Market Scene: La Boqueria in Barcelona

*cough cough*

Now, I feel like I should charge for writing comments here.

Market Scene: La Boqueria in Barcelona

I've eaten some pretty mind-blowing food at Bar Pinotxo. From the more modest dishes like the chickpeas Kenji describes above, the stewed snails or the tripe to the little mollusks (tallarines, berberechos), right up to the incredibly delicious but outrageously expensive gambas (4 for 17€). Their flam de mato is also something not to be missed if you have more of a sweet tooth.

I've always found the service very friendly, but expedited. It is a bar after all and not a restaurant. I've never felt pressed to leave, though. Just because you get your bill doesn't mean you have to skedaddle. You can always order something else and pay the bills together.

I never really liked shopping at the Boqueria, though. It's too often overrun with tourists. I got most of my produce from fruiterias and the corner supermarket. Or I would stop at another market on my way home, which often included passing in front of the Boqueria.

I did shop there once in a while when I wanted something special like top quality morcilla de burgos or Spanish cheeses. The best jamon I ever ate was some hand cut Guijuelo from one of the stands on the North side of the market. I bought 100g and ate it over two days. It was absolute bliss and worth every pretty penny. Of course I had some amazing paleta iberica to hold me between rounds of jamon.

When in Spain, one should not neglect the superawesometastiness of good paleta iberica. It's a real bargain when compared to jamon of equal quality. I also believe it's a much wiser choice for sandwiches, because good jamon should always be eaten by itself.

Sending food back - acceptable, wasteful, or paltry?

Rodzilla, I don't see anything wrong with the meat in that picture. I don't see gristle either, just fat. Like onepercent99 said, it's just an undercooked lamb chop.

Links in emails sending me to mobile site.

It's happening again.

SE Staff Picks: Our Favorite Cheeses

I really missed it

What do you desire in a Cooking Web site.

@dbcurrie - I'm the exact opposite. I hate recipes. I just want to see how something is made. Once I've seen it done, I can work off just a list of ingredients. Of course, you have to start with a reliable source. Most cooking videos are terrible, as are most cooking blogs.

How to use Agave with Scallops

This recipe needs more spam.

Snapshots from Spain: Ensaïmada

I love ensaïmadas. They are one of the great discoveries I made when living in Spain. My whole time there, I kept wondering why so many people ate those awful Spanish croissants when they could have been eating an ensaïmada.

In Barcelona, it's easy to find really good ones, too. The ones at Granja La Pallaresa are always so fresh and tasty. There's a bakery on Gran de Gracia that has ones stuffed with crema catalana. Those are something special, but they are literally everywhere.

Just as eating churros is a given when visiting Madrid, ensaïmadas are an absolute must-eat for anyone visiting the Catalan regions of Spain.

Homemade Bread?

Maybe if you told us what was wrong with the bread we could help you out. In the meantime all we can do is speculate, ramble and self-congratulate.

It is indeed possible to make good bread at home and it doesn't have to be complicated. I've started cooking my bread in a dutch oven. It's dead easy and the results are pretty fantastic.

Closing of El Bulli

I've never been there so I wouldn't know.

SE Staff Picks: Our Favorite Cheeses

@AnthonyC - I also get irritated when people call fresh goat's cheese just goat cheese or even chèvre. Do some people actually think there's only one kind of goat's cheese. There are hundreds of goat's cheeses out there and the range is almost as great as that of cow's milk cheeses. Reducing goat's cheese to a single product seems rather ill-informed.

SE Staff Picks: Our Favorite Cheeses

Burger365's list made me hungry. Cabrales has to be the best blue I've ever eaten. Petit Basque is a very nice cheese, as is Roncal. The rest are going on my to-do list.

SE Staff Picks: Our Favorite Cheeses

Beaufort is at the top of the batting order, these days. Of all the gruyère type cheeses, Beaufort is king.

Cook the Book: Treacle Tart

I think the crust on top is a bit excessive. It's already rich enough as it is. Anyway doesn't crust on top change it from treacle tart to treacle pie?

After Motorino, now M.Well!

After Motorino, now M.Well!

"Page not found"

Looks like the guy pulled his article. What did it say?

Look Who's Talkin': Comments, Quips, and Tips We Have Known and Loved

I'm 100% with Kenji on this one. Robuchon mashed potatoes FTW!

The Food Lab: Ceviche And The Science Of Marinades

Very nice article, Kenji. I love Peruvian and Ecuadoran ceviche so friggin' hard! I don't know why I've never made it before, but this is giving me incentive to finally have a go.

Healthiest bread

Healthy and unhealthy can be very subjective. I think it's a better to look at food's nutritional value rather than its health benefits. People can go back and forth forever discussing the health benefits of this or that food, but nutritional value is much more objective.

German bread as a general category contains a lot of products with whole grains, sprouted grains and seeds. It's dense and it's high in calories, but a big part healthy eating is portion control.

Healthiest bread

Oh, I forgot to add: What's wrong with molasses? It's the most nutritious form of sugar.

Healthiest bread

German breads for sure. They're darn tasty, as well.

Comté: How the Largest Small-Batch Cheese in France Is Made

@eurekabru - Any Gruyère type cheese will do for tartiflette, but the traditional cheese is Reblochon. It's a similar but more unctuous cheese from Savoie. Tartiflette was invented in the eighties by the Syndicat Interprofessionnel du Reblochon: the Reblochon marketing board.

SE Staff Picks: What's Your Favorite Taco Filling?

I will not be forced to choose!

Sea food on pizza. Yay or Nay.

Links in emails sending me to mobile site.

It just happened a few minutes ago. The links in the comment notification emails are now sending me to the mobile version of the site.

I tried to go in my account to change the settings, but there does not seem to be any option for this.

Thanks for looking into this,


Help me out. What is confit lamb shoulder supposed to be like?

I'm asking this because, it's something I had never eaten until recently, and both times were very disappointing.

I suspect this is because it wasn't prepared properly, but I have no point of reference. I've never had good confit lamb shoulder. What I've had has been dry and fibrous like certain kinds of canned meat (don't ask). I suspect it was overcooked, but I need confirmation.

I have had confit leg of lamb and lamb shank which is usually quite amazing. Flakey, unctuous and flavourful. It's one of my favourite meats ever. The shoulder was nothing like that.

So was I served bad lamb shoulder or is it just something that's not for me?

Election Night Eats

It's federal election night up here in Soviet Canuckistan.

I just came back from voting and I'm getting ready for an election night TV marathon.

On the menu: Kraft Dinner, Diet Orange Crush and rum, and Cheesies (not Hawkins unfortunately).

Don't ask me who I'm rooting for. That's personal.

Anyone else doing something special for election night?

Report an inappropriate comment - Where has the form gone?

Something happened whilst I wasn't looking. The form for reporting inapropriate comments seems to have disappeared.

I wanted to report another spammy music school recipe comment and saw there isn't any link in Recipes to report inapropriate comments so I went to Talk to click a ramdom thread and the page it sent me to didn't contain the usual form.

Has the reporting system changed? How are we supposed to go about it, now? And how do we report spam in recipe comments?

Thank in advance,

The fast-food foie gras burger. It was bound to happen

... And so it did, and it's not one of those one-off, one location, $150 deals, either. The Franco-Belgian fast food chain Quick has come out with a foie-gras burger at an everyday price. Only 5€, about $7, gets your grubby hands on the near-luxury sandwich. Better hurry though, it's only around for the Christmas season.

The article is here

Talk: Comment pending

Hello SE,

Could you please enlighten me has to why some of my post containing links to other sites are getting held for moderation and others not? What is it that triggers such a thing? And why are we apparently not allowed to link to certain sites like

Thanks in advance,

Monsieur Ghislain

NYC Pizza Cultural Literacy

Here's the tweet that inspired this post:

tweet screenshot

Yes, @alexandrak, such a post does exist, and if your boyfriend finds what I'm about to write all TL;DR, he can check it out: The 10 Best Pizzas in NYC » That's a solid list, no doubt. And if his NYC pizza research stops there, I'm sure he'd be happy. But I think simply dropping a best-of list on a New York newbie does him a bit of a disservice. After all, he's moving to a pizza mecca. I think a little context is in order.


5 Can't-Miss Korean Eating Experiences in Flushing

Visitors to Flushing, Queens might think of the neighborhood as primarily a Chinese food destination, but the world of Korean options is vast and diverse. Our intrepid Flushing explorer Chris Hansen has tracked down massive goat feasts, pork belly cooked on your table, killer Korean barbecue, and more. We asked him to pick his five favorite finds so far; check out his can't-miss Korean eating experiences in Flushing! More

12 Spots in New York Where Tourists Should Go

As we've seen, there are some tourist-frequented spots that really do serve good food. But where do we think tourists should go? Here are a dozen places that we think visitors to our fair city shouldn't miss. (Pizza, bagels, burgers, Italian-American spots, picks for Food Network and Top Chef fans, and the best way to get into great restaurants for less cash—it's all here.) More

Dinner Tonight: Bucatini with Rita's Spicy Baby Octopus Sauce

I've been plotting ways to get more baby octopus in my life. This mission was probably the result of a series of incredible versions of the cephalopod at restaurants recently. They've given me just enough motivation to try my hand at making it at home. Most recipes call for a quick cook over high heat, then toss the octopus with some simple vinaigrette. But I fell in love with this recipe from David Pasternack's The Young Man & The Sea (which SE overlord Ed Levine co-wrote!), which goes the long route—simmering the octopus for nearly 30 minutes in a tomato sauce. More

Snapshots from Thailand: Street Food in Bangkok

Here's a bold statement: Bangkok is the greatest eating city in the world. It's the only place I can think of where you can spend a month just wandering the streets, eating every single thing that tickles your fancy, three meals a day (with snacks in between), and never try the same thing twice. And to top it all off, you can do it all for under $5 a day. More

Top This: Momed's Etli Pide

On the streets of Istanbul, Alex Sarkissian and Chef Matt Carpenter discovered the irresistible Etli Pide. This Turkish street food is practically non-existent in the US. For this edition of Top This, we learn how to make their Etli Pide, an open-faced calzone brimming with seasoned minced beef, kasseri cheese, organic farm egg and thyme spiked oven roasted tomatoes. More

Seriously Asian: Glutinous Rice and Banana Leaves

Wrapping glutinous rice in banana leaves has to be one of the best things you can do with glutinous rice. The banana leaves impart their herbaceous, almost minty scent to the rice, which gets a double treatment of flavor: once from the wrapping, and again from the filling. You'll find banana leaf-wrapped bundles of glutinous rice across China and parts of Southeast Asia, the fillings varying according to regional tastes. More

Henan Flavor: Another Flushing Noodle Shop Comes to Manhattan

Given how well Xi'an Famous Foods (full review here), the Flushing noodle and soup joint that made a successful leap across the East River to the East Village is doing, it was only a matter of time before a few of its competitors began to follow suit. Henan Flavor, the brand new Chinatown spinoff of Flushing's Henan Feng Wei, serves a menu that resembles Xi'an's in many ways. Wide hand-pulled noodles available in soups or platters, simple homestyle stews, and pork-stuffed sandwiches. But despite these superficial parallels, a few bites in and it's quite clear that you're in a different province entirely. More

Video: How to Cook and Eat an Entire Duck

Cooking duck is a great gateway experience to the full-on nose-to-tail eating. All of the parts are delicious and easy to prepare, it just takes a little time. Watch this video to see ducks turned into sausage, pate, rillette, stock, prosciutto, and confit. More

Seriously Asian: Wheat Gluten

Like tofu, wheat gluten has been dismissed by some carnivores as a vegetarian mainstay that only health food nuts and hippies eat. Wheat gluten certainly is a healthy food, made by washing wheat flour dough with water until only the elastic mass is left. Like tofu, it's low in fat and high in protein. Yet with its delightfully chewy texture and wheaty, wholesome flavor, it's completely underappreciated. More

8 Recipes for Lunar New Year

This Thursday is Lunar New Year, which, if you're Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, or just a festive person, means you'll probably be eating with friends and family. Lunar New Year doesn't have specific holiday foods, per se. Feasting with loved ones is the most important part! Here are recipes for rice cakes, dumplings, mochi, scallion pancakes, and more. More

Pizza Protips: Deciphering Refined Wheat Flour

Wheat flour is a lot more complex than most flour labels would have you believe. While some companies do a decent job at defining what type of wheat is in the bag, others require a little more research. Before you start that research, though, you need to know just a little about the different types of wheat, and what they're good for. More

The Nasty Bits: Cod Milt Season

It's that time of year again! Just a friendly reminder from your Nasty Bits columnist that cod milt season is in full swing, and there's no time like the present to scoot over to your local Japanese or Korean market to try the delicacy. Cod milt, the sperm sac of various fish, is actually one of the easier types of innards to cook. Milt is soft and creamy, yet does not easily overcook. More

The Nasty Bits: Bung

As the weather turns colder and soupy things become my default, I remember that one of my favorite toppings for noodle soup is, in fact, intestines. They are not the small intestines from which chitlins are made but part of the large intestines. At Asian markets you'll find this part of the large intestines labeled as bung. Its taste is meaty and porky and, because sometimes I am at a loss to describe that ineffably "gamey" or animalistic flavor of innards, let me just say that intestines taste "offal-y." More

Dinner Tonight: Kimchi Jigae (Kimchi Stew)

Maybe it's the falling leaves, or just the slight chill in the air, but I was in need of something restorative and filling. During such times, my mind drifts towards the warming powers of kimchi, and of the Korean stew kimchi jigae. Even though I've written about a fine version of the recipe before, I was coerced into trying this recipe by Marc Matsumoto of the food blog No Recipes. "In the same way that every family has their own secret family recipe for kimchi," he writes, "the recipes for Kimchi Jigae vary widely by household." If the recipe differs so widely, why can't I write about another version? More

The Nasty Bits: Blood

I haven't written about blood in this column only because, like lungs from last week, it is so difficult to track down fresh poultry blood or find a restaurant that knows how to handle it. (Which is to say, to not handle it very much at all: There is nothing worse than overcooked blood; it becomes leathery and its delicate, intangible flavor dries up as well.) Prepared properly, congealed blood really is one of my favorite flavors. More

Seriously Asian: Cooking with Kimchi

I'd like to put forth the claim that you can never have too many jars of kimchi. For starters, kimchi is one of the freshest-tasting and juiciest types of pickled things out there, so the jars probably won't be sitting in your fridge for long. But if you find yourself with an abundance of one of Korea's gifts to mankind, there are all kinds of ways you can employ kimchi in your cooking. Including this recipe for kimchi dumplings. More