My Spanish Booty
Feast your eyes on my booty - go ahead - zoom on it with a magnifying glass to read the labels, take notes take notes; then book a flight to Barcelona.
A month ago today (May 2nd) I landed in Barcelona at 8 a.m, (11 p.m Seattle time) took the bus to Placa Catalunya and walked to my hotel in the rain. Unable to check in until noon, I set out on foot joining the sea of umbrellas, humming Porsche taxis and the Barcelona vibs. I picked up on the Roman vibrations and noticed - whatever my pleasure for breakfast - I was never far from it.
Cafe cortado, cerveca cortado - eggs with squid calms or potatoes pastries meat cheese and bread. Along the narrow streets of stone, Bars and Cafes are tucked in seemingly everywhere.
I headed to Las Ramblas and beelined it to the Bar Pinotxo in the Mercat de La Boqueria. Yes I'd watched Anthony Bourdain pig out at this bar and knew it was my kind of place.
Still a tad early for the throng that frequents the place I landed a seat and pulled up between two locals. The guys on my left were drinking Cava and the man next to me, Estrella Damm, the popular Spanish lager.
I piped in with a "cerveca por favor" just as a steaming plate of meat and potatoes landed in front of my beer drinking neighbor.
"Looks good" I said and ordered the same.
Man was I content - drinking my beer - taking in the sites and sounds and wow, here's my steaming hot stew. Taking my first bite I realized I was about to eat something I'd never eaten before and ahhh I am not an adventuresome eater.
This was not pork stew and the potatoes - weren't .... rather they were cubes of fat or an animal part unknown to me AND it was all sticky, a sticky Catalan stew...perhaps wild boar but I didn't ask because I feared I'd hear the dreaded "tongue".
And I truly do respect the practice of eating the whole animal but I am not used to it and don't like certain textures. - It's true, the Sassy Omnivore is texture sassy so my food adventures in Spain are not a rich and educational tale.
I did so want to eat the stew to warm my body and soul but slink-ed away to another bar, Kiosko Univeral, for a plate of roasted vegetables swimming in olive oil oil oil olive oil and topped with salt, lots of salt. Baby artichokes, mushrooms of all kinds - asparagus onions and crusty bread. "Welcome to Spain", I shouted as I toasted the market with my Estrella Damm and called for ham and cheese. I passed on the after-meal coffee and liqueur and made my way back to the hotel to dry off warm up and sleep.
The next day I went back to Bar Pinxoto and ordered what turned out to be my favorite market meal - baby clams tossed in a wok-like pan with a lot of olive oil. It went like this and was a quick cook - once the clams opened the cook poured in a couple of eggs, flipped and stirred it around to cook the eggs, plated it, salted it and served it to me. Delicious. Here they and I - are.
And a few other Market dishes
Look here I am with Scampi.
And back at Bar Pinxoto for a lentil seafood salad with, yes, olive oil and salt.
Now back to my Spanish Booty...the chocolate bar from the Museu de la Xocolata delighted me soon after my return with it's rich dark flavor and creamy dreamy texture. Tasted exactly like the hot chocolat I'd had in the Museu lobby. God was it good. And what a place !!! This neighborhood in Barcelona, La Ribera, on a Sunny Sunday Morning!
More on The Booty...
one bottle of olive oil is gone, the Cortijo De Suerte Alta and it went fast, for good reason, we were drinking it by the shot. Well, some of us ... Those lost in their senses.
After generations of production, this family business began Organic Farming in 1996 and in 2006 they built an award winning mill, recognized for it's environmental design.
My booty my booty I just can't stop thinking about my Spanish booty which has not been recognized for it's environmental design but it has been recognized.