Saturday, October 19, 2013

Spanish Street Food

In the cities we visited--Barcelona, Granada, Ronda, Malaga, and Seville--great-looking food was on view everywhere. We walked down streets entirely taken over by outdoor cafés:

 We saw many gelaterías, with their tempting, colorful offerings:

And bakeries with dozens and dozens of yummy things on display in the windows:

However, my favorite place to ogle food was the outdoor food markets.

In Madrid we strolled through the Mercado de San Miguel: Technically, it's an outdoor market, because although it has a roof, it only has roll-up plastic curtains for walls. Inside, it resembles a gigantic tapería wedded to a nonstop bakery fused onto a paella restaurant the size of a basketball court:

The place is packed with locals sopping up tapas, washing down drinks, and nabbing yummy things to take home for dinner or dessert:

BIG pan of paella!:

In the midst of all the hubbub and activity, it's still possible to share a quiet moment with someone special:

My hands-down favorite outdoor food market, however, is La Boquería in Barcelona. It is like a huge, outdoors temple to food. You can find everything there, from a whole sheep's head to tiny silver nonpareils for decorating cookies, and everything in between:

I loved the chocolate teacups and hedgehogs:

Stunning marzipan fruits and veggies and other crazy food shapes:

 Tiny licorice cats:

Three different filled-dough thingies on a stick, for takeaway snacking. Genius:

Dragonfruit, I think? all wrapped and spoon'd and equally portable:

Mounds of eggs in straw:

Rather disgusting-looking razor clams:

and fish so fresh it'll bite if you get too close:

This gal was expertly filleting fish with a wicked knife about the size of a machete:

Beautiful mushrooms for sale:

Teeny-tiny wild strawberries with a big price tag:

Don't look if you're a vegetarian!:

 Grab-and-go drinks in a rainbow of flavors:

I wish there were a Boquería around the corner from my house. On the other hand, I'd overeat daily if there were.

So, maybe not.

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