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See 50 Shades of Red at Barcelona’s Boqueria Market

Just prior to learning how to cook paella at Cook & Taste in Spain (and having the realization that I am not fond of paella), the instructor took us to Barcelona's La Boqueria Market to pick out our ingredients.

La Boqueria Market is a well-known Catalan foodie haven; a mixture of delicious colors, smells and sensations…

…and the abundance of food is fifty shades of red. Not in a Mr. Grey's red room sort of way, though some meat was hanging with ropes, literally in a variation of crimson way. Sorry if you clicked on this post thinking otherwise.
Front of La Boqueria Market

Disclaimer for the squeamish: real animal part photos ahead, from several parts of the animal usually not seen at your local supermarket, but very common in other parts of the world. You have been warned.

The hanging Jamon Iberico, cured Spanish ham, was the start of the color sensation. At least five shades must be featured mid-air here; fire brick, auburn, chestnut and so on.
Jamon Iberico at La Boqueria Market
Jamon Iberico at La Boqueria Market

Moving onward to the raw meats case, we were presented with an entirely different set of variation in hue, from vermillion to rosewood. The tongue being the palest, while the liver was the deepest in color. 

Who knew animal innards could be so colorful?
Meat Counter at La Boqueria MarketLambs head at La Boqueria MarketJamon Iberico at La Boqueria Market

This fish, who was staring right at me, was the most beautiful rust.

Stop looking at me, it's creepy.

The langostines were a paler version of the fish, with much smaller staring eyeballs. Slightly less creepy.

I'll show you both. You are going into the paella. No more ogling.
Fish at La Boqueria MarketLangonstines at La Boqueria Market

Red chiles were beckoning to spice up some traditional Spanish dish, though not ours. Some of us are wimps. The finger is pointed directly at me.
Chiles at La Boqueria Market

The fruits and vegetables looked like they got a dose of Windex, shiny and tempting. I touched them to see if they were plastic. Nope.

We will need some of those gleaming red peppers for the paella.

And possibly some strawberries, dipped in chocolate for dessert?
Vegetables at La Boqueria MarketVegetables at La Boqueria Market
Fruit at La Boqueria Market

And my favorite thing at the market was the fresh fruit juice in a dozen of different flavors. I snuck away from the group to indulge in one strawberry-coconut mixture for  €1,50. 

I would have bought another, mango-pineapple, if the rest of the class wouldn't have been waiting. What if I would have bought a round for them too?
Fruit Drinks at La Boqueria Market
Annette White at La Boqueria Market

Have you been to Boqueria Market? What food market around the world is your favorite?

17 Comments

  1. I enjoyed La Boqueria! While I must say the prices seemed quite tourist-directed to me, there was an awesome selection of food and it was fun to peruse the stands. We bought some candied nuts that were divine, and I loved being able to eat tapas from the food stands along the sides :) 

  2. I took pictures of the candied nuts, but never ate any! Shame on me.

  3. I love Boqueria Market!  I got a fruit juice as well!  I wish Jamba Juice had it set up like that so I could just grab it and go. 

  4. That would be a smart business plan :)

  5. There's a wonderful old market in Evora, Portugal, but I forget what it's called. I picked up the best products there – honey, iberico ham, goat cheese… happy sigh :)
    The Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo is also not to be believed!

  6. So many markets, so little time ;)
    I bet I would love the Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo, I’ll have to remember to stay at a place with a kitchen!

  7. I have to say the juice looks delicious but the raw meat doesn't look too appetizing to me! Great shots :)

  8. The one juice I had was so delicious that I wish I could have bought one of each flavor!

  9. phew, so glad you ended with a happy photo :)  Not sure if I would have been able to walk through the market with both eyes open

  10. Walking through the markets in different countries has taken me some time to get used to, but I just love being immersed into a part of the culture :)

  11. I really liked La Boqueria :-) My travel partner and I stopped in most days for a fruit juice. And, we loved the use of the public toilet in the back!

  12. If I was staying closer to La Boqueria, I would have stopped there daily too working my way through all the juice favors :)

  13. I have been there and loved it! Barcelona is the best!!!

  14. Barcelona was an amazing city!

  15. I visited there back in 1998. Love the timelessness of most of Europe. It's still exactly the way I remember it!

  16. This is an awesome market, great pics!  When I was there I didn't remember seeing all those eyes staring back though…yikes!

  17. Those creepy eyes followed me everywhere :)

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