Tapas and Seafood galore

For the last two weeks, I’ve been traveling in Spain and getting to try a variety of interesting foods. Hence no CSA week 5 post.

During my time away, I spent 3 days in Barcelona, 3 days in the Pyrenees, 2 days in the Costa Brava and then a week on Mallorca. The interesting things about Catalonian food is that it varies a bit depending on where you are. In Barcelona the best meal I had was a lunch with tapas of razor clams and mussels. Really, I’m never had better seafood than in the Barceloneta. Top notch and super fresh.

In the Pyrenees the dishes I tried were much heartier. I had a terrific salad with a goat cheese cake and braised lamb one evening. Another day at lunch I had three different types of sausage grilled on skewers. One sausage was white, one black (which makes it think it was blood sausage) and the other normal. This was service with a vegetable dish which included sauted peppers, zucchini and eggplant. It reminded me a little of ratatouille and sense we were very close to the border with France that would make some sense.

Mallorca had the most interesting food. I tried spicy, fried tripe, which the waiter gave me the third degree when I ordered. It think he was afraid that I didn’t know what it was and would be unhappy. Ironically it was one of the best thing I had during the trip although terribly rich. That same night I tried stuff aubergines (for those in the US that’s eggplant). The rest of my stay there was filled with lots of seafood. Fish or calamari at many meals.

Probably one of my favorite parts of the trip was visiting the various markets. La Boqueria in Barcelona was overwhelming.

I ended up likely Mercat de Santa Caterina better in many ways. I had breakfast there one morning and my spouse got the tastiest eggs with chorizo I’ve ever had. Strawberries from the market made for a perfect driving snack between Barcelona and the Pyrenees.

Palma de Mallorca also had a good market, Mercat Olivar. I stopped there to get snacks for the journey home including Mallorcan almonds, and a tasty mini meat pie for the plane ride to the mainland.

A bar there provide a tasty caliente bocadillo of queso, jamon y tomate (grilled ham, cheese and tomato sandwich) for breakfast. I could have spent hours just looking at things in each of these markets.

In a perfect world I would spend a month here in a rented apartment where I could experiment with all the different vegetables, meats, cheeses and assorted other goods. Alas, this is not to be so I just have to stare in fascination and admiration.

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