la boqueria is a bcn essential. whether you’re a tourist or a local, your path will sooner or later lead you there.

la boqueria

just off la rambla, the colourful market serves as meeting place, grocery shop, breakfast joint or lunch eaterie. don’t get discouraged by the hoards of clueless tourists with cameras! just read between the lines and find the local soul of this amazing place. there’s nothing like it!

here you have a video featuring key people such as pinotxo, various vendors or workers and even local molecular gastronomy god, ferran adria of el bulli fame.

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the locally-sourced bolets were in season when we were visiting. the catalans haven’t given up the old tradition of mushroom picking and i love that!

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an unbelievable stall: they have many kinds of edible flowers, wild strawberries, and other such perishable merchandise. a feast for the eyes!

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the market offers cooking lessons for children as well as for grown ups. it offers a seasonal approach to transforming the best of what the market has to offer into delicious dishes.

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even if they are always in plain sight, the secrets of the place only rarely reveal themselves to us. i was passing by an older woman and i overheard the chat she was having with a vendor. she was buying her regular, a truffle. a kilo costs thousands of euro but only one such mushroom must be affordable.

tiny details like this got me glimpses of how raval really is, beyond the crowds and the tourism. people buying rabbit for their dinner and marisco for a simple soup, having a drink or a chat with a neighbour they met. you could stay for ever!

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the sheer wide selection of wonderful products will make you a better cook. everything is so fresh and it looks so good, you’d even enjoy getting your chef on every single day. you understand what they mean when they say that spain has great food.

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we found a little joint where we ended up coming back for breakfast. you know, colacao (milk with chocolate), a handful of flavoursome green olives and a bocadillo (sandwich), to share. unbelievably delicious!

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i love markets. they are little shortcuts i like to take to find out the essence of a place. i don’t remember being disappointed once. do you ever visit market places when you travel?

photo credits: little aesthete

video credits: la boqueria