Mercat de La Boqueria de Barcelona: A Temple of Gastronomy

| March 22, 2011 | 5 Comments
  • 5 Comments

Mercat de La Boqueria de Barcelona
The market’s grand exterior, on a side street just off La Rambla.

In the heart of Barcelona, Spain, there is a road called Rambla dells Caputxins, or La Rambla for short. Teeming with life, La Rambla is a wide, busy road that is partially blocked off for pedestrian traffic. You can buy all sorts of things along this street: flowers, crepes, postcards, newspapers, hamsters, and a steaming hot pan of paella. But perhaps the most interesting part of La Rambla is Mercat de La Boqueria, Barcelona’s famous open food market.

Ferran Adrià, chef of Spain’s famous elBulli, called the mercat “A temple of gastronomy,’ if that gives you any idea of what a culinary wonderland this place its. While you can buy all sorts of interesting things on La Rambla, within the huge hangar-like structure of Mercat de La Boqueria you’ll find an incredible selection of Spanish fare. Fruit and produce are just a small portion of what’s available; there are rows upon rows of incredibly fresh seafood, cured meats, freshly-foraged mushrooms, and delectable handmade sweets.

The variety and freshness of the foods in the Mercat de La Boqueria can be overwhelming for even the most experienced foodie — one could easily spend four or five hours roaming the stalls, deciding what to eat or prepare for dinner. My first visit took me about three hours, and I finally left because, being on vacation, I couldn’t bear the thought of not having a place to prepare any of the wonderful things I was seeing. My second (and third!) trip to the market also took hours. Really, there is so much to see, smell, and taste.

This is one of those situations where pictures speaks much louder than words, so I’ll just show you the loveliness of it all. Be prepared for the urge to book the next one-way ticket to Spain.

Mercat de La Boqueria de Barcelona
A forest of cured meats! Hallelujah!

Mercat de La Boqueria de Barcelona
Fruit salad “La Macedonia.” Many vendors sell these salads for a quick, healthy, on-the-go lunch.

Mercat de La Boqueria de Barcelona
Fruity smoothies make a great snack. A rainbow of flavors are available.

Mercat de La Boqueria de Barcelona
The selection of seafood is unimaginable.

Mercat de La Boqueria de Barcelona
A food porn shot for the mushroom lover in all of us.

Mercat de La Boqueria de Barcelona
More seafood, still alive and kicking.

Mercat de La Boqueria de Barcelona
A huge selection of sweets are available for a huge selection of vendors. It’s a sugar-lovers paradise in here.

Mercat de La Boqueria de Barcelona
More sweets to tempt your sweet tooth.

Mercat de La Boqueria de Barcelona
I loved these silver pastilles. Such a bright light in the busy market.

Mercat de La Boqueria de Barcelona
And did I mention the produce selection? It’s ungodly, really.

Mercat de La Boqueria de Barcelona
More fresh seafood, though clearly not alive any longer. ;)

Mercat de La Boqueria de Barcelona
This fresh conejo might offend even the staunch carnivore, but that doesn’t make it any less tasty.

Mercat de La Boqueria de Barcelona
More cured meat, for the charcuterie lover (like me!).

Mercat de La Boqueria de Barcelona
I loved these little cupcakes. They were only .50 euros each — or $0.70 US!

Mercat de La Boqueria de Barcelona
Seeing all of these fresh ingredients makes me wish I had a kitchen to cook in while I am here. Alas……………

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Category: Bay Area Bites Food + Drink, farmers markets, travel

About the Author ()

Stephanie is a writer and cookbook author recovering from her former tech-startup life. On the side she's also a media consultant, specializing in all forms of digital goodness: audio, video, print, design, and social media. After leaving the tech world nearly a decade ago, Stephanie made a career jump to her lifetime love, writing. She currently writes for the Huffington Post, KQED's Bay Area Bites, NPR, and other select media outlets. Her first cookbook,Melt: The Art of Macaroni and Cheese, is due out in fall 2013 on Little, Brown with coauthor Garrett McCord. Being a recovering techy leaves an indelible mark, and everything Stephanie does is infused with her deep fascination with digital technology. She has been blogging since 1999, before blog engines even existed and a great readership consisted of a handful of friends who occasionally thought to check out your site. In 2005 she started her first food blog, which she repurposed in 2007 to become The Culinary Life. Stephanie can be called many things: food writer, essayist, professional recipe developer, cookbook author, social media consultant, videographer, documentary maker, website developer, archivist of life. Despite all of these titles, she most commonly responds to Steph.
  • Sally

    What a gorgeous market! Love the colors. Will definitely put Barcelona on my wish list.

  • Hillori Hansen

    Wow, what great pictures. I was there a few years back for a wedding and could have spent all day in this marekt. I loved Barcelona!!!

  • hotwheels

    jaw dropping

  • roberta

    IMHO; aside from the fish/seafood, there are better markets in Barcelona than la Boqueria, where everything is overpriced and the vegetables way too shiny to actually be from a local farm. Try the markets in Gracia, Eixample or San Antoni for something more authentic and certainly less touristy.

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