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Mjx

Barcelona! Bringing Back a Bit of Local Flavor.

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My boyfriend is heading off to Barcelona, and asked the inevitable question: 'Anything I should bring back?'

My reply of 'Anything that looks delicious or interesting' didn't help much.

I've never been to Spain, and have no idea of what sorts of edible/drinkable things are worth finding and bringing back. Various sites promoting Spain/Barcelona aren't that helpful, since they push what they want to sell/figure will appeal to tourists, and those aren't likely to be the most interesting or noteworthy things.

We're interested in everything from low-end, mass-market items, to high-end specialties, as long as they can survive and are permitted on short-haul, EU flights (some of the more durable seasonal produce, perhaps?). Also, since my boyfriend will be spending the majority of his time at a conference, he's unlikely to have a chance to do any really intensive or out of the way hunting, unfortunately.

Anyway, if you have have suggestions (things you ate there/brought back/wished you'd brought back/were given by someone who'd been there), I'd love to hear about them!

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Dried (and possibly smoked) peppers come to mind. Be careful however, the very decorative braids sold at the Boqueria can harbor insects such as the Bread beetle. Unfortunately those beetles even like smoked hot peppers :(

Today I would vacuum seal the peppers, but unfortunately that was not an option three years ago. so in the end, the peppers had to go (apparently even freezing didn't kill all the eggs, as the beetles returned after the peppers had been in the freezer for a month).

Of course, you shouldn't forget the Cava :biggrin:


Edited by pep. (log)

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Just by a heading to a local supermarket you can find all sorts of canned goodies: tuna, anchovies, cod, mussels, clams, olives, olive oil, artichokes, etc.

I also brought back all sorts of smoked Spanish paprikas. Sweet, bittersweet, hot, etc.

And then, available at lots and lots of places, maybe some jamon Iberico.

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It's six years old, but here's a list of shops I hit when in BCN. The sausages at Vila Viniteca were outstanding, remarkable charcuterie, and the pine nuts at (the very touristy yet excellent) E&A Gispert were as well.

Finally, if he can get it back to you quickly, I'd have him bring home a stack of baked goods from Escribá. Oh my.

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I would bring a suitcase of iberico de bellota pork products... Of course the jamon, but also, the bellota chorizo, fresh pork loin (if the trip isn't that long and you can keep it cold), etc. I dont know if they're still open, but Jamonisimo specializes in small production bellota jamon. They have it from 3 different regions. My favorite is from the Extremadura region. They have some that are already sliced and vacuum packed and will withstand quite a while at room temp, although it's best to keep refrigerated.

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+1 on bringing back Jamon Iberico de Bellota, preferably from one of the Jamonissimo stores. I dream about the delicious nutty and fruity pieces of mountain dried ham since our trip to barcelona last year. A few high end stores are starting to carry it here, but the price is just ridiculous...

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The jamon looks gorgeous, but even vacuum packed, I'm not certain how it would survive the (admittedly shortish) flight. On the other hand, since my boyfriend is reading this, he's probably going to return several punds heavier.

It's six years old, but here's a list of shops I hit when in BCN. The sausages at Vila Viniteca were outstanding, remarkable charcuterie, and the pine nuts at (the very touristy yet excellent) E&A Gispert were as well.

Finally, if he can get it back to you quickly, I'd have him bring home a stack of baked goods from Escribá. Oh my.

Brilliant, thanks Chris! But I'm starting to think I should have suggested going along with him. I was slammed with work during the planning stage of the trip, and didn't pay much attention, or I would've started fluttering my eyelashes persuasively.

So. About those baked goods... can you think of any that may survive the rigors of a short, but two part flight with a possibly longish layover between segments?

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The jamon looks gorgeous, but even vacuum packed, I'm not certain how it would survive the (admittedly shortish) flight. On the other hand, since my boyfriend is reading this, he's probably going to return several punds heavier.

I don't think the flight would be a problem if he just took with him in one piece instead of sliced.

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The jamon looks gorgeous, but even vacuum packed, I'm not certain how it would survive the (admittedly shortish) flight. On the other hand, since my boyfriend is reading this, he's probably going to return several punds heavier.

My eldest son is also going to the Mobile World Conference, as an exhibitor. And my middle son was just there on business as well. The middle son did bring back some jamon, and asked the oldest son to bring back some extra. But they were/are flying directly back to the US.

And, the middle son said that he managed to eat one or another of the best varieties of those fabulous jamons at every meal, including breakfast at the airport on the last day. I believe that ham is the number one "foodie souvenir" and lots of folks manage to get some back, so surely there's some way that your BF can do it, too.

In my personal experience, anyway, few of the other things that make dining in Spain so delicious (cheeses and sausages, tortillas and tapas, churros and chocolate, sangria, and that freshly-squeezed orange juice you can get everywhere, including gas stations out on the highways) can be easily brought back.

I had a rather unpleasant incident with a chunk of cabrales that left everything in my suitcase stinking for weeks.

But maybe some bomba rice and saffron? You can't go wrong there.

And, if you're a girly girl, some boxes of Maja Powder for you and the grandmamas. All of the Spanish ladies love their Maja.

And I do, too.


Edited by Jaymes (log)

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The jamon looks gorgeous, but even vacuum packed, I'm not certain how it would survive the (admittedly shortish) flight. On the other hand, since my boyfriend is reading this, he's probably going to return several punds heavier.

The Jamon will be fine for the duration of the flight. It is a cured product and the whole hams are kept at room temperature in the store.

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