Barcelona, a photo a day

food

A birthday treat

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Nice treat for my ……….th birthday!

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A word of warning

DSC06084 Barcelona is a wonderful city. Like any other place, it has it’s darker side. Take the Ramblas. A fantastic place for having a stroll, watching people go by, buy some flowers… And then, you are suddenly thirsty, or hungry. Bad thing… Be aware that BCN is like any tourist place… If you want an expresso on St Mark’s square in Venice, you pay the price! Same thing here. Also, be aware that all those restaurants with tables on the Rambla, serve overpriced and awful food. With very very few exceptions. My advice, leave the Ramblas, take any street into the Raval or the Barri Gotic, much better food, much less money!!! Not to mention the dozens (yep: dozens) of pickpockets, totally fearless due at the laxity of spanish laws. Maximum 3 days in jail if they are caught, and only if they stole more than 400 euros.
Just use common sense.


Jamoneria

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One of many jamonerias (Jamón= ham) to be found all over Barcelona. All over Spain, that is.
You can buy a whole ham, or just some slices. Or any tapa, with a good vino tinto (red wine), the Rioja is excellent for this.


Obama and me

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Well, this is Barcelona, not Washington! Guess the president of some country over there is preparing for the… after.
Anyway, a place out of this world and time (1950es Kenya), with the best english breakfast money can get you in BCN!

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And now ladies and gents, for the first time ever in the loooooong history of mankind and of this blog, a photo of myself with the overdude himself, Mr Barak Obama, President of the United States of America!

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Aren’t we evah so stylish!!!!! And so shiny!!!


Tables with a view

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One of the restaurants with a better view in town. The one on Montjuic, next to the Miramar hotel, at the entrance of the cactus garden.

To see more ‘painted’ photos, please check my website!


World food, with overgin

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Empanadas! Anywhere, anytime! An empanada (Spanish pronunciation: [empaˈnaða]; also called pastel in Brazilian Portuguese) is a stuffed bread or pastry baked or fried in many countries in Latin Europe, Latin America, the Southwestern United States, and parts of Southeast Asia. The name comes from the Galician, Portuguese, and Spanish verb empanar, meaning to wrap or coat in bread.
In Spain, empanadas and empanadillas are two different types of cooking a similar thing. Empanadillas are often made from a rather thin, pliant, but resilient wheat pastry, cut into a round shape, stuffed and folded. The filling varies, but tuna, sardines, or meat are used most commonly in a tomato puree, garlic and onion sauce. Spanish empanadillas are often fried in olive oil but can also be found baked.

In Galicia, the empanada can also be prepared similar to a pie, with a variety of fillings like cod, pork loin, cockles, mussels, or octopus, the empanada galega. Empanadas can be eaten at any time of the day. As I mentioned before.

They are everywhere! More about them here.

No comment about overgin (open up the photo to know what the heck I’m talking about). Someone’s sense of humor at the Boqueria market, I hope…


Jamón, Jamón

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April… Let’s start the month with the City Daily Photo theme day, won’t we! Theme: my camera-shy self portrait. Well, here I am on Calle Pelaio, hiding behind the hams reflected in what used to be the Happybooks shop. It is now a so-called a Jamóneria, a ham shop. I am always very sad to see a bookshop closing, btw.

You know what to do… Click here to see what my friends from CDP did with this theme.


Late night

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Many shops are open till 10 PM, to the great convenience of many working people. Need a carrot or chocolate late in the evening? No problem, mate! Although the same shops tend to close from 2 to 5 PM: siesta time. So, no chocolate, you wouldn’t want to disturb a spaniard taking a nap, no no no!
The baker at the Pi church.


Sailing away… Rule of thirds

2014_01_19_3150 Fed up with Barcelona? Easy: just take a ferry to Italy, Africa, the balearic islands (Ibiza…)… Many nice places out there! In 24 hours, after cruising the Med, you can be in, for example, Livorno. Nice place. 20 km further (by land), you could have a pizza in Pisa, just next to the leaning tower. And I swear: you cannot beat an italian pizza!!!!! Buonissime pizze italiane!!!


Reflection

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A reflection near the big chinese restaurant on the Ramblas.


El Pudding

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Pudding, probably the best cafe in BCN. The most colourful one, for sure.

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Monthly theme day: take away store

Well, different countries, different takeaways. Here is the guy who actually cooks those nice sausages you’re taking away with bread and mustard. Sweat in peace, my friend.
You know what? If you’re into takeaways, have a look here!


Decisions, decisions…

I’m always having a hard time at the mercat de Sant Josep… Balancing the urge of buying a lot of this gorgeous high quality food… with my economic reality. I never managed, always spending too much.

Oh, you might know this market as Boqueria. For us locals, it is St Joseph’s market. And to photographers, it is known as ‘paradise’. There has been a market here since 1217, 797 years ago.

And, no, this is not HDR, just Lightroom and Nik filters.


If you feel like dancing…

After Dancing with the wolves, dancing with the sardines? Mr Costner, if you’re watching this, here’s an idea…


Fresh!

Fresh veggies from the Boqueria market


The spiritual chef

More and more people choose to eat their food raw nowadays, not excluding meat. And now, there is even raw food catering as well. I personally like my steaks well done, and my potatoes cooked or fried. But I’ll go for a cheesecake anytime!


Queuing…

Queuing… The 3rd national sport in Spain, just after bullfighting (not in Catalunya anymore, yeah!) and football (aka soccer in some countries).

This is the queue at the Hard Rock Cafe on Plaza Catalunya. I never managed to enter the place. And I don’t really bother, it is really overpriced. And I mean: really overpriced!


Shalom!

A very welcome newcomer on the Rambla, the Shalom kosher grill. And oh look, it’s close to Egypt!


Sweet!

Made in Catalunya!


Farton!

Yes, farton, plural fartons, in one word… Breakfast, yesterday morning.
Fartons are confectionery sweets typical of the Valencian town of Alboraya, Spain. Elongate and glazed with sugar it features flour, milk, sugar, oil, eggs and a leavening agent. Very common in Catalunya, they are delicious, and cheap: you get 5 of them for 1 euro.
And you can even joke with their name!


The Grill Room

One of the better looking restaurants in town.


Theme day, continued…

Some more cafe chairs… No, wait: chiringuito chairs! A chiringuito is a beach cafe.


Smiles

Happy smiling faces at the Boqueria market! And the veggies look absolutely gorgeous!

Our world Tuesday, right here.


Nuts!

Found that great nut place! With a very willing vendor! This guy could sell refrigerators to Eskimos!
But no, I didn’t buy anything, will come back later, no need for nuts right now.


Elton John’s old bathtub

Well… Last Friday after work, we went out for dinner, to a place called the Happy Rock Grill. Had a nice dinner, paid, and then I went to the bathroom before leaving. Well, on the way back, I noticed this massive golden thing in the back of the restaurant. Strange, I said to myself, it looks like a golden bathtub, under a glass plate, with chairs around it.
Had a closer look, and the tag at the corner said, in English, Spanish and Catalan: Elton John’s personal bathtub, 1994.

It seems to be what’s left of the Museum of Rock, which used to be next door, and is closed now.

Not quite sure who had this strange idea, putting someone’s old bathtub in a restaurant, basically in a dining room. But I don’t think we will go back there. And it definitely is one of the weirdest things I ever saw in a restaurant. What about you, what is the weirdest thing you saw in a restaurant or foodie place?


Drumming and jamming, with some soup

Some drummers jamming in Gracia last summer.

OK, about yesterday’s soup… I confess, I wouldn’t eat it either, but the photo is good. Now, here is what in my opinion is the best soup ever: the portuguese stone soup.

Take…

  • 8 cups chicken stock or canned low-salt broth
  • 1 pound linguiça or kielbasa sausage or Spanish chorizo,* diced
  • 1 15 1/4-ounce can kidney beans, drained
  • 1 pound russet potatoes, peeled, diced
  • 1 14 1/2-ounce can diced ready-cut tomatoes
  • 1/2 medium head savoy cabbage, coarsely chopped (about 4 1/2 cups)
  • 1 pound turnips, peeled, diced
  • 2 leeks (white and light green parts only), chopped
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
Combine all ingredients in large pot. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until soup is thick, stirring occasionally, about 2 hours. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to simmer before serving.)


Stone soup… And here is the legend behind it.

Two traveling men, were carrying nothing more than an empty cooking pot. They walked to a village. Upon their arrival, the villagers are unwilling to share any of their food stores with the hungry travelers. Then the travelers go to a stream and fill the pot with water, drop a large stone in it, and place it over a fire. One of the villagers becomes curious and asks what they are doing. The travelers answer that they are making “stone soup”, which tastes wonderful, although it still needs a little bit of garnish to improve the flavor, which they are missing. The villager does not mind parting with a few carrots to help them out, so that gets added to the soup. Another villager walks by, inquiring about the pot, and the travelers again mention their stone soup which has not reached its full potential yet. The villager hands them a little bit of seasoning to help them out. More and more villagers walk by, each adding another ingredient. Finally, a delicious and nourishing pot of soup is enjoyed by all.
 
Photo taken from the Portuguese Wikipedia

Soup is good for you!

Or so my mum used to say, until I grew to 6 foot 3, 1m87. Anyway, a good soup in winter, when it’s cold outside, goes a long way improving my comfort.


Let the juices flow!

A short lesson on how to make something delicious out of sugar cane.

Press the canes

Drink!


  Our world on Tuesday.


Waiting…

Waiting for all of you to come down here to visit us!


Spelling problems

Frankly, I love this stuff. OK, I know, I’m french, I should be faithful to our croissants (a Turkish creation, btw). But I don’t, as good croissants are hard to find here. Just not the same as in France anyway.
So. Doughnuts, aka donuts. Here in Barcelona, the spelling goes mad. Seen donats, donots, dunuts, danats… And pretzels, contrarily to many other languages, are masculine in Spanish.


Calories, anyone?

It is cold. It is winter. You need to keep warm. You need calories. In any form.


The waiter is waiting…

…for his last customers to finish their drinks. And so is the lady behind the bar. It’s a hard life.


Sweets for my sweet…

We both love oriental sweets, and you can get them everywhere here. Dangerous!!!


People watching

And one more people watching post, because it’s fun!


Jamon, jamon!

Fancy a slice of 2 of jamon serrano, cured mountain ham, late at night, as we all do now and then? That’s the place to go!

And don’t forget: it’s monthly Theme Day soon! Here‘s the link (not open yet). The theme is: people watching. On your cameras, go! See you all on September 1st!


Problems with your kids? Here is the solution:

eat them! Maybe with some hot spicy potatoes, locally known as patatas bravas.

I will give the name and address of the place (in Barcelona) to all interested parties -)


Peggy Sue’s American Diner

Discovered this new place nearby, Peggy Sue’s American Diner, with some fabulous burgers and dogs! Had a James Brown, and it was great! Now I just have to learn to be JB. And you know what? I feel good!
Oh, and the wall-boxes, they work! The hottest hits of the 60es!


Chocolate with olive oil and salt

Sounds very weird, but it’s actually really good (I tried a small piece). 73% cocoa, 5% olive oil, 0,4% salt. Would you eat it? It is sold in the shops of Montserrat Abbey, providers of fine foods since 1025 AD.


Ice cream anyone?

It’s summer, the ice cream days are back (but were they ever gone???). What’s your favorite flavor?
I do love the melon one! And I will try the mojito one soon!


Cool!

A very cool international hotel on the Ramblas, I suppose… Enjoy your breakfast!

Happy 4th of July, American friends, and I know you’re many!


20 miles to Baile Atha Cliath

A relative newcomer on the Irish pub scene in  Barcelona  is Dunnes, on Via Laietana. We went to try it out yesterday. The food was OK, the music great (a mix of early 70es and early 90es), the decoration a kind of Irish theme park, full of the usual cliches. The usual rugby flags, Leinster, Munster, Connacht. Not sure about any of the staff being Irish though. At least they have the Irish Times, and Sky Sport. And some of the good stuff as well, Guinness…


Zanahoria…

… means carrot. Enjoy today’s special: carrot cupcakes!

The weekend is black and white!

Photo courtesy of Mandy.

And here are the same in colors.


Tapas!

Guess almost everybody knows what tapas are. If you don’t: tapas are a wide variety of smacks, appetizers in Spanish cuisine. The name tapas come from the verb tapar, to cover. There are several explanations for why it has come to denote a type of food:

  • A commonly cited explanation is that an item, be it bread or a flat card, etc., would often be placed on top of a drink to protect it from fruit flies; at some point it became a habit to top this “cover” with a snack.
  • It is also commonly said that since one would be standing while eating a tapa in traditional Spanish bars, they would need to place their plates on top of their drinks to eat, making it a top.
  • Some believe the name originated sometime around the 16th century when tavern owners from Castilla-La Mancha found out that the strong taste and smell of mature cheese could help disguise that of bad wine, thus “covering” it, and started offering free cheese when serving cheap wine.
  • Another popular explanation says that the king Alfonso XIII stopped by a famous tavern in Cádiz (Andalusia) where he ordered a cup of wine. The waiter covered the glass with a slice of cured ham before offering it to the king, to protect the wine from the beach sand, as Cádiz is a windy place. The king, after drinking the wine and eating the tapa, ordered another wine “with the cover”.
  • The origin of tapas was most likely with Felipe the 3rd (1578-1621 and reigned from 1598 until his death), who passed a law in an effort to curb rowdy drunken behavior, particularly among soldiers and sailors. The law stated that when one purchased a drink, the bartender was to place over the mouth of the mug or goblet a cover or lid containing some small quantity of food as part of the purchase of the beverage. The hope being that the food would slow the effects of the alcohol, and fill the stomach to prevent over imbibing.

Some tapas…

  • Aceitunas – olives, sometimes with a filling of anchovies or red bell pepper
  • Albóndigas – meatballs with sauce
  • Alioli – “garlic and oil” in Catalan, the classic ingredients are only garlic, oil and salt, but the most common form of it includes mayonnaise and garlic, served on bread or with boiled or grilled potatoes, fish, meat or vegetables.
  • Bacalao – salted cod loin sliced very thinly, usually served with bread and tomatoes
  • Banderillas, or pinchos de encurtidos, are cold tapas made from small food items pickled in vinegar and skewered together. They are also known as gildas or piparras and consist of pickled items, like olives, baby onions, baby cucumbers, chiles (guindilla) with pieces of pepper and other vegetables. Sometimes they include an anchovy.
  • Boquerones – white anchovies served in vinegar (boquerones en vinagre) or deep fried
  • Calamares or rabas – rings of battered squid
  • Carne mechada – slow-cooked, tender beef
  • Chopitos – battered and fried tiny squid, also known as puntillitas
  • Cojonuda (superb female)- a kind of pincho, it consists of a slice of Spanish morcilla with a fried quail egg over a slice of bread. It is very common in Burgos, because the most well-known and widespread Spanish morcilla is from there. It can also be prepared with a little strip of red, spicy pepper.
  • Cojonudo (superb male) – a kind of pincho, it consists of a slice of Spanish chorizo with a fried quail egg over a slice of bread.
  • Chorizo al vino – chorizo sausage slowly cooked in wine
  • Chorizo a la sidra – chorizo sausage slowly cooked in cider
  • Croquetas – a common sight in bar counters and homes across Spain, served as a tapa, a light lunch, or a dinner along with a salad
  • Empanadillas – large or small turnovers filled with meats and vegetables
  • Ensaladilla rusa – “(little) Russian salad”, made with mixed boiled vegetables with tuna, olives and mayonnaise
  • Gambas – prawns sauteed in salsa negra (peppercorn sauce), al ajillo (with garlic), or pil-pil (with chopped chili peppers)
  • Mejillones rellenos – stuffed mussels, called tigres (“tigers”) in Navarre because of the spicy taste
  • Papas arrugadas or papas con mojo (see Canarian wrinkly potatoes) (Canary Islands) – very small, new potatoes boiled in salt water similar to sea water, then drained, slightly roasted and served with mojo sauce, a garlic, Spanish paprika, red pepper, cumin seed, olive oil, wine vinegar, salt and bread miga (fresh bread crumbs without the crust) to thicken it
  • Patatas bravas or papas bravas – fried potato dices (sometimes parboiled and then fried, or simply boiled) served with salsa brava a spicy tomato sauce, sometimes served also with mayo or aioli
  • Pimientos de Padrón – small green peppers originally from Padrón (a municipality in the province of A Coruña, Galicia) that are fried in olive oil or served raw, most are mild, but a few in each batch are quite spicy.
  • Pulpo a la gallega (Galician-style octopus) or polbo á feira (octopus in the trade fair style) in Galicia, is cooked in boiling water (preferably in a copper cauldron or pan) and served hot in olive or vegetable oil. The octopus pieces are seasoned with substantial amounts of paprika, giving it its recognisable red color, and sea salt for texture and flavour.
  • Pincho moruno (Moorish spike) – a stick with spicy meat, made of pork, lamb or chicken
  • Puntillitas (Andalusia) or chopitos (central Spain) – battered and fried tiny squid
  • Queso con anchoas – Castilla or Manchego cured cheese with anchovies on top
  • Rajo – pork seasoned with garlic and parsley, with added paprika, called zorza
  • Setas al Ajillo – fresh mushrooms sauteed with olive oil and garlic.
  • Solomillo a la castellana – fried pork scallops, served with an onion and/or Cabrales cheese sauce
  • Solomillo al whisky – fried pork scallops, marinated using whisky, brandy or white wine and olive oil
  • Tortilla de patatas (Spanish omelette) or tortilla española – a type of omelet containing fried chunks of potatoes and sometimes onion
  • Tortilla paisana – a tortilla containing vegetables and chorizo 
  • Tortillitas de camarones (Andalusia) – battered prawn fritters
  • Zamburiñas – renowned Galician scallops, often served in a marinera, tomato-based sauce

Bom profit, and thanks, Wiki! We tasted a lot of them, but with many more to go!


Our world Tuesday, post 1111

Pudding… A restaurant with a difference. And an internet cafe.
 Our World Tuesday.

Photo courtesy of Mandy


Almirall

A popular cafe 5 minutes from home, with a bit of HDR treatment.


Variety

Even after almost 4 years in Barcelona, I’m always amazed by the sheer variety of food on offer. And often amused: there is a restaurant in town with barbecued Korean on the menu…

Our world Tuesday.


The neighborhood bakery

To carry on with a small multicultural theme, here is a bakery in our neighborhood. DANGER ZONE! You wouldn’t want to fill your dentist’s wallet!

Don’t forget the CDP theme day on the first of may: bakeries.


Ahlan Wa Sahlan, welcome ترحيب ترحيب

Yes, this photo was taken last Sunday in Barcelona. Barcelona is a very very multicultural place, and we love it!


Our irish pub

Having both lived in Ireland, now and then we feel the urge for a nice Sunday roast, complete with roast potatoes, carrots, beans, parsnip, mash, and a nice piece of beef. And some Yorkshire pudding filled with gravy, which is not that Irish. So, this is where we go, Paddy Flaherty’s, probably the best of the many many Irish pubs in town.
And here’s what you get:

And a Guinness to get it down, of course! Or some uisce beatha, whiskey.


Un tallat

The time has come back for having a coffee on a terrace in the sun. This is a tallat, or cortado in Spanish, I had last night, around 6. Yes the sun was still shining, 16 degrees. A catalan tallat is a cafe solo, aka espresso, with some added milk. Coffee, the juice of life. I know many of you will agree to this statement!


El Cafeto, aka post 951

One of our local cafes. This is our world on Tuesday.


Our World Tuesday

It’s an art, says the artist.

Our World Tuesday, around the world.


Pasta!

Linguini with lobster and cherry tomatoes.

What nice things did you eat lately?

Our World Tuesday, right here.


Icecream!

Icecream anyone?


Market scene, aka post 900

This is a mediterranean photo. Although the photo was taken in Barcelona, the food depicted can be found all around the Med, Turkey, Italy, Israel, Algeria, and further away. I read years ago in the National Geographic that people living on a mediterranean diet (they mentioned olive oil, lots of garlic and some red wine) live longer. It is probably true, and what is even better: the food is delicious!

900 posts! Who would have thought…


Pintxu d’embotit catala

This weekend, we’re having here the mercat dels mercats, the market’s market, the best of all markets around. I love what they did to these sausages!
Private message to the All Blacks: very well done, mates!!!


Festa Major de Gracia 2011

This week, like every year, the highlight of the summer: the Festa Major de Gracia, or the big street festival in the hip Gracia area. 15 or 20 streets, decorated with mostly recycled stuff, music,theater, food, drinks… It’s just wonderful! More in the next days.
Click on the picture to see it better!


Salade provencale a la Mandy

With some Greek tzatziki as well. My world, and not only on Tuesday!


Cod, anyone?

Cod. Extremely popular in Spain and Portugal. Literally thousands of recipes. Here is a Catalan one, which I will try soon:

Catalan fish stew

Ingredients

  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large Spanish onion, chopped
  • 2 fennel bulbs, chopped
  • 150g/5oz chorizo, diced
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds, ground
  • 2 cloves new season garlic, crushed
  • ½tsp sweet paprika powder
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp saffron strands (optional)
  • 3 fresh bay leaves
  • 1 tin plum tomatoes
  • 100ml/3½ fl oz fish stock or water
  • 150ml/5 fl oz white wine
  • 500g/1 lb 2oz mussels, cleaned
  • 650g/1 lb 7 oz firm white fish (bream, pollock, cod, monkfish), filleted, dredged in flour and fried in olive oil
  • 100g/3½ oz toasted almonds, ground
To serve

Preparation method

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan and sauté the onions, fennel, diced chorizo, chilli, ground fennel seeds and garlic for a few minutes.
  2. Add the paprika, thyme, saffron, bay leaves and tomatoes and cook until reduced to a thickish sauce.
  3. Add the fish stock (or water) and white wine and bring to a simmer.
  4. Add the cooked mussels and cook until they are all open. Discard any that have not opened.
  5. Put the fish pieces into the stew and stir in the almonds.
  6. Heat for a minute or two and serve with seasonal greens, steamed potatoes and wedges of lemon.

Sant Josep de la Boqueria

 
I love the Boqueria market, the people the colors, the animation! But although it is very close from where we live, we seldom go there. And I only rarely posted pictures from the place. Let’s change this during the next few weeks!
And bonne fete a tous les Francais! Tomorrow is the Quatorze Juillet, aka Bastille day. So I’m wishing all my countrymen and women a happy one. May your hangover be kind to you!

Weekend Reflections

Funghi porcini, olive oil and some wine, found in an Italian shop called, strangely enough, Spagna (Spain, in Italian), in France.
Please have a look at James’s blog, to see what other people did for the Weekend Reflections meme.

PS: 8.40 PM, just came back from this year’s Gay Pride, have a look at the 34 photos I posted on my other blog, on the sidebar! Was great fun!


Serious stuff!

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I am originally from the north east of France, a region called Alsace. It is an area famous for many things, the Council of Europe, we have our own German dialect, and we have 7 wines, 6 whites and one rose/red.
And lots of beers. Although I don’t drink the stuff myself, this is serious business. The proof? This is the Beer Academy in Strasbourg!
Don’t have a lot of time lately to browse your blogs, back soon!


Market day in North Catalunya

How to choose a good melon? One of the last great remaining mysteries on this planet.

We spent the weekend in Argeles sur Mer (catalan: Argelers de la Merenda), in the french part of Catalunya. And yes, Saturday was market day. And no, I did not forget the camera!

Before you buy, you need to check the ware! And if you’re good at it, you’ll get the best tomatoes in the world!

PS, much later… I slightly re-modeled this post, as many of you seem to prefer what is now the first photo.


My World Tuesday

So I went to France this weekend, on a family matter, alone. Took the usual 3-400 photos, ate well, and came back 3 hours ago, 2 PM on Monday, after 36 hours by train… forgetting my camera 1300 km from here. So, photos from France will have to wait a few days.
Meanwhile, I really like these lamps in one of the local luxury Chinese restaurants. My world on Tuesday, right here!


My World Tuesday

Someone forgot his sandals? Shoe shop? A beach feature???

No! Just a decoration on the wall of a really nice Mexican restaurant in town! Why not.

This is for My World Tuesday.


My World Tuesday

Absolutely nothing to do with Barcelona, apart of the fact that I did it here.This is for My World Tuesday.

 French onion tart

Ingredients

For the shortcrust pastry
  • 375g/13¼oz plain flour
  • 15g/½oz salt
  • 225g/8oz cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 1 free-range egg, beaten
  • 50ml/1¾oz cold water
For the béchemel sauce
For the tart

Preparation method

  1. For the pastry, sieve the flour into a mixing bowl and add the salt. Add the butter and, using your fingers, gently rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the beaten egg and cold water, and gently bind together until you can press the dough into a ball.
  2. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for at least two hours before using. You will use half of the shortcrust pastry for this recipe – the remainder can be refrigerated or frozen and used for another recipe.
  3. For the béchemel sauce, stud the onion with the clove. Pour the milk into a saucepan and add the studded onion, garlic, bay leaf, thyme and grated nutmeg.
  4. Bring to the boil over a high heat, then immediately turn the heat down to a simmer. In another pan, melt the butter over a moderate heat and, when melted, stir in the flour. When thoroughly mixed and just as it begins to take on a little colour, gradually add the milk, straining it through a fine conical metal strainer, stirring with each addition. Discard the onion, garlic and thyme.
  5. Cook the sauce for about 30 minutes over a low heat stirring regularly. The sauce should be smooth and lump-free. Pass the finished sauce through a conical strainer into a bowl. To stop the sauce from forming a skin, place one or two small pieces of butter on top of the sauce while it is still hot.
  6. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Fort he tart, roll out the pastry and line a 28cm/11in loose-bottom tart tin, or alternatively four individual tart tins. Line the pastry with aluminium foil and fill with ceramic baking beans. Bake blind for 15 minutes, then remove the foil and baking beans and bake for a further 3-5 minutes, or until the pastry is slightly coloured. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  7. Heat a frying pan on a high heat, add the olive oil and, as soon as it starts to smoke, add the onions and garlic and fry until golden-brown (this will take about 10 minutes). Add the thyme and bay leaf. Pour in the wine and boil until it has reduced to half the volume.
  8. Stir in 90g of the béchemel sauce and continue to cook until it has been completely absorbed into the mixture. The remainder of the sauce can be set aside for another dish.
  9. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the parsley and egg yolk – this will give the mixture richness and help to glaze the tart. Season with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper. Preheat the grill to hot.
  10. Pour the onion mixture into the pastry case and sprinkle the top with the grated cheese. Brown the tart on a tray under the grill until crisp and golden-brown. Serve with a green salad.

    With added bacon, in this case.


    WARNING! This post is not for vegetarians!

    The 40th Fiera de Abril is in full swing! Big annual 10 days party organized by the southerners in Catalunya, people from mostly Andalusia, the fiery ones. Music, fancy dresses, food, fun!
    Lots and lots of food!!! Some more photos…

    We will show you more about it during the next few days.
    And happy 2nd blogaversary to our good friend Leif, from Eagan Daily Photo! May you have a fantastic 3rd year!

    Fira per la Terra 2011

    The Earth Fair is, among many other things, an excellent place for discovering and tasting different food, or different ways of cooking. A few examples… Have a muffin whilst watching the photos, and some of Louis la Vache’s coffee (see sidebar)…

    And this is a different way of cooking, the solar way…Excellent idea, but not for everybody, I guess.
    That’s my world on Tuesday. Click here!

    The perfect bridge

    Isn’t blogging the perfect bridge, linking people from all over the world??!!! We were very fortunate to meet David and Julie, together with Julie’s mum Glenda. David is doing Costa Rica Daily Photo, and his wife Julie Scottsdale Daily Photo, all the way from Arizona, both of them wonderful blogs. Here we are, after a huge paella and some more food afterward, the paella being the starter… A very nice evening.

    And here is Glenda, Julie’s delightful mum. We wish you a very nice time in Barcelona!

    This is for our other friend, Monsieur Louis La Vache, as well, as we are talking about blogging as a bridge!

    Our thoughts are in Japan.


    Bun Bo

    Slowly but steadily, we’re working our way through Barcelona’s Vietnamese restaurants. This one is called Bun Bo, situated 2 streets away from the cathedral. Nice place, good food, excellent decoration. Judge for yourselves…

    A stone tree…

    And I suppose that’s how they get their food from Vietnam…

    American soda

    A popular watering place on the Rambla.


    Thursday’s Food for Thoughts 9

    A typical restaurants in the walled old town of Nicosia, Cyprus.

    TFFT, Thursday’s Food for Thoughts. As always, feel free to post any even remotely food related post. You can do it till saturday night, Barcelona time.

    Due to the relatively limited success of this meme, I will take a few days to reflect about it’s future. Please let me know what you think about it. Thanks to all of you who participate(d)! I’ll let you know.


    Thursday’s Food for Thoughts 8

    Some of the best food on earth can be eaten in Italy. It is in Italy that Carlo Petrini created the Slow Food Movement after all! You might notice the Food for Thought label on their website… No, it’s not about us!
    Show us what is your conception of the best food!


    Thursday’s Food for Thoughts nr 7

    Feeding time… Big guys need a lot of food!

    This is the 7th edition of the weekly Thursday’s Food for Thoughts meme. Please feel free to post any even remotely food related photos. This meme is as always open till Saturday night, Spanish time.
    Should you post something, and should you want to use a badge, just save one of the 3 below in your computer and post them as you would for any other photo somewhere on your post.



    Thursday’s Food for Thoughts nr 6

    This is what we eat at Christmas in my home county of Alsace, France: pain d’ epices. Here is what Wiki has to say:
    Pain d’épices (“spice-bread”), sometimes loosely translated as gingerbread, is a French cake whose ingredients, according to the Dictionnaire de l’académie française (1694), are “rye flour, honey and spices[1] (today including aniseed but not traditionally ginger).[2] According to Maguelonne Toussaint-Samat, the commercial production of pain d’épices was a specialty of Reims, made to a recipe of a pastry-cook from Bourges, and given éclat by the taste for it of Charles VII, “King of Bourges” and his mistress Agnes Sorel. The honey used was the dark buckwheat honey of Brittany. In 1571 the Corporation of Spice-Bread Makers of Reims were chartered separately from the pastry-cooks; in 1596 the Parisian makers of pain d’épices were given their charter, too. The pain d’épices of Dijon outpaced its older competitors in the Napoleonic era. In Alsace, a considerable tradition of pain d’épices incorporates a pinch of cinnamon.
    Pain d’épices was a kind of sourdough without leavening; it was left in a wooden trough to rest in a cool place for months, during which the honeyed rye flour experienced a fermentation. When ready the dough was cooked in moulds. The modern product rises instead with baking powder, developed in the nineteenth century.
    On the photo above, you can see the Alsatian version, dry, with a lot of sugar and spices. We call it langues glacees, iced tongues YUMMY!!!!!!!

    This is for our weekly food meme. Please feel free to add any even remotely food-related posts, you can do it until Saturday included! If you do this, and want to add the logo on your own blog, just save one of those below to your computer, and add it normally as a photo on your post. No complicated html thinggies. Right click and save.


    Thursday’s Food for Thoughts, episode 4

    I posted a couple of photos earlier about the Barcelona World Race, around the world non stop. There was a red boat in the lot, and here is it’s sponsor, La Vache qui rit, the Laughing Cow (famous french cheese). This is my contribution to Thursday’s Food for Thoughts. You’re next, please feel free to post any food related photo below, in 3 or 4 clicks. It’s very easy, try it!

    Few facts about the Laughing Cow: The Laughing Cow is red and jovial, and is almost always depicted wearing earrings that look like the round boxes the cheese comes in. On April 16, 1921, Alexander Baxter trademarked his brand, called “La Vache qui rit,” in France. In the trademark, the cow is said to have a hilarious expression. Bel had made the original drawing himself, after seeing a traveling meat wagon during World War I called “La Wachkyrie,” a play on the word for Valkyrie. In the beginning she wasn’t laughing, she wasn’t red and she didn’t wear earrings. This patent was the very first branded cheese product registered in France. In 1924, Benjamin Rabier, a famous illustrator, edited the drawing into something more like the image that prevails today. The blue and white stripes around the box date from 1955. Since 1976 both earring-boxes have been shown with the top-side visible. Before that year consumers were shown a top and bottom side.

    And also… Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is often jokingly referred to as ‘La Vache qui Rit’ because of his supposed resemblance to the cheese’s logo.


    Thursday’s Food for Thoughts, episode 3

    Try this one!


    This is for THE food meme, Thursday’s Food for Thoughts. Please feel free to add your link to any photo with a food theme. You’re next!


    Thursday’s Food for Thoughts, season 1, episode 2

    It is the second episode of this new meme. Thanks to Louis La Vache in San Francisco for his contribution last week!
    This is, I think, the Gran Casino de Barcelona’s restaurant. Lovely place!

    Your turn now! Feel free to share any picture having anything to do with food, even remotely,en food for thoughts! Just click on the link below. You are all very welcome!


    Thursday’s Food for Thoughts, season 1, episode 1

    We are starting today a new meme,  Thursday’s Food for Thoughts. We love food, we love food photos, so why not make a meme out of it! Anything about food, food places, any type of food, food that makes you think, not necessarily the edible kind. The subject is vast!
    You are all very welcome to participate, just do as usual, get the code, add it to your post, follow the few usual steps, et voila! 
    Hopefully anyway. I hope I got the settings right, as it is the very first time I’m doing this. If not, you tell me.
    First photo, some swiss cheese spotted in Barcelona, of course!

    Sweets for my sweet…

    Where once there had been many florist stalls, newsagents, pet shops, souvenir stalls, the Ramblas are now filling up with sweet shops. Dangerous!

    And as we’re having elections in Catalunya this weekend, many parties put up stalls as well. More about this soon. Meanwhile, have a sweet or 2!


    Hmmmmm!!!!!!

    The wonderful chicken tandoori my wonderful wife cooks. With some wine, and a nice glass of lassi to kill the HOT spices.


    Meson

    Probably one of the tiniest bars I’ve ever seen. The entrance is 1m60 high, 5 foot 4. It is a meson. A meson is, according to Wordreference:  establecimiento de decoración típica donde se sirven comidas y bebidas, a place with typical decoration, where drinks and food are served. This one is lost somewhere in the maze of small streets composing the Barri Gotic, the old town. It wouldn’t be out of place in southern Spain.


    The english cut

    Night shot of the main building of the gigantic Corte Ingles, on Plaza de Catalunya.
    El Corte Inglés (English: The English Cut as in tailor’s cut) is Spain’s only remaining department store chain, as well as owner of several associated businesses, such as supermarket chains Hipercor, Supercor; Opencor, fashion chain Sfera as well as a travel agency (Viajes El Corte Ingles) and telephone provider (Telecor).
    It has a nice food corner, where you can find such delicacies as Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee, black pasta, selected rare cheeses, very fine wines and cigars, and so on. Expensive for Spain, but worth a treat now and then. A must. And of course, all the clothes, IT stuff, photo stuff one can dream off. A dangerous place for our wallets.


    Fresh fruit!

    October. Here, in the northern hemisphere, it is slowly getting cold. Big big storms in our area here, with 7 meter waves battering northern Catalunya, floods, etc. Time for some vitamins!


    Y un cafe con leche, por favor!

    Nice place discovered last week, just behind the ayuntamiento, the city hall.


    Celebration!

    Little celebration a while ago, this is what we had.


    The 4 Cats

    This is one of the better places to eat in Barcelona: els 4 Gats, the 4 cats. It is the place where Pablo Picasso had his first exhibition, as a 17 years old teenager. A restaurant, opened on june 12th 1897 by a former waiter of the famous “le chat noir”, the black cat restaurant in Paris. Other famous people used to hang around here as well, the ubiquitous Gaudi, Isaac Albeniz, and so many more.
    It was too early, and therefore not open yet when I passed it, but I will most definitely go back and show you the fabulous interior. Meanwhile, have a virtual visit on their website, it is a WOW kind of place!


    Le dimanche, mangeons des crepes!

    It is sunday, perfect day for some crepes, french pancakes!
    This is the french guy who is making and selling them at the Boqueria market on the Ramblas. My favorite? Nutella, bananas and whipped cream. What is yours?
    Well, actually, every day should be crepes day!


    Obama Barcelona

    Ok, let’s see. Barak Obama’s roots are in Kenya, right?
    Kenya is former British Africa, right?
    So, what’s this? Mr Obama’s secret life in Barcelona, as a restaurant owner? Or some kind of retirement plan???

    I could not find a lot of info about this place, on Google or elsewhere. They have a website, but it has been hacked by some idiot. Some bloggers are raging against the celebration of british rule in Africa they perceive in this place. Anyway, it is around the corner from where we live.
    And this is inside. Very popular place!

    OK, little game: spot the President of the United States of America!

    Map picture

    Vietnam in Barcelona

    Nice decoration in a small vietnamese restaurant near the Cathedral, in the Barri Gotic.


    The dog is hot

    Right, we moved to the Raval, and it wasn’t too bad or tiring. We even came across a nice special offer on internet, but… it will take 10 to 20 days for a technician to come and to set it up. Meanwhile, I am sitting here at the terrace of a famous Seattle-based coffee company, with free wifi, posting a hot dog place. Amazingly, you can even have your hot dog with some choucroute/sauerkraut, (xucrut in catalan)which is quite rare in Catalunya!


    Diversity

    We are currently exploring the Raval part of Barcelona a bit further, as we will be moving there this saturday. Some of the things we really like in the area is the cultural and gastronomic diversity.

    This one below is specially for our many filipino blogger friends: the first ever filipino restaurant we’ve really noticed in Barcelona.

    Unfortunately, as they seem to have mostly fried dishes, and as my doctor say I should NOT (!!!), not sure we’ll ever eat there.


    Temperaturas africanas…

    …or african temperatures, is what we have here now, or so they say on tv. Spotted this on the side of an icecream van.


    Gracia market scenes

    Many many covered markets in Barcelona, and we love them. Here are a few scenes from the one in Gracia.


    This year’s strawberries

    It’s finally and officially summer, and we will celebrate soon with our first strawberries of the year and a fine bottle of cava, the local catalan bubbly!


    First blogaversary

    One year ago, on May 10th 2009, that’s when we started this adventure. 365 posts later (this being the 366th), still going strong, with plenty more things to show you!

    Some numbers maybe…
    365 days, 365 posts, we did not miss one day!
    289 friendly followers.
    21.982 visitors so far, 3100 of them frequent.
    4/10 ranking on Google.
    Over 6000 Barcelona photos in our database.
    Many new friends!

    It has been a great year!

    Well, this is the cake Mandy made for this special day, diet or no diet!


    Corazoncito de frutas

    Discovered at the local Forn de pa, Catalan for bakery. It was absolutely delicious!


    La Bastarda

    Some bars and restaurant really have strange names… Does this one need any translation? I doubt it, as it is a very international word. Wonder what’s the story behind this one! It was closed when we passed it, so we couldn’t ask. Next time!

     

    Map picture

    Sandwich & Friends

    I suppose we will reach a kind of benchmark today, the 20.000 visitors benchmark. Well, the stand right now is 19.995 visitors since we started this blog, 342 days ago.

    So, how are we doing?

    Well, we made a lot of friends, and that’s what counts most, isn’t it? Which is why I chose this particular photo for today, about sandwiches and friends.

    342 days, and this is the 342nd post. No holes!
    And yes, when we started this, we did not imagine having 20.000 visitors in just over 11 months. And 279 followers. And so many friends!

    From us therefore, it is a big

                    THANK YOU, FRIENDS!

    And oh yes, please let us know what you think about our new Blogger in Draft designer template. Thanks!

    UPDATE: the 20.000st visitor just arrived from Sundsvall, Sverige/Sweden. Welcome!!!

     

    Map picture

    Cosmopolitan

                                                                                                                                                               Barcelona is a very cosmopolitan place. You can find food and drinks from around the world.This is probably the best fresh mint tea you can get here, from a stall in the Raval. Want some olives with it, or a samosa?
    Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

    Cộng hòa xã hội chủ nghĩa Việt Nam in Barcelona

    We discovered last night one of the only 3 vietnamese restaurants in Barcelona, the Capitol 3 (yes, there is a Capitol 1 and a Capitol 2). Gorgeous food, but the decoration was even better! This is probably the most beautiful vietnamese restaurant we’ve ever seen outside of Việt Nam!

    Map picture

    Sangria for everybody! It’s on us!

    What could be more Spanish than this; Sangria!


    A question for today

    Question: what do you get if you combine yesterday’s and today’s picture?
    Yes! It is

    Duck a l’Orange

    INGREDIENTS

    2 Duck Legs or Breasts (with Skin left on)
    Feshly ground Salt & Pepper
    1 oz (25g) Butter

    For the Orange Sauce…
    1 Large Orange
    4 fluid oz (100ml) French Red Wine
    4 fluid oz (100ml) Fresh Orange Juice
    2 fluid oz (50ml) Duck or Chicken Stock
    1 Tablespoon of Honey or Brown Sugar

    METHOD

    Zest* the Orange Skin and set aside the thin strips of Peel. Remove as much of the Pith as possible from the Orange. Break into Orange Segments and set aside.

    Clean the Duck Legs or Breasts under cold water and pat dry with Kitchen Towels. Score the Duck Legs or Breasts skin with a sharp knife and then season well with Salt & Pepper.

    Heat the Butter in a large Frying Pan until frothing, but do not allow to burn.

    Place the Duck Legs or Breasts in the pan and brown nicely on both sidess (2 or 3 minutes).

    Once browned place aside on a plate and cover with Tin Foil to keep warm.

    Spoon out most of the Duck / Butter fat from the Frying Pan. Add the Red Wine, Orange Juice, Honey, Duck or Chicken Stock, the Orange segments & and some of the Orange Peel. Reduce the sauce for a couple of minutes, stiring often.

    To serve place a Duck Leg or Breast on each plate, pour over the Orange Sauce and sprinkle with the remaing Orange Peel.

    Serves 2 as a Main Meal.

    And a happy St Patrick’s day to all Irish and assimilated!!!