

terri@adailyobsession said...

lianne:high 5!
i saw durians but not sure if it was in la boqueria. oh, those front stalls very super expesive. cherries were like 30 euros per kg but inside, it was 1/10 the price.

gill: er..i'll do something about that soon...

heather: so easy for you bah!

things; lucky you! i'll love to be in barcelona right now!

jenn: probably the best market in europe, la boqueria

lunchguy: haha david:D. when i was travelling, i didn't blog because there was no time/no internet/no card reader. but when i got back to my daughter's place, i had 3 weeks and tt was when i blogged furiously. i bring a small notebook with me which is useful bc i'm very forgetful

i hope you have a good trip. will write u:))

sukim: the vietnamese market footscray? is pretty interesting too:))

Kitchen Butterfly said...

Oh I'm SO glad I'm off to Barcelona in October.......this is a must go! Thank you

jinkar said...

Just been to Barcelona and we had the razor clams too. So sweet, succulent but a little too salty. We enjoyed every bit though. We ate our way round the market and my sones enjoyed the baccala balls while we had the baccala and beans. The beans were tastier in my opinion. Also had some yummy stuffed aubergine as well.

John said...

We are staying Barcelona until April 15th before moving on to Bucharest. We have been here since the 28th of Jan. and are staying in Barcelonetta near the beach. We have tried the Boqueria but we have found much better food and prices out here. Especially in the dock area where the seafood is off loaded at El Raco. Should you come back consider staying out here. We got a great apartment three blocks from teh beach using AirBNB for only 800 Euros a month.

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