La Boqueria :: Barcelona, Spain
Dating all the way back to the year 1217, the Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria is one of Europe’s oldest and most famous public markets. Known simply as La Boqueria, this market is revered for its spectacular array of fruits, vegetables, breads, meats, seafood, and myriad of other food stalls. With an entrance on Las Ramblas, La Boqueria is a popular attraction for both Barcelona locals and visitors to the city.
The market has been called a sensation for the senses. The market offers extraordinary tastes of Catalonia; indeed, it provides visitors with a fabulous taste of Spain. From specialty products to fresh produce, fish, poultry, and meat, La Boqueria caters to the taste buds. After shopping along the Las Ramblas or wandering through the Barri Gotic, the market is the ideal place to lunch on fresh bread, cheese, olives, plums—or a something from the vast array of choices that are a feast for the eyes. Visitors may also dine at one of the market’s various tapas bars to sample many small plates of Catalonian cuisine.
The market is the ideal place to witness the spirit of Barcelona. Many visitors come to shop while others enjoy people watching as they enjoy a fruit juice or pastry. The market is divided into sections for easy shopping. If produce or fish is the order of the day, locals recommend coming early in order to choose the cream of the crop, but as a rule, the market is revered for the high quality of its food stuffs; vendors are often busy, but also regarded as friendly.
The amount of food and Catalonian products available at La Boqueria is stunning. Seafood lovers will find fresh osetra caviar, ropes of grilled octopus, succulent langoustines, fat prawns, crabs, and a staggering selection of fish. Fresh ham and various kinds of cured pork are Catalan staples. Fresh poultry and eggs are widely available as well. Everything is there—mushrooms, peppers, herbs, olive oil, tomatoes, and so much more. Many stalls may also provide meals of typically Catalan dishes like allioli sauce over grilled meats, cod with pine nuts and raisins (a Catalan favorite), or the stew known as escudella. While a wealth of choices awaits visitors at the market, be sure to try foods that represent traditional Catalan cuisine in order to taste the particular flavors of Barcelona.
In a city known for its vibrant culture and rich history, La Boqueria is a standout attraction. Its tastes and smells will enchant and its bustle will draw you into the life of the city. Be sure to experience it each time you visit Barcelona.
|Frommer's Spain 2012 (Frommer's Color Complete)|
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