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Cerveza, Cargols i Covid - a summer in Catalonia


Duvel
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In these challenging times, a full summer vacation is not an easy task. For the last 1.5 years we have been mostly at home with the clear plan to visit Catalonia (or more precise my wife’s family) latest this summer. And it looked good for a while. Unfortunately, the recent rise in case numbers in Spain have resulted in …

 

OK, let’s skip this part. Long story short - my wife and me are fully vaccinated, as are >90% of the people we care about in Catalonia. After some discussion (after all, Germans tend to prefer to be on the safe side of things) we simply fueled up the car, got each a test (for the transit through France) and started to drive …

 

After a leisurely 11h drive we arrived at a small fishing town somewhat north of Barcelona around 3.00am. We unloaded the car and my wife an the little one went straight to bed. 

 

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I found an expired beer in the elsewise pretty empty fridge and enjoyed the cool breeze on the terrace. Holidays, here we come …

 

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Edited by Duvel (log)
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This cannot help but be a great diversion! Thanks for taking on the job of amusing us!

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

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Wow

 

good for you

 

11 h in a car

 

( even a nice one )  not so much

 

I translated the works on your 

 

' consol '

 

but  can't of course fine what the 

 

three ' jugs ' mean to the R of P

 

enjoy your trip

 

carefully

 

nice car.  new-ish ?

Edited by rotuts (log)
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1 minute ago, rotuts said:

but  can't of course fine what the 

 

three ' jugs ' mean to the R of P


That is an indicator whether someone is sitting in the rear (three seats) and if he/she/it is using the seatbelt …

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18 minutes ago, rotuts said:

11 h in a car

 

And all of it without oxygene😂

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Good morning from Catalonia !

 

After a (slightly longer) good nights sleep we started the day with a local breakfast. Little one and me headed out to pick up bread, tomatoes and some toppings.

 

We are staying at my wife’s parents house (who are not living there right now, story for another day), which is just off the central street of this town of ~15k people. The street is not busy and the 500 m leading down to the central square is dotted with small shops including five (!) bread shops.

 

561EFBDC-3F53-4BAB-962D-B00F2CA43271.thumb.jpeg.7f1db1cae1aca70e319e907b0d64c643.jpeg
 

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(… you get the idea)

 

Of course my wife prefers the bread from the shop farthest away from the house - a small local chain that has a very high turnover and more often than not you get your bread still warm from the oven. There is always a queue …

 

A906E234-691D-4BFA-AE4F-4D3A2CF2F29C.thumb.jpeg.3290454df2c291fa951d6917058bdaee.jpeg

 

Options include several baguette varieties …

 

201853C5-AEF7-45AE-B427-B1DADB2BF85F.thumb.jpeg.49e511980ecc261d123937fe9fad3e47.jpeg

 

… and sweet items, but filled and unfilled (sorry for the lousy pictures).

 

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Little one was so enticed by the smell of the warm catalana (a rustic local baguette variety, that has a bit of whole wheat mixed in), that he had to sample on the spot).

 

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Back at home, the bread was sliced up, rubbed with a halved ripe tomato, sprinkled with salt and olive oil and served with choriço, serrano ham, goat cheese and truita de patates (with onion, of course).

 

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Sweet options included a brioche and this puff pastry item with chocolate.

 

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A good start into the day !

 

Edited by Duvel (log)
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20 hours ago, weinoo said:

Oooooh, lucky you!

 

I mean very lucky you.

 

Is your plan to be making any excursions into Barcelona, or might you be trying to avoid the potential for crowds?

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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The town looks as though it belongs to another century which I guess it does! What an experience for the little one. And such a breakfast!

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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1 hour ago, weinoo said:

 

I mean very lucky you.

 

Is your plan to be making any excursions into Barcelona, or might you be trying to avoid the potential for crowds?


I think we will skip extended shopping trips to Barcelona this year … we will visit some family members there, but visiting La Boqueria for example will need to wait.

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@Duvel 

 

if you are able to take pics 

 

in markets and the like

 

as you have w the bread etc

 

Is appreciate it.   only w safety first

 

I lived in Spain and France  for several years

 

'50's  and early '60's

 

place like the town you are in

 

extremely common.

 

back then , not so much of the colorful 

 

paint and signs.

 

BTW   wise move to avoid Barcelona

 

as a tourist this trip.

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7 hours ago, rotuts said:

@Duvel 

 

these days , how much  Catalan is

 

used ?    signs , language , etc ?


Catalonia is an autonomous province, and all the official signs etc. are either in Catalan or sometimes bilingual. I’d say 90% of the rest of the public lettering is in Catalan as well. Here in this town very little Spanish is heard, most people talk in Catalan, albeit to me as a foreigner they try to speak in Spanish first (until they realize that I don’t speak Spanish and try to talk to them in Catalan, which usually they find odd …).

Edited by Duvel (log)
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3 hours ago, rotuts said:

@Duvel 

 

if you are able to take pics 

 

in markets and the like

 

as you have w the bread etc

 

Is appreciate it.


Sure thing - I’ll try to capture as much as possible 🤗

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Because the house in which we are staying was mostly empty, we went to a local (larger) supermarket. It is not very photogenic, so you’ll have to cope with my selection of points of interest (or oddities, for that matter) …

 

In the entrance, where the special offers are placed, they had a stand of Salsa Espinaler. This is local condiment used to spice up tinned clams, sepia etc. They make fantastic tinned products as well.

 

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A similar, but less fancy version is made by Dani, a company featuring other items for the very important aperitif (for e.g. Sunday lunch) as well …

 

7B7A0E6F-6668-434A-BDEC-D5A5F4C56006.thumb.jpeg.446054dda1ef41e1a223e4c808445a96.jpeg

 

I would have loved to get this Vermouth bottle, but then again I prefer other drinks for aperitif …

 

6D0B674D-A379-4B89-B4DA-0B0762F47C9C.thumb.jpeg.a4ebc5694eac475aa0af1e656e68cad6.jpeg

 

This visit I want to stock up on two or three paella pans. Just maybe not here, although the selection was decent …

 

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These 1.5L bottles contain a mixture of red wine & lemonade, premixed for your convenience. I like the idea & it is cheap …

 

83BC577F-DEC1-4114-9AD0-E7880271C7C5.thumb.jpeg.f6deb6fda6f16e2d8661576aad3a90a1.jpeg
 

Some pork rinds (which I had to purchase, of course) …

 

015BF3C2-3AFB-4D63-8C96-470285F601BA.thumb.jpeg.7cd3c8afb74de6ebef1bfcf8ce12baf4.jpeg

 

The cookbook section was a bit disappointing, although they covered most regions. Plus all of them were in Spanish. I’ll need to look elsewhere …

 

2CCEE594-8078-42F3-9849-A8029F516557.thumb.jpeg.9c173f9c668370ab70c436aee054999d.jpeg

 

Got a nice whiskey for the vacation: Chivas Regal Mizunara 12. Decent price as well, although …

 

B7922981-78A0-410A-9095-3ACDA17FAD71.thumb.jpeg.fa7421cf6d171a732dc85796ca7f7b89.jpeg

 

… in Spain, Gin & Tonic reigns supreme ! This is just the “pink section” of their products.

 

9DD7F34B-89F4-4F2C-AB65-B1EE4F930863.thumb.jpeg.44ba3a349a9d1111264b093120f28aea.jpeg

 

Combined with myriads of tonic waters …

 

A510627B-A150-4945-BA43-1083C768BB34.thumb.jpeg.2af3f11c7d82bb09f05e1a48e04a44d3.jpeg

 

… and the odd “dry add-ons” that are immensely popular to doll up your G&T.

 

08C278FE-B854-48CC-8576-E08DD6C8FDAA.thumb.jpeg.4cb4d843094e2e4e4df7f32460e48037.jpeg

 

Seemingly white canned asparagus is a thing, too. My wife was a bit puzzled …

 

BD32EFBD-B6DA-45CD-BEBC-92DBB2DE216D.thumb.jpeg.e3ae367d2de77a9e84294bf93ff4210d.jpeg

 

Beans are very important to the Catalan people. One of my goals for the vacation is to prepare the prefect pot of beans. They have great varieties, but I am looking for the elusive “Mongetes de St. Pau” variety. I might drive up there …

 

C5E20156-54F7-4A5B-9D6F-040416B3240B.thumb.jpeg.2aa8009de854d72a442d9853040d6c80.jpeg

 

Cargols (or snails), precooked. I’ll get them in the restaurant instead …

 

A58F1877-42C4-4E12-B531-D16B8EBBD3DE.thumb.jpeg.084eee94621307c9c304d642c9c1df66.jpeg

 

Callos (or tripe) …

 

47AE3321-9821-4827-9827-BB163B760F93.thumb.jpeg.5e5fcc0e5ecf3d4e2b00a96bf2dbaac8.jpeg

 

And (befitting maybe the products that @liuzhou can find imported into China), the “paella” section.

 

7C024102-9A41-450A-BABD-5EAE39727BA5.thumb.jpeg.0a3bbef6ddde77bd43ef54ff7e53f5ad.jpeg

 

This I found cool: the “broth” section - essentially all meat products you want to make a good broth (sausages, fat, bones, feet, …) wrapped conveniently in packages. And many of them. I got some for my beans …

 

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Lamb - baby lamb at that. Look at the size of that leg …

 

65D6E329-E42F-45E2-A7CD-6415B8032044.thumb.jpeg.9353092ad745e48a705e001aa1343078.jpeg

 

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A10604EF-3796-42D0-9B7C-B13CAC94AC48.thumb.jpeg.fe5fd110d3fbe3662e9a0a5d6dbea7c2.jpeg

 

On the lighter side - fuets (a kind of salami) …

 

B1C5975A-B41B-4624-86EA-1E75EE312E95.thumb.jpeg.7e99f0e67a203a70eaa5c6e4a0be6a6d.jpeg

 

And this you know …


3D312386-53C6-444E-9591-5305E2BCBB40.thumb.jpeg.8ad1d5418b72a0b30ba8b80db95a436c.jpeg

 

The meat counter, where I purchase some nice ultra thinly sliced head cheese …

 

F5D41C93-CBF4-4E9F-84AC-349C841E84A7.thumb.jpeg.47b103db26c8dbb2f2ed74be859bcc65.jpeg

 

And the fish section …

 

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We purchase goods for about 300€ and went home happily …

Edited by Duvel (log)
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On the drive home my wife asked what we will have for lunch, and …

 

While we bought a lot - a lot - of nice things, I didn’t purchase any protein or vegetables, to eat right away 🙄

 

Not wanting to stop at another supermarket, we dropped by the shop that is literally two houses down the street (the pink one on the right). A small enterprise featuring Catalan food (like grandma would make it) for taking home.

 

582DAA9F-C9B3-47EE-A87F-86D14E3E60A6.thumb.jpeg.0f54becd6dcc8e6b562b723292ef5404.jpeg


This was their current offer:

 

CB380AB9-0B45-4E46-9458-A885CBABE03A.thumb.jpeg.19283c18637b312a771689af2f96fcc5.jpeg

 

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We got a slightly carb-heavy selection: lasagne, potato gratin with bacalau and meat-filled aubergine. Served with some crisps and a cooling gazpacho …

 

867AD57E-EC8A-43AB-BD5C-CBE7630277AE.thumb.jpeg.11fa28aa9f790d36bbd2f6135b34e7d7.jpeg

 

I bought a beer from the local microbrewery as well - it was tasty !

 

75019343-35A4-49E8-A11D-B857254F838B.thumb.jpeg.1c6ba2cc8e3602e8f02e6d093ae81087.jpeg


And the best thing - after that I went to make a siesta ☺️ !

Edited by Duvel (log)
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1 minute ago, weinoo said:

If you could send me a few kilos of percebes (at that price!) I would be most happy.


Let me check the rates from here, and I’ll get back to you … 😉

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You mentioned a fantastic line of tinned products and I remember reading some time ago about a tapas bar where the offerings were only tinned goods. I remember being impressed but I no longer recall where I read it.  

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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1 hour ago, Anna N said:

You mentioned a fantastic line of tinned products and I remember reading some time ago about a tapas bar where the offerings were only tinned goods. I remember being impressed but I no longer recall where I read it.  

Quimet et Quimet, in Barcelona.

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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24 minutes ago, weinoo said:

Quimet et Quimet, in Barcelona.

Yes! Thank you. 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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After the surprisingly filling lunch, the small amount of walking around and briefly visiting the beach was not enough to work up an appetite. That, coupled with a rapidly increasing feeling of laziness (as mind & body are getting into holiday mood) led to a simple, yet tasty dinner.

 

Fresh bread (w/ tomato, salt & olive oil), topped with goat cheese, thinly sliced head cheese and bull blanc. Accompanied by a beer from Barcelona and shortly after enjoyed on the terrace in a cooling breeze …

 

28D56298-D021-4B2E-AF39-AAB75FB809D8.thumb.jpeg.8706db682276dc0c43aaab5e93bf3b77.jpeg

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