Monday, I began my day in La Boqueria: Barcelona's famous market. As soon as I entered the market I was overcome with colors, sights, and choices. The first area of vendors mainly sold vibrantly colored dried fruits by the weight, including things like dried kiwi, nuts, candied nuts, and candy. And oh my god this candy! There was gummy candy, 20 different types of licorice, and chocolate. Not surprisingly, I blew my money on the chocolate, which was well worth it. I had a porcupine shaped chocolate coated in colorful sprinkles, a thin layer of milk chocolate, a thick layer of white chocolate, and filled with a milk chocolate and nougat center. I also had a coconut cream covered in coconut and filled with white chocolate and coconut inside, a dark chocolate truffle covered in chocolate sprinkles and filled with almost fudge-like chocolate on the inside. I enjoyed a few other pieces as well but those were the clear standouts. From the front section of the market, I also noshed on candied walnuts which were sinfully sweet and sugary. The market's next section consisted of every kind of fruit, both tropical and not, imaginable: bananas, apples, star fruit, dragon fruit, cactus flower, guava, coconut, papaya and several I couldn't identify. Most fruit stalls in the giant market also sold fresh fruit juices and I opted for the kiwi coconut juice. The light green drink was exceptional! The kiwi's flavor was sweet and the coconut made the juice both creamy and refreshing. Other vendors sold cheese, mostly manchego, while meat vendors sold chorizo, ham, sausage, and parts of an animal a converted vegetarian cannot even begin imagine eating. Ever. The sprawling market also boasted fishmongers and restaurants ranging from more gourmet dishes to simple sandwiches, all made with the market's own ingredient. I opted for a basic ham and manchego cheese sandwich. Stuffed and in a chocolate coma, I wandered down La Rambla to the marina, around the Born neighborhood, peeked into the Cathedral (I didn't want to pay 6 euros to actually tour it), and made my way through the winding side streets of the old city. Deciding a hair of the dog that bit me was the best way to get over my chocolate coma, I stopped for churros and chocolate. The sweet treat is basically fried dough covered in cinnamon sugar and served with a decadently rich chocolate sauce for dipping. They were insanely sweet, the chocolate was way too rich, and I absolutely loved them! I spent the rest of the afternoon working off some of those sweets and simply wandering the inviting streets.
|Candy, chocolate, and nuts at La Boqueria|
|Flan from Cervecería Catalana|