Monday, August 25, 2014

Barcelona, Spain: Day 2

I was pretty good and went to bed at 11pm Barcelona time, but I still woke up at 5am.  I couldn't hear anyone moving about so I stayed in bed until the sun started coming up around 7:30am.  For breakfast my family had planned ahead and bought some sausage at a small convenient store downstairs from our apartment.  While Nick and Sister where cooking sausage and toasting baguettes, Dad and I went back down to the store to get coffee and more Jambon.

Balcony view at 7:35am

Nick had suggested that they cut the sausage for boiling and all of the meat came out of the casing.  So much for that!  We spread the sausage filling on the baguettes. 

After a brief boiling period, they pan fried the sausage to add a little bit of crisp.  

Three sausages for breakfast. 

We passed by this traffic circle on our way to the market.  I thought that the fountain was very pretty.  Not sure if this has an official name or not.
This is the famous La Rambla street in Barcelona.  It was packed with tourists, but I imagine during the off season when there aren't a lot of people around that it is really peaceful and pretty.  I enjoyed the long row of trees. 

The famous La Boqueria Market.  This market was so overwhelming crowded that we were all clutching our purses and backpacks in fear of pick pocketers.  We've all been to Paris, but we have read a lot about rampant pick pocketers in the touristy areas of Barcelona.  Because of my own pick pocketing experience in Madrid with a friend, I'm extremely cautious now whenever I travel abroad.  I should be more careful at home too, now that I think about it. We do live in a pretty metropolitan area. 

Many, many stalls carried the Jambon legs from their ceilings.  This picture is just one of many that I could quickly take a snap of before another tourist walked by. 

The shrimp skewers looked really good, but since the market was pretty hot and the shrimp was sitting out on the counter we didn't want to chance it.  

There were also large stalls of marzipan sweet treats.  These intricate candies were really pretty, but I was told that we can't bring home any food items from the open air markets and I don't really eat candy much myself. 

Can you believe that this foie gras came from a goose?  No wonder California outlawed the product for animal cruelty.  That liver is bigger than my hand!  I still love it though and pretend that the geese aren't literally being stuffed to the gills for my eating pleasure.

The neatly stacked fruit stands out do Whole Foods and Safeway without question.

Jambon cups

Mini sausages

We finally were able to squeeze our way into one of the stands and get food for all eight of us.  I sat right in front of this enticing beer tap.  Of course, we ordered cervesas. 

Seafood salad.

I'm not much of a fish lover, but these fried anchovies were really fresh and tasty.  The had an oceany saltiness that I really enjoyed.  

Parsley oil razor clams; Navajas, in Spanish.

Fried codfish cake.  This was very tasty also.  They certainly know how to season and cook fish well here.  I think that if I grew up eating fried fish like this I would actually enjoy fish more. 

Full belly scallops.  Scallops are one of my favorite foods.  These were no exception.  I believe that they used the same garlic-parsley oil that was used on the razor clams.  I would have taken home all of the shells with me if we were local, but they were too greasy and delicate to pack away in my small purse and transport all the way home for crafting purposes.  

Grilled spicy peppers.

These were little potato pockets filled with meat.

Grilled octopus.  When I was in high school our band went to Hawaii for a competition.  My good friend was appalled that I would try octopus tentacle on a stick.  It's been many years, but if I remember correctly she did try a tiny bit of the octopus.  It was pretty chewy and flavorless, but I think that she would like this dish.  It was very well season and very soft.  

Prawns with the garlic-parsely sauce.  I need to learn to make this.  The "gambas" were really sweet and tasty. 

White Bait fish in vinegar with tomato and onions.  The cook said that it is the dish of Catalan

Part one of our order

Part two of our order.  We just kept on going. 

These jambon legs were priced out by age and flavor, like a fine wine.  The leg closest to us was about $100/lb.  We only got 20 euros worth to try, but it was worth the experience.  The leg was aged for five years and had a subtle funky flavor that I really enjoyed.  It wasn't as funky as blue cheese, but had that throaty aftertaste like that of brie rind.  We ate it right there on the spot so it was extremely greasy, but it would have been divine with a mild cheese and toasted baguettes.    

The jambon pig eat acorns.

While everyone stopped to get refreshments, I got an apple/raspberry popsicle. 

The Gaudi building from yesterday's post at dusk.


Much to our surprise, works here in Barcelona.  Nick, Den and Sister found this amazing restaurant.  There was a huge line for a wait, but we were seated right away because we had a large party.  Surprising, I know.  When I asked the lady for eight seats she said that she had a table if we could finish before 10:50pm.  People eat pretty late here and that left us about two hours to settle in and eat to our hearts' content. 

Anchovies over tomatoes and baguettes.  My new obsession may be tomato juice squeezed  baguettes. I can see why great chefs travel around the world and become inspired by the food they eat. I want to learn how to make all of these dishes. 

Anchovies "Andaluz style".

Another take on Bravas Potatas.  I like these better than the ones from last night. 

Olive oil grilled octopus 

Goat cheese ratatouille 

Sauteed mushrooms

Fritas con huevos

Our waitress cut it all up it up and mixed it all together.  The fries were extra crispy so that the egg wouldn't make it soggy. 

In the foreground are foie gras sandwiches and in the background are anchovy-tuna sandwiches with roasted red bell pepper. 

Foie Gras Sandwich

Anchovy-tuna sandwich

Sweet red bell pepper stuffed with cod fish and topped with cheese.  I need to learn to make these.  They were so tender and delicious. 

Loving life. 

Garlic oil prawns

Thinly sliced pork and cheese sandwich.  This was by far my favorite dish of the night. 

Whole grilled prawns

Beef sandwiches

Razor clams

Coconut pudding

Catalonian style creme.  This was very similar to a creme brûlée. 
Gaudi's architecture at night.
The fountain changes color once the sun goes down.  I was lucky enough to catch it in between its blue and purple stage.

All stuffed into the tiny elevator of our apartment.

Whew!  That was a lot of eating for one day.  We did do a few miles of walking around the city, but our extended family flew in this morning so we were all pretty tired. Around midday we headed back to our apartment to take siestas and plan out our next meal.  I know when traveling you should try to see as much as you can, but it is really nice to relax and hang out on the chaise lounges while reading and having a beer.  That's my kind of vacation.  Tomorrow we will be getting onto on of the Hopper buses to see the sites in (hopefully) air conditioned buses.  I don't mind sitting on the ground level deck if that means not sweating my pants off in the strong sun.  Until tomorrow: Adios amigos.

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