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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.

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.

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!

"Page not found"

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

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.