Probably the most famous dish in Spain after paella is patatas bravas. The boiled and fried potatoes are served with a spicy (by Spanish standards, which means relatively mild) tomato sauce or aioli. While there's nothing not to like about fried potatoes, we changed it up slightly for this recipe by using sunchokes, also known as Jerusalem artichokes, instead. The recipe is simple, but watch the video for some behind the scenes cooking action and mid-day wine drinking.
'Barcelona' on Serious Eats
As difficult as it was during a recent trip to Barcelona to pull my salivating jaws away from the legs of Iberico jamon, boquerones, and practically free flowing olives, I couldn't pass up sampling a bit of what the city offered in terms of chocolate. So I did a little bit of research, grabbed a partner, and set about for a full on day of cacao.
A road trip across Spain isn't diners and gas station hot dogs—it's long lunches with wine and a plate of jamón. We just spent two weeks traveling by car to the four corners of Spain. Catch the entire journey in this three minute food extravaganza!
Two weeks ago, I fell in love with Barcelona. I was expecting to, having heard raves about how beautiful everything is: the dramatic Gaudi architecture, the sparkly Mediterranean, the people, and of course the food. For every museum, park, or otherwise-"cultural" landmark we visited, we made at least as many feeding stops along the way—everything from paper cones of Iberico ham chunks, to fresh-pressed dragon fruit-coconut juice, to some truly stunning chocolate desserts.
Opened hundreds of years ago in 1470, under the name Mercat Bornet, the legendary Mercat de La Boqueria was once the city's major pig and meat market. Centuries later, it's still one of the most impressive markets in Europe, a fantastic place to shop, sip, and nibble.
Here's a reader recommendation we received for a good burger in Spain you probably wouldn't expect.
When traveling abroad, exploring local drinking habits usually ranks third on my list of priorities. The first two are stamping my passport and finding a clean bed. And while the architecture, the museums, and even shopping are all important aspects of exploring a new culture, I feel that the true spirit of any great city begins at the bar and ends at the dinner table.
How do you say "slice" in Spanish? Eslice. Eh, so the word doesn't really translate but Bruno Rieusset, owner of the pizza stall inside La Boqueria, looked it up as a joke. You don't really expect to see his pizza oven hiding behind the fishmongers inside Barcelona's fantastic market hall (see more photos here). But sure enough, there's Bruno and his fellow pizzaman Mario tossing dough, saucing it, and sliding the pies into the oven.
La Boqueria has to be one of the world's greatest markets. Located just off La Rambla, the busy pedestrian-friendly boulevard, it's a must-visit for any serious eater in Barcelona. The colorful, abundant aisles are packed with tourists and locals alike shopping for Jamón Iberico, fresh fruit, seafood, all sorts of animal parts (tongues, heads, and organs galore), eggs, fresh juices, nuts, cheese, and olives.
After you pass all the Jamón Ibérico hanging (and stare, drool, study the butcher slicing away at one of the legs), the second thing you'll probably notice at La Boqueria, the bustling market hall in Barcelona, are the zumos. The bright, fresh juices are all lined up on crushed ice at the various fruit stalls.
I've never thought, oh this horchata could sure use some lemon, but upon trying leche merengada while in Spain last week, I wasn't opposed to the bright, citrus-y kick at the end. It's not quite horchata plus lemon—it's actually whole milk (not rice or almond milk) mixed with sugar, cinnamon, usually egg whites, and a hearty squeeze of lemon.
McDonald's condiment options don't include foie gras mayo (big shocker) but at Tapaç24, the small plates hotspot in Barcelona, they pay homage to the fast-food chain in the form of this little burger. The beef patty comes medium-rare, almost tartare-rare in the very center, on a thin, crisp bun. Nothing else on the burger, just that little black dish of creamy foie on the side waiting to be spooned up. As my Kindergarten teacher Ms. Wookey said, a little dab will do ya (in that context she was referring to Elmer's glue).
Barcelona, on the Mediterranean Coast in northeast Spain, is one of Europe's most-visited cities (fourth, after London, Paris, and Rome). And for good reason. With world-class museums, stunning architecture, a comfortable year-round climate, and a welcoming, laid-back atmosphere, what's not to love? And while Barcelona offers all of these fine qualities, for serious eaters it may just be synonymous with one thing: La Boqueria.
Heading to Barcelona, Spain? Check out these recommendations from Serious Eaters that'll have you saying muy delicioso.
I love the design of Happy Pills, a hallway-sized candy shop in Barcelona that packages standard gummies in plastic medication bottles labeled with pink crosses and cranky phrases such as, "Against Mondays." It's playful packaging and branding for the post-pubescent crowd who want to indulge in simple sweets. No prescription is required for Happy Pills, so you may as well stock up. [via notcot.org]...
I am currently in Barcelona eating as much ham as I can before leaving on Sunday. In between porcine bites, I sometimes venture into places like supermarkets just to see what a supermarket in Barcelona looks and feels like. Last evening, marching down the snack aisle, I came across two kinds of Lay's potato chip bags with a drawing of what looks like a chef. I pick the bag up and discover it is none other than Ferran Adriá of El Bulli fame, the man often described as the greatest chef in the world and the man who moved foam from the shaving kit to the dinner plate. Lay's is putting out a line of Ferran Adria "Artesanas" potato chips....
After three days in Barcelona, my family thinks I am going to turn into a ham. Not just any ham, but a jamón de bellota, made from the famous acorn-fed black-footed (pata negra) Spanish pigs. In three days here, I have bought five different kinds of ham and ordered it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner in some form. Every morning, I go to the Boqueria and inspect the wares of the many ham vendors found at this wondrous market, which is every bit as great as advertised. I ask everyone I meet there where they buy their ham. Not many people speak English, and my Spanish and Catalan are nonexistent, so I don't really glean very much useful information from...
My friend Tom is on his way to Barcelona, so of course he asked me where he should eat. I've never been to Barcelona (a shocking admission for a foodie), so I immediately called Jeff Steingarten, who's eaten everywhere. Alexander...