When people ask me what I will miss the most about Barcelona, I will tell them the food – don’t even need to think twice about it.
If there is one thing the Catalonians know how to do well, it’s eat. The abundance of fresh, local meats, fish, cheeses and produce renders supermarkets full of packaged goods unnecessary and well prepared food is accessible and easy / quick for anyone.
You rarely see a local eating McDonald’s or anybody the few and far between traditional fast food options . That’s because fresh sandwiches, pastries an pinxtos (small bites like mini sandwiches or topped “crostinis”) are available just about everywhere and dirt cheap. I will say, however, this is not a locale for vegetarians or vegans. They like their cows, lambs and pigs here. They also offer one of the cutest creatures in the planet, the teacup pigs at http://www.pamperedpiglets.com/.
My other favorite thing is how inexpensive and plentiful the wine is. In a land known for this lovely libation, wine is a standard at every meal and ridiculously affordable. Unlike in the states where a bottle of wine often costs as much as if not twice the cost of your meal, here you can purchase an excellent bottle with here the price of what a glass or two might cost at a nice restaurant.
The cured meats, cheese, pastries and Rioja are enough to make me want to move here. I can see myself settling in to evenings spent at the bodegueta eating meat and succumbing to a lifelong cholesterol medication regimen.
But alas, it is time to check in for my flight and get back to real life…nothing but salads and treadmills in my immediate future while I dream of manchego and fatty meats.
Here are some pictures from the markets and our favorite meals…