Friday, June 1, 2018

La Boqueria Market: A Monument to Gastronomy





La Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria is not simply a market, it is a monument to gastronomy, an explosion of colours, aromas and sounds in the centre of Barcelona, built on the site of the former St Joseph Monastery. Although the current market dates back to 1840, its origins go back to the 13th century when merchants and peasant farmers set up stalls to sell their produce to travellers entering or leaving the city. One of the landmarks of Barcelona, the new market now boasts over 200 stalls selling every kind of fresh food, from fabulous fish and seafood to gorgeous garden fruits and vegetables, meats, dairy, spices, and flowers. In addition to the wide variety of local products and exotic specialties colourfully displayed on the stands, the market features a selection of fabulous restaurants and traditional tapas bars where visitors can sample the market's sensational cuisine, such as the sensational Bar Boqueria which has been a gastronomic beacon for those seeking the freshest seafood and superb Catalan dishes. Seats are very hard to come by, but even a little bit of elbow room will secure a spot at the bar. 




The Boqueria Market is possibly La Rambla’s most interesting building, not so much for its Modernista-influenced design, but for the fabulous food market within

With over 200 stalls selling every kind of food, from fabulous fish and seafood to gorgeous garden fruits and vegetables, meats, dairy, spices, and flowers, the market is a feast for the senses

Plump fresh mangoes artfully displayed with their leaves

The Boqueria spills over with all the rich and varied bounty of fresh local fruits and vegetables,
and the occasional megawatt smile

Fresh lilies and roses exploding with intoxicating beauty 

A true Pescatorian at heart, I'm always drawn to fish and seafood markets wherever we travel

Enormous langoustine just waiting for the grill

Spanish whelks

Murex sea snails ready to eat with a squeeze of lemon - delicious

A mouthwatering sight to behold - cooked seafood ready to eat on the run and for just a few euros

Juanito Bayan of Bar Pinotxo, a local celebrity of the Market

Enormous Spanish oysters the size of my hand

Huge white asparagus from the Northern Spanish region of Navarro

Ostrich and Emu eggs the size of a grapefruit

Iberico Jamón stands are everywhere in the market and one of the most popular culinary destinations for locals and tourists alike

How could you refuse a smile like that?

Paper cones of famous Jamón for shoppers on the go

One of the best tapas bars in the Market, Bar Boqueria has been one of the 
most popular for over 25 years

Lucky to find two stools at the horseshoe-shaped counter overlooking the open kitchen,
Bar Boqueria's menu features almost every kind of seafood and Spanish tapas

An ice cold Estrella Damm was the perfect drink on a hot day in Barcelona

Tortilla Española and Pan con Tomate

Chef de Cuisine of Bar Boqueria during our tapas lunch was Christian

Patates Bravas and Grilled Scallips

Calamares y Dorado a la Plancha

Anchoas o Boquerones en Vinagre y olivas gordal

The anchovies were delicious to the last bite

Mixed Seafood Platter with chilled prawns, langoustines, shrimp and razor clams

Grilled Razor Clams

Fried Anchovies and Grilled Prawns

Galician-style Grilled Octopus on mashed potato garnished with paprika

Christian putting the finishing touches on Roasted Aubergines with cane honey 
topped with acorn-fed Jamón de Bellota

Fried Calamari

Grilled Scallops with roasted mushrooms, snow peas and tomato

Succulent Grilled Octopus with paprika oil and truffle parmentier

The young Portuguese fellow beside us was celebrating his birthday with his Mom and ordered the €57.00 Mixed Seafood Platter with Lobster, Fried Anchovies, and Grilled Salmon just to start

Explaining that he had missed breakfast, our young friend said he had gained 10 pounds while travelling through Spain — join the club!