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Monday, May 17, 2010

Traveling – Barcelona, Spain

When we travel, we always like to look in the local markets and shops to see how the people live.  Our first stop during our 1999 European trip was Barcelona Spain where we continued this tradition.

Through the center of the old town of Barcelona runs a strip of road Las Ramblas that runs from the center of town down a gradual hill to the waterfront.  At the bottom of the hill is a very large covered market that looks like it is housed in an old train station.  We walked down to the market one morning and spent several hours browsing the shops and examining the products offered for sale.

This type of European market is very similar to visiting your local Safeway store; only the European markets are usually much larger and provide a more diverse selection of products.  The market in Barcelona is laid out in a grid of booths that are grouped by the type of product offered.

There are sections for fresh fish, pork, beef, poultry, dairy, fruits, vegetables, as well as any other food related item the local people would need.  The food is usually displayed in a straightforward way and what you see is what you get.

We enjoy looking at some of the foods that we would not usually purchase: octopus, whole pigs including the heads, etc.  The wonderful tables of produce offered in the fruits and vegetable areas always amaze us.  In different countries I have takes some beautiful pictures of these displays.

We find that these markets as well as the more traditional grocery stores provide a great place to pick up some of our picnic supplies for the day: bread, cheese, smoked meats, and fruit.  It also gives us a better insight into the people and how they live as well as it gives us a chance to interact with them in their places of business rather than just visiting the tourist sites and moving on.

Adventures In Food: Author: Kerry Howell

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