Tuesday, February 15, 2011
la boquería market, barcelona
My loot from the market: raspberries, strawberries and lychees. none of these were grown in Catalunya.
So about Food People: there are certain "buzz words" that have a tendency to make us go weak in the knees. "Playfully combined texture/flavor" is one; another is "fresh local produce." By golly, do Food People love Fresh Local Produce. That sounded ironic, but it wasn't. I truly do love me some FLP.
La Boquería, Barcelona's famous indoor food market, is not primarily about Fresh Local Produce. La Boqueria is about So Much Variety It Makes Your Head Spin.
Did you want some cherries? Got those from Chile. Mexican Habañero peppers? Got 'em. Strawberries come from Huelva, lychees from Madagascar, durian fruit from Thailand. Dragon fruit, papaya, kiwi, coconut, sweet potatoes, every dried chili you could want.
My Iberian friends and I have had this discussion a few times - which is better, the "Spanish" way (cheap and good quality, but mostly only what's good locally at the time) or the "American" way (the more variety the better, cost and quality - to a certain extent - be darned). After last night in La Boquería, my senses entirely flooded with so many colors, smells and flavors from so many places, I'm not sure I can bring myself to decide which I prefer. Maybe I won't choose at all. Maybe I'll enjoy my FLP here in Bilbao but revel in the memories of the dizziness-inducing multitudes of treats on display this past weekend.