November 10, 2011

Barcelona. November, 2010

When I visit a city, especially a European one with a strong culinary tradition, I’d much rather check out the produce in the market than the cathedral. In Rome, the open market in the Campo de’ Fiori displayed the most beautiful, long-stemmed artichokes I’ve ever seen. In Paris, the Bastille open market offered so many different kinds of shellfish. Montreal’s Marché Jean-Talon still has the most amazing samplings of cauliflower, like wedding bouquets in their extravagant splendor. And just look at these strawberries and mushrooms, side by side in Barcelona’s La Boqueria, formally known as the Mercat Sant Josep. In early November, the mushrooms were at their glorious peak. So many different varieties and in such abundance that they were on every menu of every tapas bar within the market, served up in a rich roster of preparations. Gaudí, the Picasso Museum, fine. But give me La Boqueria any day.

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