Mercat dela Boqueria in Barcelona, Spain engages all your senses. You realize this as soon as you enter its formidable space…
As the Chairman of the Vendors Association, Manel Ripoll, says: “…this is not only a market to come and buy, but simply to enjoy the pleasure of wandering around.” So wandering around, I did!
The sights, sounds and smell of this 300 year-old market almost sent me into a shopping-frenzy. I suddenly had the urge to stock up on meat, vegies and fruits momentarily forgetting that I am just on holiday. In other words, gusto kong mamalengke!
At the entrance facing the famed Las Ramblas, deli stalls offer a festive assortment of cured ham and sausages from all over the region.
I bought 2 kinds of sausages here as pasalubong for hubby. Just a reminder, though… these things, as yummy as they look, can be quite heavy so don’t get too excited.
Ques-o! I really wanted to buy some but the sausages were already 5 kilos! Mental note: bring home some cabra and mozzarella next time.
Walking a little farther in, this glorious, glorious scene greeted me!
The confectioners’ section is a delight even to those who don’t like sweets. Just the sight of these goodies made me forget the history of diabetes that runs in my family.
Is it possible to get sugar-rush by merely looking at sweet things? Yup, I think so. I think it was sugar-rush that made me buy a little bit of everything, including these chocolate encrusted fruits and nuts bars.
I also got some of these cocoa balls. Saraaaap!
After spending quite some time in the confectioners’ section, I reluctantly moved on and eventually found myself in the seafood section.
Freshness is the order of the day!
I never really fancied lobsters. But these guys looked sumptuous. I’m sure they will taste great tossed in butter, garlic and lemon. *salivates*
Okay, no offense to my European friends but this one is kinda funny to me. I come from a country that produces half of the world’s coconut supply (or so, I’d like to think). So I can’t imagine this being bought by Pinoys. What Filipino would eat chunks of coconut for the mere pleasure of it? Well, okay… there’s my grandmother, Lola Mantay. I remember how she would munch on coconut flesh/meat, spit the ‘ground’ coconut onto her palm, place her hand on top of my head, then squeeze the bejesus (or be-juices?) out of it and coat my hair with the dreadful coconut milk! But in fairness to my Lola (and to the coconut), my hair would be well-conditioned and shiny for a week after the treatment. But I digress… Moving on…
Aside from fresh seafood, there’s also the dried fish section.
As I walked towards the exit, this adorable stall bid me farewell…
I almost bought a dozen eggs from this duck. That’s just how cute she was!
Well, Mr. Ripoll, President of the Vendors Association, you sure have a wonderful market! I know I barely scratched the surface. I haven’t even visited the vegetables section and the tapas restaurants! But don’t worry Senor, I will come back soon. And when I do, I will bring with me a large shopping basket and perhaps give those coconuts a try.
To know more about La Boqueria, visit them here.
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