Merluza con Garbanzos y Chorizo

chorizo, garbanzos y merluza

chorizo, garbanzos y merluza

Hake with Chickpeas and Chorizo

I really enjoyed a bacalao with chickpeas and chorizo dish recently in Barcelona and thought I’d cook something similar at home. Hake is quite a good substitute for bacalao, since it’s from the same fish family. While hake is not salted and dried like bacalao (salt cod), it does have firm flesh, something that occurs with salting, and handily, has a solid back bone, so no searching for the tiny little bones as with cod. Also, hake is very popular in Spain (unlike the UK) and can easily make it’s way into a soup or casserole like this. Anyone not liking hake or fish could just make chickpeas with chorizo – in Spain the two combined constitute a dish in their own right, as well as being a basis for many others.

Merluza con Garbanzos y Chorizo recipe (serves 2 hungry people):

3 soft cooking chorizos (cut into 3)
2 slices of smoked streaky bacon (cubed)
2 small hake steaks 200g (chopped)
250g dry chickpeas
1 large onion (chopped)
1 carrot (chopped)
1 red pepper (chopped)
6 pieces garlic (finely chopped)
2 bay leaves
a tablespoon olive oil
cracked black pepper
a teaspoon pimentón dulce
a teaspoon hot smoked pimentón de la vera
a squirt of anchovy paste (or half a fish stock cube)
a splash of sherry vinegar (optional)
water

This is a simple one pot dish, which could be cooked in the middle of nowhere, if one had a little salt cod and cured chorizo. A shepherd or traveler in Spain, two hundred years ago or more, would have cooked similar meals and this is not unlike the way that American cowboys cooked baked beans from scratch, over an open fire in a Dutch Oven. In Spain a lidded cazuela made of terracotta would be a more common cooking vessel, but a cast iron casserole with lid, will do an equally good job.

garbanzos

garbanzos

I soaked the chickpeas in plenty of cold water overnight for 12 hours. One could cut the time down considerably by using a pressure cooker or by buying chickpeas tinned, but I specifically wanted to do this the old fashioned way, so that everything was cooked together and absorbed all the flavours.

add the chorizo

add the chorizo

Fry the onion in plenty of olive oil, until it goes translucent, then stir in the bacon, followed by the chorizo. When the meat has taken some colour and the pimentón in the chorizo turns the onions red, the carrot, red pepper and garlic can go in.

pimentón

pimentón

Mix in the pimentón dulce and the hot smoked pimentón de la vera (add this to taste if you don’t like things too spicy).

stir in the chickpeas

stir in the chickpeas

Drain the chickpeas and give them a rinse before stirring them into the pot.

con agua

con agua

Pour on water to cover all the ingredients and add the bay leaves. Note, it looks like there are tomatoes in here, but the red colour is all pimentón and red peppers. Turn the heat up until the liquid is bubbling, skim off any foam and put the lid on before transferring the cazuela to a preheated oven at 150ºC. If like me, you use a couple of hake steaks, remove the back bones and add them to the dish – it all adds to the flavour at the end of the day.

chickpea casserole

chickpea casserole

Check the casserole after about an hour – the chickpeas should become soft somewhere between 60 – 90 minutes. Once they are tender squeeze in an inch or two of anchovy paste (to taste), sprinkle on some black pepper and add a splash of sherry vinegar (optional). I deliberately held back on the seasoning before the chickpeas were tender, as salt can inhibit the tenderising process – some pulses will not tenderise if salt is present. In this instance the salt comes from the anchovy paste. A fish stock cube could be used instead, but again, after the chickpeas are tender.

add the hake

add the hake

Push the cubed hake down into the liquid, replace the lid and return the cazuela to the oven for another 20 minutes.

chorizo, garbanzos y merluza

chorizo, garbanzos y merluza

Taste the casserole and adjust the seasoning to taste.

chickpeas, chorizo and hake

chickpeas, chorizo and hake

Cook on top of the stove at a low heat for another 10 – 15 minutes or until some of the liquid has dissolved and the surface starts to become thick and sticky (the collagen in the fish and particularly the bones causes this). Remove the bones and serve with crusty sourdough bread.

I enjoyed drinking a hearty Spanish red wine with this, such as Carta Roja, Monastrell Gran Reserva.

Posted in Barcelona, Drink, Fish, Food, Meat, Recipes, Spanish | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Oh’Lola

oh'lola

oh’lola

Yesterday, I went on an outing with friends (and fellow bloggers), La Chica Andaluza and Cecilia. I discussed where to go with La Chica Andaluza a couple of weeks beforehand we decided on a Spanish themed day. That week, Time Out gave rave reviews to a new paella place in Hatton Garden called Oh’Lola. When I was buying my bread at the St. John (late that week), I went to have a look – I could see a paella and an arroz negro cooking inside and the fantastic smell of Spain had me convinced that it was worth a visit.

morito

morito

But, I’m getting ahead of myself. A true Spanish outing should include a visit to a bar for an aperitif of vermut or sherry before lunch. I’d arranged a rendezvous with Cecilia at the Angel, so it seemed like a good idea for us to meet La Chica Andaluza en route to Oh’Lola, at Morito in Exmouth Market. Here we were guaranteed to find a good selection of Spanish drinks.

vermut

vermut

We all ordered the same – El Bandarra vermut from Alt Penedès in Cataluña. Vermut, more commonly known as vermouth here, is an aromatised, fortified wine, originally used for medicinal purposes, especially stomach disorders. Many of these medicinal liquors contained wormwood and the name vermouth is the French pronunciation of the German word wermut (wormwood). Modern vermouth became popular as an aperitif in mid to late 18th century Turin and later in the 19th century as a key ingredient for many cocktails. While the popularity of cocktails has never waned, the drinking of vermouth as an aperitif fell out of fashion somewhat in the 20th century. However, there has been a vermut revival in Barcelona during the last 20 years, where old family recipes have been dusted off – many bars produce their own unique blend. Sales are booming and some bars have opened that specialise in vermut alone.

Our thirst temporarily slaked, we walked down through Clerkenwell Green and across Farringdon Road into Hatton Garden.

oh'lola menu

oh’lola menu

Once inside Oh’Lola we perused the menu on a blackboard above the counter. Oh’Lola doesn’t serve alcohol, but the extremely helpful staff suggested I go to the supermarket round the corner to buy a bottle of wine. I couldn’t find a screw top bottle of Spanish wine, but noticed a bottle of cava in the fridge (also from the Penedés) which solved the corkscrew problem. Back at Oh’Lola they cheerfully handed us some plastic cups at no extra charge.

bubbling paella

bubbling paella

Oh’Lola does seafood, chicken and vegetable paella on a daily basis with a special black rice (arros negro) Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Fideuà is served on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Take note celebrity chefs and supermarkets – they do not add chorizo to paella here!

pulpo

pulpo

In the counter top display they had some excellent looking octopus,

baby squid and calamari

baby squid and calamari

baby squid and calamari

croquetas

croquetas

and a selection of croquetas that were going fast.

seafood paella

seafood paella

We ordered: a seafood paella (for £7), which was as expected – delicious! The boxes look much smaller when photographed – the portions are quite generous.

pulpo a la gallega

pulpo a la gallega

perfect pulpo a la gallega (£7) – the traditional Galician way of serving octopus, on slices of boiled potato sprinkled with pimentón.

croquetas boxed

croquetas boxed

all the croquetas that they had left! These were excellent (and great value at £1 each) – the dark ones on the right are chorizo, the middle are mushroom and on the left are bacalao.

Oh’Lola is not a big place and probably does more takeaway business than eat in. However, the food is excellent and the staff bent over backwards to be accommodating. While we were in there I noticed two giant paellas disappear and two more were on the go before we sat down to eat. This is real Spanish cooking at a reasonable price.

Opening hours, Monday to Friday 8am – 5pm.

vinoteca

vinoteca

Having finished our lunch and cava, conversation continued and we adjourned to Vinoteca in St. John Street (after a brief visit to Smithfield) for a bottle of wine. I’ve never eaten here, but they have a huge selection of wine, some of which is quite inexpensive. We enjoyed a bottle of Tempranillo for £17.50.

the st. john

the st. john

Not quite sated, we went to the St. John across the road, for coffee and an Armagnac. It would have been remiss of me not to take Cecilia (a breeder of Hereford pigs) to the St. John (home of nose to tail in Britain) for a brief visit. Fergus Henderson turned up, almost on cue. He’d come down from the office upstairs to grab the last sourdough loaf for his supper.

…and a jolly good day was had by all!

Oh’Lola is at: 58 Hatton Garden, EC1N 8LS.

Morito is at: 32 Exmouth Market, EC1R 4QE.

Vinoteca is at: 7 St. John Street, EC1M 4AA.

St. John is at: 26 St. John Street, EC1M 4AY.

Posted in Drink, Eating Out, Fish, Food, Meat, Restaurants, Spanish | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 51 Comments

Can Ramonet

can ramonet

can ramonet

I went for a posh lunch today, with Oli in Barceloneta. It was raining, but for once the weather forecast was right and by the time we arrived (we’d normally walk, but a bus was more appropriate in rain) it had stopped. We were quite keen to visit El Nou Ramonet, after reading an excellent review here, but on comparing today’s lunch menu with it’s older sister restaurant, Can Ramonet (just round the corner, on the main market square), we were swayed by the prospect of fish balls in monkfish soup.

wine bar

wine bar

Can Ramonet is apparently the first house that was built in Barceloneta and dates back to 1753. It was originally a wine canteen and later a fisherman’s tavern. In 1956 Can Ramonet became a proper restaurant, specialising in local fish, black rice, paella, etc. Just inside the restaurant on the left there’s a small wine bar, with wine straight from the barrel, served in a traditional porrón (center of picture).

fish bar

fish bar

On the right is the fish bar complete with lobster tank. Past both bars, there’s seating for at least 100 people.

vi rosat

vi rosat

We sat outside on the terrace, which was quiet due to the weather. I’ve noticed over the years, that even in the evening, Catalans don’t go out when it rains – this can be a great advantage when visiting the most popular bars and restaurants.

menú de migdia

menú de migdia

Can Ramonet’s menú de migdia costs €18 for 3 courses including a drink, bread and pudding or coffee. This is excellent value when you consider that an à la carte main course here can cost at least €18 on its own.

sopa de rap amb mandonguilles

sopa de rap amb mandonguilles

We both ordered a starter of Sopa de Rap amb Mandonguilles de Peix de la Barceloneta – Monkfish Soup with Barceloneta Fish Balls. This was so good I could have eaten three bowl fulls and it made us quite pleased with our restaurant choice.

cap i pota i musclos

cap i pota i musclos

For my main course, I chose Arrós Melós amb Cap i Pota i Musclos – Sweet Rice with Cap i Pota and Mussels. Cap i Pota is a traditional Catalan stew of calf’s head and foot, sometimes with a bit of tripe thrown in for good measure. It’s one of my favourites and was excellent with mussels and rice.

rajada a la mantega torrada

rajada a la mantega torrada

Oli ordered Rajada a la Mantega Torrada amb Tàperes i Tomàquet Confitat – Ray in Toasted Butter with a Tomato Confit and Capers. I had a little taste and it reminded me of Julia Child’s enthusiastic first taste of Sole Meunière.

mel i mató

mel i mató

For pudding, we both ordered the Catalan classic Mel i Mató – fresh Goat’s Cheese with Walnuts and Honey.

carajillo

carajillo

It will be no surprise that I finished my lunch with a carajillo de cognac and no doubt you will have noticed my usual glass of rosado.

la factura

la factura

Both the food and service were first rate here. Our excellent lunch came to a very reasonable €43.35. The additional coffee and carajillo were a mere €2.30 and €2.95 respectively

font d'or

font d’or

and even the 500ml bottle of posh water was a trifle at €2.10!

Can Ramonet is at: Maquinista 17, 08003, Barcelona.

Posted in Barcelona, Barcelona Bars and Restaurants, Drink, Eating Out, Fish, Meat, Restaurants, Spanish | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Cabeza de Jabali

cansaladeria puri

cansaladeria puri

I was wandering around the Boqueria looking for something exciting and came across some Cabeza de Jabali (wild boar head) on the the Cansaladeria Puri (pork charcuterie) stall.

cabeza de jabali

cabeza de jabali

The wild boar head in question was actually wild boar brawn – listed in Larousse Gastronomique as Hure de Porc, potted head, or head cheese. In a  nutshell, the brined and slowly cooked head is turned into a terrine. Cooking the pig’s head is typical old fashioned nose to tail eating where no parts of a pig are wasted – this dish is common throughout Europe. Head cheese can also be made with cows and sheep, but pork is by far the most common ingredient.

wild boar brawn

wild boar brawn

Wild boar are native to Eurasia, North Africa and the Greater Sunda Islands. Like the pig, wild boar have also been introduced to the Americas and Australia.  In Britain, wild boar were hunted to extinction, probably by the 13th Century. There were moves to reintroduce them in the 17th Century, but as they were regarded by farmers as an agricultural nuisance, the new stocks didn’t last long. In the 1980s, wild boar were brought to Britain from France to be farmed. As this proved successful, other stocks have been introduced and bred from as far afield as Eastern Europe and Sweden. Today in Britain, there are real wild boar that have escaped and gone native. Across Europe the boar has been more successful than in Britain and in fact populations are exploding. In the vineyards of Europe the boar can be a particular problem, as a mother and babies can devour an entire harvest in a night or two! As they are hunted to keep their numbers in check, it seems only right to eat them – like deer and other game, their meat is lean and they haven’t been subjected to intensive farming. In short, they have lived decent lives.

I’ve eaten brawn made with pork quite a few times, but was excited by the chance to try the stronger wild boar flavour. The cabeza de sanglier was excellent in a bocadillo de queso – a Spanish cheese (manchego) sandwich in a baguette, where the bread is rubbed with garlic, tomato and olive oil (pan con tomate). It was also delicious served with a green salad, vinaigrette and pickles.

For a definitive brawn recipe, see Fergus Henderson’s book – Nose to Tail Eating.

Posted in Barcelona, Food, Game, Meat, Shopping, Spanish | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

Feliz Navidad 2016

navidad

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

 

Posted in Meat | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

La Carmanyola

la carmanyola

la carmanyola

I was in Poblenou again today for lunch with friends. We went a couple of streets off the beaten track and main Rambla de Poblenou to La Carmanyola (Catalan for the Lunchbox). It’s somewhat unassuming but known locally for good food, so we were lucky to get the last empty table inside. There is a terrace outside, but we were far to late at 2.30, to land a table there.

menú del dia

menú del dia

The four of us were handed little tickets with the menú del dia printed on them, somewhat like till receipts. As you can see, it was a choice of three courses with a drink for €11 each.

lentejas pardinas

lentejas pardinas

I ordered the Lentejas Pardinas to start – a Spanish brown lentil which has a regulatory council responsible for a guarantee of origin and quality. These pardina lentils (also known as Franciscan lentils) are often cooked with a piece of chorizo, tomatoes, onions, garlic, green peppers etc. If you look closely, you will see a small piece of chorizo above my spoon.

ensalada de fresas

ensalada de fresas

Adrian and Julia ordered Ensalada de Fresas – a pretty salad made with strawberries.

arroz a la habana

arroz a la habana

Gepe ordered Arroz a la Habana, also known as Arroz a la Cubana (Cuban Rice) – this is a popular rice dish in Spanish speaking countries. Apparently it comes from Peru or the Philippines and not Cuba. Normally (though there are a lot of variations) this dish contains rice, tomato sauce, a fried egg and a plantain or banana. Here there’s the addition of a slice of bacon on top. I tried this once, but it’s not my kind of dish. I am of the school of thought (or is that taste) that thinks fried egg and tomato (and that includes baked beans) must be kept apart on the plate, ideally there should be a barrier of sausage and bacon between the two. Regardless, this is quite a formidable starter!

boqueron andaluza

boqueron andaluza

I had Boqueron Andaluza for my main course – these are small anchovies dredged in flour and deep fried, served with a slice of lemon, much like whitebait. These came with fries and a little pot of allioli (an emulsion of garlic and olive oil) on the side.

bistec de girona

bistec de girona

The others ordered Bistec de Girona – steak and fries. I assume from the name that it’s beef from Girona.

tarta semifria de limon

tarta semifria de limon

I was going to order a carajillo and skip pudding, but was told I could have pudding or coffee but a carajillo would be off piste.

carajillo

carajillo

So I thought if I had to pay for a coffee with brandy I might as well have the pudding and pay extra, which is generally only €1.50 – €2. I don’t remember the price here, but it was suitably cheap and came with the usual large shot of brandy on top of the espresso! The Tarta Semifria de Limon – chilled lemon tart, was very good.

vino tinto

vino tinto

We drank the house vino tinto (Legítimo from Cariñena) with lunch – there was no rosado here, but the red (tinto) came chilled. Gepe drank his wine with Gaseosa (far left in the photo), a fizzy lemon drink, somewhere between lemonade and fizzy water. Gaseosa is popularly mixed with wine or beer, especially when it’s very hot.

interior

interior

We enjoyed good food and excellent service at La Carmanyola – I’ll be back, especially since I’ve heard they do a good paella!

La Carmanyola is at: Plaça de Julio González, 3, 08005 Barcelona.

Posted in Barcelona, Barcelona Bars and Restaurants, Drink, Eating Out, Fish, Food, Meat, Restaurants, Spanish | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Mercat de Mercats

la catedral

la catedral

After the wedding, I slept like a log and woke up feeling hungry. Lindsay turned up with croissants at midday and after a cup of tea we all decided to have lunch at the Victoria (again). I enjoyed a particularly good fideuà and crema catalana. While we were savouring carajillos, I remembered that the Mercat de Mercats (Market of Markets) was on.

 

mapa

mapa

Like the Christmas Market, the Mercat de Mercats is held in Plaça de la Cathedral. This is an annual event showcasing local food and drink from market stall holders, shops, restaurants and wine producers. I kicked myself, because we should have come here for lunch! I was feeling a bit sleepy after the Victoria, but nevertheless, as it was the last day of the three day event, I pulled myself together and got on with the job at hand.

vins

vins

I have to confess that I skipped the wines after drinking half a bottle for lunch and on reaching the food section I hesitated for just a second …before being overwhelmed and delighted by the quality of the produce.

horno santo christo

horno santo christo

Horno Santo Christo surprised me somewhat, since as well a baked goods, it had a well stocked fridge of boquerones, olives, salmon, etc.

mariscos selectos juani

mariscos selectos juani

Mariscos Selectos Juani from the Boqueria, had little paper cones of fried fish,

mariscos

mariscos

platos combinados (left) and the ever popular pulpo a la feira (boiled octopus with pimentón).

cansaladeria la confiança

cansaladeria la confiança

Cansaladeria La Confiança from Mercat de la Mercè (quite a way out of central Barcelona),

tartar

tartar

had quite a selection of exciting food, including fondue, steak tartar (above),

ous de guatlla

ous de guatlla

and quails eggs with botifara or chorizo.

lacuina internacional soley

lacuina internacional soley

La Cuina Internacional Soley, from the Boqueria,

pebrots

pebrots

sell a wide array of exotic fruits, vegetables, condiments and sauces. Here they also had arancini, croquetas, pizza, sandwiches and wraps.

vidal pons

vidal pons

Vidal Pons, now own 7 stalls in the Boqueria,

dolços

dolços

but they do sell the most astonishing array of chocolates,

confiteria

confiteria

nuts and candies, reminiscent of Fortnum and Mason in London.

molt bo

molt bo

Molt Bo, again from the Boqueria, were cooking rice dishes,

paella

paella

including a fantastic looking paella de marisco (sea food)

arròs negre

arròs negre

and arròs negre (black rice with squid ink).

olivas

olivas

La Cabana d’Alcover is a small family business near Tarragon, growing organic olives

oli d'oliva

oli d’oliva

to make a high quality extra virgin olive oil (which smells of green fruit, freshly cut grass and ripe banana). Apparently they keep a herd of sheep to control the weeds!

gori

gori

Gori Embotits de la Vall d’en Bas are artisans curing meat and sausages in beautiful valley near Girona (Vall d’en Bas).

xoriç

xoriç

These are top quality hand made chorizo and fuet

embotits curats

embotits curats

and I love these astonishingly long secallona.

formatge de búfala

formatge de búfala

Formatges Montbrú make a number of cheeses from cows, goats, sheep and buffalo. I noticed that they had a sign stating zero lactose and when I looked it up, discovered that buffalo milk is virtually lactose free. Regardless, the cheese is very tasty! The cheese is made in Moià (home to prehistoric caves) and about 31 miles from Barcelona.

valliser

valliser

Valliser are a food company in the Penedès, dedicated to producing artisanal quince.

codony

codony

The quince is a member of the Rosacae family (which also contains apples and pears). It originally came for the Eastern Mediterranean, but has spread throughout Europe and was once far more popular in Britain than it is today.

carn de codony

carn de codony

The quince can be used to produce a wine or strong liquor, though the most popular culinary products are quince jelly, jam and pudding. In Spain it is very often eaten with cheese (Manchego), in a bocadillo (sandwich) or as part of a cheese platter. The hardened jelly is sometimes referred to as quince cheese.

espai la cava

espai la cava

Espai La Cava are located quite close to La Sagrada Família and specialise in hams, cured meats and cheeses.

sobrassada artesana

sobrassada artesana

Their sobrassada (a soft, spreadable, cured pork sausage flavoured with pimentón), traditionally from the Balearic Islands was particularly good.

hortet del baix

hortet del baix

Hortet del Baix was started by two farming families, who have gone into organic fruit and vegetable box delivery, similar to companies doing this in the UK.

arròs

arròs

Arrossaires del Delta de l’Ebre are a rice growing cooperative on the Ebro Delta in the Province of Tarragona. The Arrossaires grow Bomba rice (above), which is the best known variety cooked on the East Coast of Spain. Bomba rice is very popular for dishes such as paella, Arròs Negre and Arròs a Banda. Bomba is thought to have been brought to Spain by the Moors and is believed to have originated from an Indian strain.

liqor d'arròs

liqor d’arròs

While looking at the Arrossaires’ stall, I noticed that they have diversified into making liqueurs from rice, flavouring them with cream, figs and herbs. They are also the first people to produce a rice malt beer – good news for people allergic to gluten.

embotits artesans

embotits artesans

Embotits Artesans l’Esquiador from Girona, produce artisanal cured sausages and meats.

ventresca curada

ventresca curada

Their cured pork belly was excellent.

sanpellegrino

sanpellegrino

They day had started out slightly chilly, from the rain yesterday, but this afternoon the sun shone brightly and it became quite hot and humid. I was very grateful to Sanpellegrino, who handed out free citrus flavoured water. It was so hot that I went back for a second can!

valle de aran

valle de aran

The Valle de Arán (Aran Valley) is the only part of Cataluña on the north side of the Pyrenees. The stall pictured above showcased their produce, including caviar, casis, cider, hazlenuts, jam, mustard and paté.

fires i mercats

fires i mercats

Fires i Mercats showcased vegetables,

fires i mercats - carn

fires i mercats – carn

meat and cheeses from traditional regional fairs and markets.

blau d'osona

blau d’osona

This  blau d’osona cows milk cheese (top left) had a real kick. It reminded me of Asturian cabrales cheese, which I’m very fond of.

mel muria bio

mel muria bio

Mel Muria Bio has produced award winning honey for 6 generations – they now have over 2,000 hives and sell their products throughout Cataluña and Spain.

sushi catala

sushi catala

Sushi Catala Xarcuteria is Olga Rovira’s unique Catalan take on the Japanese dish.

sushi

sushi

Olga believes that her sushi ingredients should be fresh, local and economical. It’s worth noting that there’s quite a bit of Catalan Japanese fusion going on in top Barcelona restaurants. I find this unsurprising since seafood is such a large part of the Spanish diet. In fact, Tempura originally came from Iberia via Christian missionaries – the Japanese just refined it and they have been coming to Spain to buy the very best tuna for many years.

formatges vall de cati

formatges vall de cati

Formatges Vall de Catí – cheeses from the Vall de Catí – a valley in the north of Valencia.

formatge de cabra

formatge de cabra

They produce some excellent award winning organic cheese from goat and sheep milk.

formatge d'ovella

formatge d’ovella

I was encouraged to try all their cheeses and liked the hard ovella (sheep cheese above) so much that I bought a piece.

o'croquet

o’croquet

O’Croquet, AKA Oliver Croquet, makes one of my favourite Spanish foods, the croqueta.

bacallà

bacallà

The above bacallà croquetas (salt cod), had a perfect crunch, with the right mix of creamy cod filling – to die for!

righetti forners

righetti forners

Righetti Forners – Pa i Coca de Forner. This looks like fantastic bread and coca, from the town of Gavà, just west of Barcelona El Prat Airport.

embotits can gaburra

embotits can gaburra

Embotits Can Gaburra are another cured meat and sausage company, from Olot. Their longaniza, xorizo and fuet (cured sausages) tasted so good that I had to buy some.

chicharrónes

chicharrónes

The chicharrónes (fried pork fat) were very tempting,

bull blanc

bull blanc

but were not nearly as good as this bull blanc (a bladder or intestine stuffed with pork mince and seasoning). I was quite interested in buying one of these, but they tried to push the more expensive lomo (cured pork tenderloin) on me instead, so I moved on.

quesos ojos del guadiana

quesos ojos del guadiana

Quesos Ojos del Guadiana come from Cuidad Real, so they were a long way from home. They make a first class Manchego, which they say is the “Best sheep cheese in the world.” It could definitely be one of them!

carn de vedella

carn de vedella

This beautiful piece of beef is from Barrachina Meat & Burguer (their spelling of burger on the stall) – a shop and restaurant next to the Boqueria. I’m quite sure this wasn’t minced up and served in a bun.

carnisseria gallifa

carnisseria gallifa

Carnisseria Gallifa have a stall in the Mercat de Felip II in the north of Barcelona.

carn

carn

I was impressed with their brightly coloured seasoned meats (above) and I believe they are big on barbecue.

symposion especialitats gregues

symposion especialitats gregues

Symposion Especialitats Gregues specialise in Greek produce and have a stall in the Boqueria. Back in the 90s one couldn’t find taramasalata for love nor money in Barcelona, which I considered odd, because of the Catalan love for cod and the popularity of tarama in France, just next door.

empanades

empanades

I was a little surprised to see them selling empanadas, but I realised that they contained Greek style fillings.

tapes

tapes

Olives Francesc de la Boqueria had some fantastic tapes for sale. Above are pa amb tomàquet with salt cured anchovies or boquerones for €1

pastes de pa

pastes de pa

and little rolls containing tuna or anchovies for €2.

olivas

olivas

Large cups of olives also cost €1.

trufa negra

trufa negra

I was very keen to try their black truffle potato chips (crisps) too! These are available from their stall in the Boqueria.

la belle huitre

la belle huitre

The oysters at La Belle Huitre were in a glass fridge reflecting the sun, but I did get a decent shot of their pop (octopus) on skewers above.

olivas

olivas

More olives here from Olives i conserves Torres, who are in Sant Antoni Market.

seitons i pebrot

seitons i pebrot

These are fantastic little tapes at very sensible prices, unlike London, where street food costs almost the same as a meal in a restaurant. Above are boquerones with pimiento

anxoves i pebrot

anxoves i pebrot

and here, anchovies with pimiento.

salmó i olives

salmó i olives

Even the little olives stuffed with salmon and cream cheese looked delicious.

baron de roquette buisson

baron de roquette buisson

Baron de Roquette Buisson came all the way from France,

foie gras

foie gras

with their foie gras, cassoulet and confit de canard. It is said that Jews fleeing from the Inquisition took the white beans in cassoulet to France from Spain. Most beans, aside from native broad beans, came from the Americas and would have come through Spain before reaching the rest of Europe. Cassoulet itself may be derived from the Jewish Cholent.

olives i conserves el pinyol

olives i conserves el pinyol

Yet more olives from Olives i conserves El Pinyol.

tonyina i pebrots

tonyina i pebrots

They also had remarkable value for money tapes, of tuna and red pepper,

anguilas y aceitunas

anguilas y aceitunas

eels and olives.

anxoves i olives

anxoves i olives

anchovies and olives

brandada

brandada

and some fantastic brandada in cones.

mercat de mercats

mercat de mercats

After all the shopping and tasting, I was exhausted. I didn’t even get to the restaurant demonstration section as I was badly in need of a siesta.
…later on, awake and refreshed, I cycled across the square at around 11.30pm and found that the market had completely disappeared!

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