Food / Drink, Barcelona
The locals flock to get all they can of the ham and pasteries that abound around the city. We saw the real store that only sold the jamon, and yes; it is expensive no matter how you cut it, or how thin it is cut.
If you are wandering the streets of the older sections of Barcelona, like Barri Gotic, Ravel or Barceloneta, you will find markets such as Santa Caterina and La Bouqueria. There you will find an excellent idea for a snack or even picnic lunch.
They have fresh fruit drinks kept on piles of ice, we had every day a different combination of cold fruit drinks, everything from pineapple, kiwi, banana, papaya, just about anything and any combination.
Also you can find fresh fruits cut and with a fork added, pick up a watermelon slice to enjoy with your kiwi/banana drink and make a picnic out of it.
We found that the fresh fruit drinks at the entrance to the markets were 3 Euro, but at the back of the market you could find for 1-1.5 Euro, so it is worth searching.
Believe or not, tapas are not typical from Barcelona. It's a relatively new thing, and for people of my parent's age, these are not a 'proper' meal :)
The typical custom was having a 'vermut' on Sunday morning = Going out to have a drink (can be the tap-vermouth, but as well wine, beer...) and some food. Ideally, on a sunny terrace seeing the world going on and discussing about 'all human and divine' with friends :)
You can find many of these old little places to have a 'vermut' at La Barceloneta, or any popular neighborhood. For instance in Barceloneta "Bar Electricitat" and "La Bombeta" are good old places to do that, with some simple and good traditional foods.
In the city centre, and next to the tourist sights, be careful as most 'tapas' restaurants (not all) will be chain Basque-style places. More expensive, even food is usually ok (or even good). But as authentic as McDonalds.
As said, when we Catalans go out for tapas, is something 'foreing' for us (this does not mean we do not like it). So we say "let's go to a Basque tonight" nearly like we could say "let's go to a Chinese" :) So, the best bet of finding the "real" stuff is going to Basque restaurants as Maitea (near Hospital Clinic). Galician eateries usually have great tapas options too (some in Gotic, around c/. Ample). The Andalucian places are the best to sample great "pescadito frito" (quite a few around La Barceloneta, even the best and cheapest ones are quite out of the way, where people of Andalucian descent do live).
In the very city centre there are still some "old school" basic places surviving, do not expect anything fancy, but cheap and basic:
- "Bar Flassaders" in El Born (Carrer dels Flassaders 9)
- "El Drapaire" near Ramblas (carrer Sitges)
Other good places, authentic classics of Barcelona, even a bit out of the way:
- "El Tomas" in c/. Major de Sarrià. It's said they do the best "bravas" in town! (incidentally, the pic above was taken there)
- "La Publilla del Taulat" in Poble Nou. Go for their special shrimps there.
- "La Esquinica" in Nou Barris, Fabra i Puig 296. Be prepared for very long queues!!
As well, you can find creative tapas in many trendy restaurants (so many around), especially at El Born, the hypest part of the city. If budget is not an issue, and you want to sample really imaginative stuff, Tapaç 24 (Diputació, 269) is quite interesting, but on the expensive side.
Although you must always be careful, pickpockets are everywhere, take your time walking the city, new and old parts and use your eyes to discover special façades, like this one e.g. and believe me....there is so much to see for the good observer..
This is LA PORTA MODERNISTA DEL CARRER DE LA PETXINA, d'UNA ANTIGA FABRICA DE PASTES ALIMENTOSES, RECONVERTIDA EN CONFITERIA.
This is the entrance in Modernistic style in the street of LA PETXINA of a antique manufactury of pastas, which has been changed into a fine bakery now.......and believe me, it was fine.
With Easter upon us, I bought here a few superb cakes and pastries to enjoy while resting in our hotel room...
It tasted heavenly.......
But again: there are more of such wonderful special thing for one who wants to see them and who uses his/her eyes....
I know: there is sooooo much to see.....
The Catalan country side provides meat and poultry, venison , smoked ham and chorizo and the sea provides a rich variety of fish and shell fish
The Catalan kitchen is very adventurous because they love using spices and love a melange / mixture of sweet and highly-seasoned dishes...
The best restaurants for fish and shell fish are concentrated on the peninsula behind the port.
In CAN MAJO as well as in CAN SOLE they serve exquisite fis dishes in a lively atmosphere,
Located in a central house of the nineteenth century, la Torreta offers its customers a welcoming space. Preserving the original structure of the house gets different environments: two small rooms with Catalan vault, where you can enjoy a quiet meal, an exclusive playground for couples open year round and large halls for sharing with friends.
The letter of la Torreta is very original, with large assortment of products, the most prominent is the variety of combinations with 16 different sausages, meats, salads, carpaccio and foie gras, toast the original without forgetting that gave name to this restaurant.
Very sweet, but very delicious! Turron exists in different variations. The almond nougat is in Barcelona and to be had all over the place.
650g unpeeled almonds
400g of powdered sugar
100gof liquid honey
3 proteins (stiffly beaten)
Give the almonds about 2-3 minutes in boiling water and take out. Remove the skin and place the almonds to dry on kitchen paper.
In a dry pan or in an oven about 200 degrees, roast the almond golden.
Put the most beautiful 20-30 almonds aside.
Now for the grind roasted almonds. Traditionally, these are crushed with a mortar.
Place honey in warm water bath so that it is liquid. Mix the sugar, honey and whole almonds to bring out the ground almonds and stir well. Stir the three proteins into the mass.
The mass then put at finger width into boiled paper or between two platen.
Leave to dry in a cool place (not a refrigerator) for about 10 days.
500 grounded almonds
1 lemon, untreated
Cook and peel the potatoes. Push them through a ricer and let the mass cool down.
Mix the almonds, sugar and potatoes and knead to a mass.
Rub the lemon zest and add. Stir everything well.
Form the mass into 2-3 cm thick balls and roll them in the egg.
Bake the Panellets in the oven at about 170 C, until they are golden in colour
Tip: The Panelletes can also be rolled in crunched peanuts, powdered with sugar or decorated with candied fruits.
1 litre of milk
6 egg yolks
1 lemon untreated
1 cinnamon bar
250g of sugar
Butter 1 piece
Peel lemon. Bring the milk with half lemon peel and cinnamon stick to a slow boiling. When the milk boils, remove the cinnamon stick from the milk and let them cold.
In the meantime, put the yolks and 200g sugar in a bowl, mix up a mass and clumps free.
Enter the cooled milk, and heat on low flame slowly stirring in one direction. Do not stop to stir when the mass become viscous.
Make sure that the mass does not begin to boil otherwise the cream could curdle.
Then add some caramel sauce in small tins then add the cream and allow to cool.
Enter the rest of the sugar into a pan with a piece of butter and let it caramelise. You may caramelise the sugar for not too long a period and not too hot a temperature in the pan, because it burns very quickly. The caramelised sugar now goes onto the cream.
The Catalans are using a special kitchen device to caramelise the sugar directly on the cream. This looks like an electric immersion, with only a shallow heating spiral and costs of about € 18-20. There is also a variant with a gas flame. This device to caramelise the sugar is operated with gas stove and costs around € 20-25.
500 ml of water
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
A little salt
Sugar or powdered sugar
Olive or other vegetable oil
For the dough boil the water with the butter and a pinch of salt. Then add the flour mix well. Cook over a small flame and stir constantly. Do this until the dough rises from the ground and forms a homogeneous mass.
Stir the eggs until creamy and beat the dough mass then stir.
Put the dough into a piping bag and inject the mass into the heated oil in about 10 cm long snakes.
Bake 3-4 churros until yellow. Highlight the churros with a skimmer and drain them with a kitchen towel.
Roll the churros in sugar or powdered sugar
1 litre of red wine (it need not be the most expensive)
Juice of two oranges
1 lemon untreated
1 orange untreated
5 tablespoons sugar
1 cinnamon stick
First, cut the lemon and orange into pieces where the skin is not removed.
Then add the orange juice, fruit pieces and sugar in the red wine and mix well the whole solution. Then add the cinnamon into the sangría.
Keep the sangría for one hour in a cool place .
Before service, the cinnamon stick is to be removed and the ice cubes added.
2 bottles full bodied spanish dry red wine
1/3 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup Grand Marnier (or any orange-flavored liquer)
2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups club soda
tart green apple, sliced
peaches or nectarines, sliced
In a large pitcher, mix together the firs 4 ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Just before serving, add the club soda and plenty of ice cubes. Serve very cold garnished with a slice of fruit. Note: if using a punch bowl, float the various fruit on top.
1 bottle red wine (Burgundy preferred)
1 can frozen pink lemonade concentrate, do not add water
1 lemon, sliced
1 lime, sliced
1 orange, sliced
1/2 cup bing cherries (if available)
1/2 cup brandy
4 cups carbonated lemon-lime beverage (7 Up or Sprite)
Mix wine, lemonade concentrate and brandy together in large glass pitcher. Squeeze juice from each slice of fruit into wine mixture before dropping fruit in. Toss in cherries and chill. Just before serving, add 7up. Pour into chilled glasses and enjoy. Don't forget to eat the fruit- especially the cherries- yum.
1 bottle dry full-bodied red wine
1 can fizzy orange, chilled
1 can fizzy lemon, chilled
Spanish brandy - or any which is quite light
1 apple, chopped
1 pear, chopped
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1 orange, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cinnamon stick
Put all the fruit pieces into a large jug, then pour over a generous amount of the banana liqueur, cointreau and brandy. Pour in the bottle of wine, and leave in the fridge to chill. Once this is really cold, pour in the fizzy drinks and add the cinnamon and sugar. Mix in some ice cubes and it's ready to serve.
Sangria is the most famous Spanish drink made with red wine, fruit juice, sparkling soft drinks, sugar and fruit chunks. Sometimes liqueurs are added, as well as cinnamon. It is hard to find two sangrias that taste the same, since there is no one-single recipe for it. For sangria to be good, it is necessary to use good wine (bad wine makes bad sangria), to serve it fresh, and to achieve a fruity flavour that is not overdone (the best fruits for it are citruses and peach). It is important to remember that sangria is an alcoholic beverage, and although is very easy on the palate, it should be drank moderately.