I just got back from a few wonderful days in Barcelona. Barcelona is Spain’s second largest city, after Madrid, but it’s not as “Spanish” per se, as Madrid is. “No estamos in España, estamos en Cataluña”, I read, and true it is: We’re not in Spain; we’re in Catalunya. Barcelona is more cosmopolitan, right next to the sea, and bilingual: they speak Catalán and Spanish, but they still share the Spanish love of late nights, partying and great food.
“Pan con tomate”, or “pa amb tomaca” in Catalán, is simple but simply good: a piece of bread, toasted or not, rubbed with a raw tomato. Drizzle olive oil sprinkle with salt and voilá! ¡Riquísimo!
“La Boquería” was one of my favorite places in Barcelona; it’s official name is “Mercat de Sant Josep”: a market filled with pretty much everything: plenty of fresh seafood, meat that looks way too much like the animal it was, Spanish wines, chocolates, tons of juice (kiwi with coconut was a favorite, as was the chocolate + banana + coconut one), as well as prepared foods.