Wednesday, November 20, 2013

59. To market, to market ...

Barcelona supermarkets are just great - especially my favourite, the European chain Carrefour - with an enormous range of produce and with prices way below what I am used to in Australia. The city also boasts several large produce markets and today I'll take you into the biggest ...


The Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria - simply referred to by the locals as La Boqueria - is a huge public market in the centre of Barcelona with its main entrance off La Rambla – the ‘tourist central’ mall of the city.


The market has an extraordinary diverse range of everything editable – and more still. Meats and fish of every description + fruit and vegs like you've never seen - I'm sure there is no such thing as seasonal as they have access to the world producers - plus sweets and herbs and spices and and and ...
 
 
chocolates for every taste ...
 
 
 
The first mention of the Boqueria market in Barcelona dates from 1217, when tables were installed near the old city gate to sell meat. From December 1470 onwards, a pig market was held at this site; at this time it was known as Mercat Bornet. Later, until 1794, it was known simply as Mercat de la Palla, or straw market. In the beginning, the market was not enclosed and had no official status.


Later, the authorities decided to construct a separate market on La Rambla, housing mainly fishmongers and butchers. It was not until 1826 that the market was legally recognized, and a convention held in 1835 decided to build an official structure. Construction began in 1840. The market officially opened in the same year, but the plans for the building were modified many times. The inauguration of the structure finally took place in 1853. A new fish market opened in 1911, and the metal roof that still exists today was constructed in 1914.

 benches groaning with fungi ...

eggs and eggs and eggs


lollies by the kilo ...











 
Mercat de la Boqueria is referred to as a "gastronomic temple - where locals come together in a community to eat, shop and gossip" ... there are over 60 permanent stalls and the market is open 5 days each week throughout the year ... what a luxury to have access to fresh food supplies like that ... 







 
 
As much as I enjoy my visits to the market for fresh vegies and fruit, I do find the sights and the smells from the meat and fish and poultry stalls rather difficult ... 

even pured fruit ...

fresh figs at A$1.50 a box ...


 
 
I did buy a couple of sheep's heads for supper ...
 

 
 
On that note we'll leave the shopping for today and next blog I'll take you to church to pray for the souls of all those poor sheeps ..