Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Shops and Tips for Cooking in Barcelona


Recommended Posts

We are planning a trip to Barcelona in early October, and will be staying in a self-catering apartment in the southern part of the Barri Gotico. Part of my anticipation of the trip involves preparing for the cooking that I'll be doing while there (and the dining, but that's another dozen topics), but I realize that I know very little about what I can expect will be available at that time of year and in that part of the city.

What sorts of produce, meats, fish, and other items can I expect to find there? Where will we be likely to find those items in that neighborhood? I know about the Mercat Boqueria, but are there smaller, nearby places that will enable us to avoid going there regularly? Finally, where would you turn for a good cookbook or two that would enable me to take advantage of the bounty we'll encounter?

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We are planning a trip to Barcelona in early October, and will be staying in a self-catering apartment in the southern part of the Barri Gotico. Part of my anticipation of the trip involves preparing for the cooking that I'll be doing while there (and the dining, but that's another dozen topics), but I realize that I know very little about what I can expect will be available at that time of year and in that part of the city.

What sorts of produce, meats, fish, and other items can I expect to find there? Where will we be likely to find those items in that neighborhood? I know about the Mercat Boqueria, but are there smaller, nearby places that will enable us to avoid going there regularly? Finally, where would you turn for a good cookbook or two that would enable me to take advantage of the bounty we'll encounter?

not sure where "southern part of barri gotico" is located, but it seems you would still be 5 to 10 minutes walking distance from the Boqueria.

We''ve opened Pazzta 920, a fresh pasta stall in the Boqueria Market. follow the thread here.

My blog, the Adventures of A Silly Disciple.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry -- screwed up the geography. It's on Carrer de Milans, 4 blocks west of the Passeig de Colom.

Still, 10 blocks away from the Boqueria. The distance to the mercats de Santa Catarina Market, on the other side of Via Layetana, and La Barceloneta, towards the Barceloneta beach is pretty much the same.

So you have 3 different markets in a 15 block radius to choose from, I'm sure you won't get bored. Markets are great for fresh vegetables, meats, fish and decent for charcuterie.

Then you'll probably have one or two little supermarkets close by for milk, oil, cookies, toiletries, etc. and a few bakeries in the area as well.

We''ve opened Pazzta 920, a fresh pasta stall in the Boqueria Market. follow the thread here.

My blog, the Adventures of A Silly Disciple.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A few shops you might like to frequent:

Formatgeria La Seu, C/Dagueria 16, (near ajuntament in Barri Gotic)

Small shop with lovely range of farmhouse spanish cheese. Owned and run by Scotswoman Katherine who will be happy to advise you on what to buy. She also has cheese icecream which is well worth a try.

Botifarreria de Santa Maria, C/Santa Maria 4 (side of Santa Maria del Mar church in the Born)

Homemade sausages, charcuterie, meat, cheeses etc. Try some of the more unusual sausages eg with chocolate or squid.

Casa Gispert, C/Sombrerers 23, (other side of Santa Maria del Mar church in the Born)

Oils, vinegars, preserves, herbs, spices, a huge range of in-house-roasted nuts, dried fruits etc etc, but the pieces de resistance IMHO are the enormous beautiful handmade chocolate truffles.

Vila Viniteca grocery C/Agullers 9 (in the Born, head away from Santa Maria del Mar towards the Columbus statue). More food porn rather than your everyday grocery. This sister to the Vila Viniteca wine store (across the street) has pristine shelves filled with top gourmet products in designer packaging such as high end galician and cantabrian canned seafood, designer chocolate, national and international cheeses, olive oils, and art gallery-worthy fruit and veg.

If you're there in October visit the Petras mushroom stall at the back of the Boqueria. Just cross fingers that we have a good fungi season (I'm not optimistic, I'm afraid).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks! We definitely plan to be there in October. What else can we expect to see in season?

As well as fungi, look for squashes, pomegranates, membrillo (quince), chestnuts, game and squid. Oh and panellets in the bakers/cakeshops. These little sweet potato-and-pinenut delicacies are traditionally eaten graveside downed with sweet moscatel wine on All Souls Day, but appear way before that. You'll also find sweet potatoes and chestnuts being roasted and sold on the streets.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What sorts of produce, meats, fish, and other items can I expect to find there? Where will we be likely to find those items in that neighborhood? I know about the Mercat Boqueria, but are there smaller, nearby places that will enable us to avoid going there regularly? Finally, where would you turn for a good cookbook or two that would enable me to take advantage of the bounty we'll encounter?

I'd recommend the following english language books:

Since you're going to Catalonia, there is of course "Catalan Cuisine: Europe's Last Great Culinary Secret" by Colman Andrews, which I haven't got myself, but I've heard good things about. Based on what I've read in Saveur that was written by him (e.g an article about Barcelona), it should be good.

For a broad overview of Spanish Regional Cooking, I would recommend "The Food of Spain and Portugal: A Regional Celebration" by Elisabeth Luard. For each region there is a short introduction about the distinguishing characteristics of the region and how this has been influenced by history, climate and geography. Then follows a couple of dishes from the region (usually a couple each of starters, entrees and dessert).

Christofer Kanljung

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

Thanks, kanljung. That Coleman Andrews book is fantastic; I'm reading it cover to cover.

I thought I'd ask to see what the mushroom season has been like! Of course, if you have any other tips, please do shrae.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

I'd be scouring the markets for gambas de Palamos (do not overcook and be sure to suck the heads clean). Try experimenting with bacalao and butifarra, since these can't be brought home. I also love espardenyes and tripas de bacalao, but these might be acquired tastes.

I'd also concentrate on seafood since it will be far superior to anything you find at home.

Other things on my grocery list:

Llonganissa from Casa Sendra de Vic

Guisantes de Llavaneres

Calamares de anzuelo

Ganxet judias

Arbequina olive oil

Edited by Culinista (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There were some great mushrooms in the Boqueria and St Anthony market last Saturday, although the ceps were quite large. I brought home a 2.5kg variety which have been sauteed and put in the freezer for risottos etc. So bring plenty of good mushroom recipes.

I also got a kilo of pimientos de Padron for 2.30 euro! They're the hottest ones I've had in a while.

Edited by Corinna Dunne (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

It took a month to get these notes typed up from a variety of sources (business cards, scraps of paper, a little notebook), but here's a complete list of stores that we hit in Barcelona in October:

Vila Viniteca

Agullers 9

933 10 19 56

www.vilaviniteca.es

Vila Viniteca is actually two shops, one across from the other. The wine shop is titanic: two floors of primarily Spanish wines with a very good selection of liquor and other wine to boot. The staff was great: even with my nonexistent Spanish and Catalan, they were able to help me find a Campillo 1998 Rioja Reserva for a meal I was making that was perfect.

Across the street is a provisions store that has a wide range of excellent items that are both easy and hard to find. This was one of the only places that had butter that we found, for example, but you can also get lots of different cheeses, crackers, oils and vinegars, fresh produce, dairy -- you name it. In the back of the store is a curing area next to the cheese case. There are a couple dozen different sausages and as many hams on display, and the keeper of the meat carefully and firmly goes about his business, rubbing down the sausages or trimming the hams.

One additional note of interest. One of the folks working there is Juan Carlos, a young man from Boston who had worked at Formaggio Kitchen in Cambridge and who had come to Barcelona a few years back. He was fantastic: friendly, helpful, and willing to talk about anything. I'd seek him out if I were in Barcelona again: I'm sure we barely plumbed the surface of his knowledge.

E & A Gispert

Sombrerers, 23

08003 Barcelona

933 19 75 35

www.casagispert.com

info@casagispert.com

The tourist-filled nut shop with the "oldest continually functioning wood-fired nut roasting oven in the world." Excellent roasters with a massive, quasi-attentive staff. We picked up a bunch of outstanding pine nuts here. You can also get touristy tchotchkes of various kinds here.

La Carte des Vins

Sombrerers, 1

932 68 70 43

www.lacartedesvins.com

born@lacartedesvins.com

La Carte des Vins is a small wine shop just up the street from Gispert run by Gareth York, a sweet ex-chef who fell in love with wife and the city and now lives in Barcelona. A relatively small but excellent selection of wines -- and one of the few places in the city where you can buy Colman Andrew's Catalan Cuisine (ours was stolen 47 seconds after we arrived in the city by cab...). Get him started on his culinary history and sit back for an hour or two.

Forn de Sant Jaume

Rbla. Catalunya, 50

Go to this bakery, one of a dozen we visited, for their remarkable sugared donuts. Ask if there are any being prepared and, if so, wait it out. Trust me on this one.

Il Tinello

Flassaders, 44

932 68 82 21

This "Italian deli" apparently sells fresh pasta; we built an entire meal around the pasta and when we returned it had sold out, so we settled for solid dried tagliatelle. Another ex-pat here running the show.

Bubo

Caputxes, 10

932 68 72 24

www.bubo.ws

bubo@bubo.ws

The address above is for one the high end shops of Carles Mampel, who does lots of interesting avant-garde chocolate and sugar work. We never ate anything there, though, in part because they were never open when we were hungry, and when they were open, well, I guess we weren't hungry from expensive chocolate sculptures.

Olis D’oliva Verge Extra

Av. Francesc Cambó

Mercat Santa Caterina

932 68 14 72

www.olisoliva.com

This small but jam-packed olive oil stall in the Santa Caterina market that was suggested by the folks at Hisop. The shopkeepers were extremely friendly and insisted that we try just about everything there. We left with a bottle of arbequina olive oil that we loved.

Born Cooking

Corretger, 9 (off Princesa)

933 10 59 99

www.borncooking.com

Born Cooking is a small shop with odd American goods -- Crisco shortening, for example -- run by a Greek American woman who operates a catering facility for restaurants and private customers. She's busy trying to bring down-home US cooking to the Catalan masses, so she's good for an entertaining chat, if she's not too busy cooking in the back!

Mauri

Rbla. Catalunya, 102-3

Mauri is a high-end specialty item shop on one side and a bakery on the other. We got three kinds of entrepá, two of which (anchovy and sausage, both with cheese & mayo) were mediocre, plus a ham sandwich that was great. The mushroom tart was also excellent.

A Casa Portuguesa

Verdi, 58

677 04 29 85

www.acasaportuguesa.com

This little shop in the Gracia sells lovely-looking Portuguese baked goods -- but the pollo empanadas we packed for a walk up to the hoards at Park Guell were unremarkable.

We went to both Escribá bakeries, visiting the Ramblas shop quite a few times and the Gran Via shop once, and were impressed every time. Highlights included their cremadet (a cream “croissant”), a fine empanada toyina (tuna), ferradura (crown-shaped pastry with a filling we couldn't identify), and remarkable plain croissants. The bread, oddly, was nothing to write home or here about, a fact that seemed true throughout Barcelona.

Among the dozen shops in the Boqueria, I visited twice the famous mushroom stall of Llorenc Petras, in the back, and managed to score some camagrocs (smallish, with a yellow hollow stalk, brown edges, and a squeakiness to them), ceps, rosnyoc (yellow chanterelles, I believe), girolas (white and thick, with solid stalks; a bit like meatier oysters), trompetas de la mort, llengua de bou (chalky, with lumpy form), and the rovellons, green-flecked brown mushrooms that had filled the market stalls when we were there in October.

We also visited the mercat on the Plaça del Pi, which was selling artisanal products of various kinds. We didn't try any of the honeys, but we bought some fantastic hard goat cheese from the La Pastora stall and beautiful secallona (hard flat salami) from the BioMas stall, run, if I understand correctly, by Más Seralló.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...