Spain-La Boqueria

Technically, this is about the love for a food market. I’ve got a thing about checking out what the locals snack on so food markets are definitely a must for me. Of course I love Fisherman’s Wharf in SF when the wind isn’t whipping me around and there’s nothing like watching the fish throwers at the Seattle Public Market. But La Boqueria in Barcelona, Spain is where food goes to show off. The market looks a bit dark from the outside but once you get inside, it’s a feast for the eyes as well as the tummy. Mama Mia! It almost requires a walk-through to take inventory before actually making a decision on what to buy because there may be something better down the next row. Sure, it’s a tourist destination like other attractions in Barcelona but it’s one that I didn’t mind hanging around in and actually made it a point to visit every morning of my stay. Along with all the beautiful produce, and I mean avocados on steroids, there are chocolatiers, butchers, bars, restaurants, the best smoothies ever, tapas, and a fish market that goes on for days. Again, it’s not like I haven’t seen beautiful food on display before but there is a freshness and beauty in this place that left an impression on me. The merchants take such great pride and care in their allotted spaces, making it hard to resist anything and coupled with that great Spanish hospitality, I usually couldn’t!  That’s not to say that I glossed over the butcher without flinching since there really is nothing like a neatly placed row of dead piglets to snap me back into reality. I forgot that the rest of the world doesn’t allow the buyer to pretend that meat is an unidentifiable form of protein. Not to mention that although I absolutely love fish, there were some things there that looked like they were from my horror film collection! But that’s what it’s all about, right? Discovering what you’ve never seen before is priceless, even if it’s in the form of a clam-like, slimy, drippy looking thing. (See photo) Ick. I’ll never get over how much fish we take from the sea every day and yet,  it keeps on giving to us….at least for now.  This is just one of many parts of Barcelona I really enjoyed and I get to add it to my repertoire of local food markets I have had the pleasure of  discovering. Food and travel….what else is there?!

I’d rather do it full tilt for a little while than half assed for a long time.

-Janis Joplin

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