25, 000 people arrive a day on giant cruise ships in Barcelona and I’m sure that they, like me, head straight for La Boqueria for some seriously good seafood. I had two great seafood feasts on my trip – one at a place in Barceloneta (I would recommend it if I could remember the name…the sign is black if that helps and it’s right on the beach) and the other for lunch at the best food market: La Boqueria. Razor clams, clams, squid, mussels, big big prawns and dorado fish were all cooked on a hot plate with olive oil and garlic. So simple and so good. You can make musclos a la marinera with my previous blog post Catalan Seaside Supper. Whoop! Just realised where I ate in Barceloneta by deciphering the name on the napkin in the musclos photo: Cavamar. Go there!
I just returned from Barcelona where I had scrumptious seafood and seriously good ice cream from Vioko in Barceloneta. It’s an Argentinian ice cream and chocolate company. It also makes macarons – not as good as Pierre Herme or La Duree but with interesting flavours such as lime with olive oil. The shop is beautifully designed with huge black and white photographs of what looks like Alpine scenery on the walls. The logo is a deer so I got a feeling of the Alps or Scandinavia but no, the mountains are Argentinian. There must be some pretty good ice cream recipes knocking about in Argentina with the huge Italian community and this place certainly had great flavours. I had dulce de leche (anything to do with caramel is always at the top of my list) and grapefruit with lavender. The attention to detail in the design is ace with the flavours displayed on the wall with back lit coloured patterned glass discs representing the flavours next to the names. I really recommend it and will certainly return when I am next lucky enough to be in the fabulous BCN.
Inspired by a windy trip to Whitstable to fly a kite, eat white bait and chips and cut our feet on the low-tide seaside creatures and rocky revelations is Catalan Seaside Supper!
Menu: Musclos a la marinera
What you need (for 2 people):
2 big tomatoes
1 big white onion
a few cloves of garlic
What you need to do:
1. Clean the mussels thoroughly by scrubbing each one under a running tap. This is very important!
2. Slice the onions into strips and put them in a frying pan with lots of olive oil and begin frying. Chop a few cloves of garlic and add them.
3. Next slice the tomatoes in half and juice each half rubbing it on a grater over the onion. Catalan man said “Feel the ratio between onion and tomato”. Slightly cryptic but this ratio needs to be not too juicy and not to dry. This onion and tomato combination is “sofrito” – the basis of Spanish cookery. (“Sufreixit” in Catalan)
4. Transfer the “sufreixit” into a deep pan and keep it simmering away (if you have a good ratio of course!). Now put the mussels on top and put the lid on. They will steam in the bubbling “sufreixit” and are ready once they have opened.
5. Serve with a squeeze of lemon and a hunk of bread to soak up the juices.