Monday, November 9, 2009
Open Markets in Spain are like Cathedrals!!!
I've been back from my trip in Spain for a month now and I surely miss the open markets. The love, passion, and pride put into the merchandising, quality and selection of their vegetables, fruits, meats, seafood, eggs, etc. was so beautiful and inviting.
I had the pleasure to have an apartment just around the corner from the famous open market in Barcelona - Mercat de La Boqueria, also known as Mercat de San Josep. So my early mornings, for the first week, were spent going to the market and watching the vendors set-up and prepare their fruits, vegetables, juices, eggs, jamon (cured hams), candy, spices, cheeses, poultry, fish, shellfish, breads, etc. for the local and tourist shoppers. Each booth/kiosk was very specialized and sold a specific item. The egg kiosk sold only eggs, the candy booth sold only candy, vegetable kiosk sold only vegetables, etc, etc. And the owners/workers were very knowledgeable about their products - what it was, where it was from, how it is grown and when it was picked....WOW.
Then I would stroll to the popular "Pinotxo Bar" for my cafe con leche and an ensaimada a la plancha. And sometimes a bowl of their delicious chickpeas with mushrooms or whatever was fresh. The owner of the bar was my barista every morning, so it felt like being at "Cheers". He knew my drink and my pastry before I even got a seat at the bar. And always got me to try something new on their menu.
Then I would go to my favorite juice stand for my 16 oz. freshly squeezed, chilled, mixed juice mix. My favorite was the papaya/orange juice and it was only 1 euro.
With my juice in hand, I would normally cruise the market looking for fruits, cheese & jamon that might be great snacks for our touring ventures later in the day. The fishmongers and their fresh catch of day, were so fun to watch.
I just loved the colors, animation of the people and the whole experience of this mercat. I was totally absorbed in the moment.
Please enjoy my pictures. Let me warn you, the pictures do not capture the true beauty & essence of this market. It is a feast for the senses.
Tenga muchisima hambre...I am very hungry!!!!
the hungry traveller