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for food lovers

barcelona by

breadshoes


for GB - I owe you a trip to Spain baby.

Š Jules Clancy 2010 This ebook is copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study, research, criticism or review, as permitted under the Copyright Act, no part of this ebook may be reproduced by any process without written permission. Enquiries should be addressed to the author. All rights reserved.


contents

introduction how to eat like a catalan two days eating in barcelona EATING OUT barcelona top 10 old school tapas modern tapas casual dining formal dining bars sweet treats the food lovers’ walking tour of barelona EATING IN top 20 must eats definitive guide to the markets food shopping COOKING jamon bocadillo almond gazpacho arroz con chorizo bread & tomato salad romesco sauce paella super simple broccoli DRINKING a brief introduction to spanish wine other beverages THE NON EDIBLE ESSENTIALS accommodation tips for the serious shopper recommended reading

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introduction


In December 2008 I couldn’t believe my luck. I still remember being so so excited and a little surprised that I had won the equivalent of the food lover’s lottery yes I had secured a reservation at the best restaurant in the world. I was off to elBulli. That the reservation wasn’t until the 15th December 2009 - a whole year away wasn’t a problem at all. Plenty of time to save up some holidays and brush up on my pretty much non-existent Spanish. Yay! And that’s how I came to find myself spending a wonderful six weeks in a little apartment in the beautiful city of Barcelona. A month and a half to explore the restaurants, bars and markets of one of the best food cities in the world, soaking it all in and pretending that I was Spanish. Bliss. When I started research for my trip, I was lucky in making some contacts through the good old friend-of-friends network. These were an invaluable resource for recommendations of where to stay and shop and what to eat. It was because of these brilliant people that I had such a wonderful time in Barcelona. Something I want to share. This ebook is intended as a guide to anyone who loves food and is heading to the beautiful city of Barcelona. I hope the recommendations included in these pages inspire you to make the most of your time in the Catalan capital. It’s also for anyone who is interested in Spanish and Catalan food culture. It’s for those who would like to experience a little of what it’s like to eat, shop and cook in this magical part of the world. It’s also a souvenir for me, a little reminder of the food experiences I was so lucky to have. And, of course, a place for me to keep my list of must eats for the next time I make my way to Barcelona. Enjoy. And please, if you come across any food related places in your travels that are worthy of a mention, do let me know [jules@thestonesoup.com]. barcelona for food lovers [www.breadshoes.com]

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how to eat like a catalan

While it is a truly world class food city, one of the things that surprised me most about Barcelona was the apparent absence of multicultural food options. Compared to Sydney, where it’s normal to have a Thai, Indian, Italian, Chinese, Moroccan, Malaysian, Lebanese, French, Turkish restaurants all in the one area, Barcelona can seem a little one dimensional. But trust me, the richness and diversity of Catalan and Spanish cuisine at your fingertips in this beautiful city will keep you so well fed that you’ll barely have time to even think about missing sushi rolls or a good stir fry. The locals tell me that Barcelona has improved in leaps and bounds when it comes to foreign foods, and are quite excited that there are now sushi bars and curry houses in BCN. It is possible to find different cuisines if you’re in the mood for something in particular, but you’ll probably have to look harder than you would at home. I love the Spanish way of life in general and their way of eating in particular. Breakfast is often a coffee and something snackish. I don’t think I had breakfast before 11am any day during my stay in BCN - so civilised. Lunch is meant to be the main meal of the day, although I found my dinners tended to be just as big. Normal lunch hours are 2-4pm, which makes perfect sense when breakfast isn’t that much before noon. If you’re looking for good value, the lunchtime ‘day menu’ at most restaurants will keep your bank manager happy. Dinner rarely begins before 9pm. Which means it can be easy to get a table if you rock up at 8ish - just as long as the restaurant is open that early. The good news is that you’ll be able to find tapas at most hours of the day. You definitely won’t starve.

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two days eating in barcelona

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the two days I spent eating my way around Barcelona it is this: just because something is published on the Internet doesn’t mean it’s the truth (particularly in the case of restaurant opening hours). Note to self - next time you’re only going to be in BCN for a flying visit, make sure it isn’t going to happen on a Sunday or a Monday.

sunday evening Arrive in Barelona & head out for some tapas only to find that the restaurant you’ve chosen is closed on Sundays. Take this as a sign that an early night is needed. Find a gelato joint called Belgious and treat yourself to the dinner of food-loving champions - a double scoop cone of white chocolate and Ferrero Rocher. Sleep. monday breakfast. Treat your hunger to an exploration of the most famous market in Barcelona, La Boqueria. Take in a coffee and some seriously delicious chickpeas (or tripe, if you dare) at Bar Pinotxo. Drop in and resist the temptation of the sweet treats at Escriba. monday lunch Walk up and down Carrer Comerc, a few times looking for modern tapas at Santa Maria before coming up with Plan B - a late lunch of vegetable tortilla (omelette), the Catalan staple pa amb tomaquet (bread rubbed with olive oil & tomato) and a fresh, crunchy cod carpaccio with chopped peppers and onion at the bar in the restaurant of the Santa Caterina markets.

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monday afternoon It’s time to get the walking shoes on and make space for dinner. Trek to Cocoa Sampka (the cocoa market) and pick up a few blocks of interesting single-origin chocolate. Then it’s time to worship at the temple of jamon. Jamonismo is well worth a visit - try top quality jamon from different regions in Spain. monday dinner Since you’re in the neighbourhood, drop in for an aperitif and a few tapas at the classic Bar Mut. Enjoy the calm before rush hour. Apparently it gets super noisy and smoky but at 6pm it’s lmost deserted. Love their boquerones (white anchovies marinated in vinegar) and their bread with fruity olive oil. monday second dinner It’s a fair walk, but how else can you make room for more tapas. Head to Quimet y Quimet - a little bar and bottle shop that just happens to serve some of the most amazing tapas around. Stand at the bar and get the fish plate that comes out something like a sashimi platter and the pan (bread with a variety of flavoured breads and crackers). Try to save room for the cheese served with candied chestnut and green fig conserve (a brilliant alternative to quince paste). Five different types, mostly local with a stilton and a brilliat savarin thrown in for good measure.

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tuesday breakfast Settle for a ‘light’ breakfast to make way for the big day of indulging ahead. Snack on the jamon you couldn’t resist buying at Jamonismo. Decide that you prefer the sweet nuttiness of the Salamanco jamon over the intense saltiness (almost vegemite) flavour of the Andalusian. tuesday pre-lunch After much agonising, head to Bar Inopia (Albert Adria’s tapas bar) for a little pre-lunch snack. Feel your stomach sigh with relief (and a little disappointment) to find that they are closed for lunch. Ogle the menu and the vibrantly-coloured decor and make a mental note to put Bar Inopia on the top of the list for your next visit to Barca. tuesday lunch Head to the cute-as-a-button Anima for the most amazing-value lunch. Ten euros for two courses including a drink and coffee. Settle in by the open door and enjoy the dappled sunshine through the trees. Make the difficult menu selection with a lime and quinoa salad with avocado dressing to start and the stir fried mushrooms with soft polenta and parmesan to follow. Congratulate yourself on your abstemiousness and stick to the agua con gas. tuesday second lunch Feel a little Hobbit-like as you stroll over to Comerc, 24 for your second lunch. Curse your luck (and that you left so much on your plate at Anima) when you are told that the kitchen has closed at 3pm. It’s only 3.08pm. Can you really be in Spain? Have a quick flick through the chef’s cookbook and chalk it up as an adventure for next time.

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tuesday afternoon Retrace your steps over your food-lovers’ walking tour. Start with the just-begining-to-close Santa Caterina market and end with a drink at La Vinya del Senyor sitting in the placa near the Catherdral del Mar. Sneak a peak at the creative candy store, Pappabuble and resit the urge to invest in an old-school all-day sucker. tuesday pre-dinner Meet George, your slightly eccentric food writer friend and Barcelona resident of 40 years at the Attenu (a members-only library / cultural centre / bar that you need a fingerprint scan to enter). Relax by the palm-lined fountain and discuss the merits of fino sherry over manzanilla with a few flavour-packed roasted almonds. tuesday dinner Stroll with your mate and be patient while he ducks his head from bar to bar to get the football score. Make the most of the smoky, packed bar and prepare for some seriously good Basque tapas at Taktika Berri. Enjoy the delicious, slightly sparking Basque vino with the tapas as they flow. Don't miss out on having way too many of the morcilla perfectly crunchy blood sausage (black pudding) topped with a little tomato sauce. tuesday second dinner Bid farewell to your guide and start to head for home. Realise that it's not far to Tapac 24 and the night is still young (OK it's 11.30pm). Drop in for a wicked late-night snack of the best pa amb tomatquet ever and the witty hamburger mc foie. Roll home to bed for your 7am flight and promise your waistline that you will never have a second dinner again - well at not until next time you find yourself in the beautiful city of Barcelona.

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EATING OUT


top 10 places to eat in and around Barcelona

1. Quimet Y Quimet Poeta Cabanyes, 25 If you only go to one place in Barcelona, this would be my number one choice: a tiny bar and bottle shop that just happens to serve some of the most delicious tapas around. Stand at the bar and get the fish plate that comes out a little like a sashimi platter and a the bread plate with a variety of flavoured breads and crackers. Try to save room for the cheese served with candied chestnut and green fig conserve (a brilliant alternative to quince paste). Five different types, mostly local, with a stilton and a brilliat savarin thrown in for good measure. Open for lunch and dinner. 2. Anima Angels 6, el Ravel It’s modren and minimalist AND it has outdoor tables on the tree lined street in the Summer. Surely the best value meal in BCN with the 10 euro lunch menu of the day. Fresh, innovative food that takes in influences from around the world. Bookings not required. 3. Bar Mut Pau Claris, 192 It has a reputation for being expensive for tapas, but it’s not exactly going to blow the budget. Enjoy the warm, friendly vibe and the mix of classic and more creative tapas. 4. Bar Pinotxo La Boqueria La Rambla, 91 La boqueria is the most famous of all the markets in Barcelona and certainly worth a visit. There are some great places to eat at the market. One of the best is Bar Pinotxo. Either use the tried-and-tested method of looking at what the other diners are eating and ordering with sign language, or ask for the daily specials. Highly recommend the chickpeas.

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old school tapas

Taktika Berri Valencia, 169 If your travels to Spain aren’t going to allow time to visit San Sebastian, the home of tapas, you can get a taste of what Basque cuisine is all about at Taktika Berri. Their morcilla (blood sausage) is worth travelling across the world for, as is their salt cod. There is also a non-smoking restaurant section that takes reservations if you are smoke sensitive. Cal Pep Placa de les Olles, 8 www.calpep.com The lighting is bright and old-school, but the service is warm and friendly. With the legendary Pep presiding over things, it’s easy to see why Cal Pep is an institution. No visit to Barcelona would be complete without some tapas and Cal Pep is a great little place to sample the delights. If you get there by 8pm (super early by Spanish standards) you won’t have to wait long for a seat at the bar. Just take a seat, look at what your neighbours are having and start ordering from there. Be sure and try the potato and jamon tortilla. Bar Tomas Major de Sarrià, 49 Located in Sarria, a lovely suburb of Barcelona just a short train journey from Plac,a de Catalunya on the FGC train system, Bar Tomas is well worth the pilgrimage for anyone who loves potatoes in general, and fried potatoes with hot sauce and garlicky mayonnaise in particular. Famous for their patatas baravas this neighbourhood bar is the real deal, with sawdust on the floor and no-frills decor. It’s all about the spuds.

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modern tapas

Comerç 24 Comerç, 24 www.comerc24.com If you can’t make it to elBulli but are keen to experience some cutting-edge, contemporary Spanish cuisine, I’d highly recommend snagging a table at the funky Comerc, 24. The chef worked for years with Ferran Adria both at elBulli and in Ferran’s Seville restaurant and is dishing up some of the hottest ‘luxury tapas’ in town. Note: this is a proper restaurant that takes bookings rather than a drop-in tapas bar. Santa Maria Comerç, 17 www.santamania.info Across the road from Comerç 24, Santa Maria is another elBulli inspired high end tapas place that I’m dying to get to. Only open in the evenings, it has an edgy look and feel. Tapaç 24 Diputació, 269 www.tapas24.net Run by the same chef as Comerç 24, Tapaç is the ‘better value little brother’ that serves excellent modern tapas in a funky subterranean space. Bar Inopia Tamarit, 104 www.barinopia.com Albert Adria’s (Ferran’s brother) groovy tapas bar. Unfortunately it was closed when I went but the menu looks enticing. The arty, blue-tiled wall is well worth a detour on its own.

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formal dining

El Cellar de Can Roca Can Sunyer, 48 Girona www.cellercanroca.com Currently fourth best restaurant in the world, a visit to the Rocas is well worth it for a truly innovative, world-class dining experience. If you have any interest in fine dining at all, I highly recommend catching the train to Girona for either lunch or dinner. Terrabacus – Enoteca Gastromomica Muntaner, 185 www.terrabacus.com With a seriously global wine list, Terrabacus is a brilliant example of modern Spanish cuisine. A little creative, a little traditional and lots of fun. Their day menu is brilliant value at 18 euro for three courses including two glasses of excellent vino. Dos Cielos Diagonal Pere IV www.doscielos.com For some fine dining with a view, Dos Cielos sounds like a place I’d like to visit. I am intrigued by their out-there sounding ‘sensograph’. La Mar Salada Passeig Joan de Borbó, Barceloneta www.lamarsalada.cat This place actually falls somewhere between casual and more formal. It’s a proper restaurant but the beachy vibe makes it feel less formal. Either way, it is a lovely place to enjoy the Barcelona sunshine with Spain’s most famous rice dish - paella. C’al Isidre Carrer de les Flors,12 www.calisidre.com An instirution in Barcelona, C’al Isidre is the place to head to if you feel like traditional Catalan food in a more formal setting. I haven’t eaten here but have heard good things.

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bars

La Vinya del Senyor Plaça de Santa Maria, 5 A lovely little wine bar with a seriously good wine list that does serve a limited selection of tapas. Make the most of the tables in the placa overlooking the lovely old Cathedral. Gimlet Santaló, 46 www.gimletbcn.com Allegedly one of the best cocktail bars in Barcelona. Mudanzas Vidriera, 15 A great little atmospheric bar that is just the place to hang out if you’re waiting for Cal Pep to open around the corner.


Xocoa Princesa, 28 www.xocoa-bcn.com I loved the design at xocoa as much as the chocolate. Seriously addictive brownies and cookies along with a great array of chocolate bars. Don’t miss out on the innovative Spanish nougat - torrones.

sweet treats

Oriol Balaguer Plaza Gregori Taumaturg, 2 www.oriolbalaguer.com. This tiny, super slick chocolate and pastry outlet in the well-to-do part of town is worth the pilgrimage for the immaculate, cutting-edge chocolates. It also a small selection of pastries. There was a gorgeously rustic tart tatin that had my name on it when I was there last. Bubo Caputxes, 10 www.bubo.ws Heaven for lovers of sweet treats. You have to at least stop in for a tiny macaroon and perhaps a coffee. I loved the white truffle with black sesame - but it might be a bit out-there for most. You could also pick up something creative for dessert. Cremeria Toscana Canvis Vells, 2 For some seriously good ice cream, it’s hard to go past Cremeria Toscana. Highly recommend the yoghurt gelato and the dulche de leche con chocolate.

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the food lovers walking tour of barelona

Shops open 10am-2pm and 5pm-8pm Tuesday to Saturday. Some also open on Monday but I’m afraid you’re taking your chances if you do this tour on a Sunday or a Monday. The markets close up around 3pm so it’s best to do the tour before lunch if you can. The tour starts and ends just a short walk from the Jaume I metro station. It’s really up to you how long it takes but I suggest you allow somewhere between 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

1. Mercat de Santa Caterina Avinguda de Francesc Cambó, 16 www.mercatsantacaterina.net One of the most architecturally beautiful markets ever, it also has a great selection of produce to kick-off our walking tour. 2. Xocoa Princesa, 28 www.xocoa-bcn.com For chocaholics this is funky chocolate-bar heaven. There are a few other similar outlets around town. They also stock some super-moist brownies and a deadent array of cookies. 3. Il Tinello Flassaders, 44 www.iltinello.com A rustic Italian deli that specialises fresh pasta, olive oils, rice and wine. 4. Tot Fromage Passeig del Born,13 A tiny Spanish and Catalan deli that is well known for its cheese selection. They stock the best of the local cheeses combined with a smattering of global offerings.

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1. Mercat de Santa Caterina Avinguda de Francesc Camb贸, 16 2. Xocoa Princesa, 28 3. Il Tinello

Flassaders, 44

walking tour map .1

4. Tot Fromage

.2

Passeig del Born, 13

5. Casa Gispert

.3

Sombrerers, 23

6. Sans & Sans Argenteria, 59

4.

7. el Magnifico Argenteria, 64 8. La Botifarreria de Santa Maria Santa Maria, 4

5.

..6 7 12.

9. Bubo Caputxes, 10 10. Cremeria Toscana

Canvis Vells, 2

.8 .10

11.

11. Villa Viniteca

Agullers, 7

12. La Vinya del Senyor Pla莽a de Santa Maria, 5

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EATING IN


top 20 must eats

1. Jamon I can’t tell you how amazing Spain’s most famous pork product is. It may seem like a lot of hype, but once you sample the smoky melt-inthe-mouth cured ham, you’ll be hooked like I was. I think I only had two jamon-free days during my six weeks in the Catalan capital. Jamon serrano is the least expensive and can be lovely, but if you’re short on time I recommend heading straight to the top -  jamon iberico de belotta - jamon made from the black Iberico breed pigs that have been allowed to graze on acorns. Or better yet, try some of each so you can experience first hand what the hype (and expense) is all about. The best jamon iberico I had in Barcelona was from the producer called Joselito carved straight from the bone at Villa Viniteca.

2. Bread & Olive Oil You’d be hard pressed to eat in Barcelona and avoid having some bread and olive oil. It is such an important part of Spanish cuisine that it deserves a mention to make sure you take the time to stop and appreciate it.

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top 20 must eats

3. Pa amb Tomaquet The Catalan for ‘bread and tomato’, it is brilliant in its simplicity. Bread is rubbed with garlic and the cut side of a ripe tomato so the juices soak into the bread. It is then seasoned and drizzled with olive oil. So simple. So good. 4. Patatas Bravas How can you resist a dish called ‘potatos for the brave’? A classic tapas of fried potatoes serves with a spicy, hot sauce and some garlicky mayo. The best comfort food. 5. Turrón Spanish version of nougat, turron is a Christmas sweet treat that is now available year round. 6. Crema Catalana The Spanish version of creme brulee, it’s easy to see why this egg custard with burnt sugar is such a popular dessert. I almost picked up a set of the brown stone-wear dishes that are traditionally used to serve this delight.

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food shopping

Sans & Sans Argenteria, 59 www.sansisans-finetea.com For the tea afficianados you can pop into Sans & Sans to stock up on supplies. Highly recommend their China Jazmin Imperial white tea. Coffee lovers can get a hit across the road at el Magnifico. el Magnifico Argenteria, 64 www.cafeselmagnifico.com I’m not a massive coffee drinker but it smells amazing. I think caffeine addicts will enjoy. La Botifarreria de Santa Maria Santa Maria, 4 A rustic little deli that specialiases in botifarra - a Catalan sausage. They also stock a wide variety of cheese, jamon, pate and homemade sobrassadas (pork pate with paprika) Villa Viniteca Agullers, 7 www.vilaviniteca.es Best bottle shop in Barcelona with a huge international collection. Perfect for if you’re feeling homesick for some NZ Sauv Blanc or Aust Shiraz, or just want to explore the best that Spain has to offer. Also has a deli with a brilliant cheese room and top-shelf jamon iberico - just watch out for the charming old guy who slices the jamon. He’ll give you a taste and while you’re being transported into jamon heaven keep carving your order until you say stop. It will cost a packet but trust me, you won’t have any problems finding a home for all that piggy goodness. El Corte Inglés Plaça de Catalunya 14 www.elcorteingles.es When you’re in the mood for a standard, upmarket supermarket, head downstairs to El Corte Ingles to pick up whatever you are looking for.

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COOKING


bocadillo with jamon serves 1

The humble bocadillo is the minimalist Spanish sandwich. Just a baguette filled with some meat, cheese, omelette or tuna. The Spanish do not add lettuce, pickles, onions, mustard or mayonnaise to their bocadillo which appeals to the minimalist in me. Sometimes the bread is moistened by rubbing the cut side of a tomato onto the bread, or drizzling some olive oil – or both. But mostly it’s just bread and one filling. I find good quality jamon is flavoursome and moist enough to enjoy on its own. If you’re lucky enough to be in Spain you could make this sandwich with a different type of jamon every day. Proscuitto or parma ham would make good substitutes. If you’re feeling nervous that your sandwich will be too dry, serve with some good extra virgin olive oil on the side. But please try it without the oil first.

1/2 – 1/3 baguette 2 – 4 slices jamon

Break open baguette. Layer with jamon, close up and enjoy.

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almond gazpacho serves 6 as a starter

This is one of those magic little dishes where the whole is so much better than the sum of the parts. The almonds and bread combine to give a lovely silken, milky brew that gets a good spiking from the vinegar and garlic and finishes with the grassy aromatics of the oil. Best served at room temperature.

280g white sourdough bread, 300g blanched almonds 300mL extra virgin olive oil 60mL (1/4 cup) sherry vinegar 6 cloves garlic toasted bread crust slivers to serve

Remove crusts from bread reserving enough slivers to serve. Soak crustless bread in enough water to cover for approximately 10 minutes. Puree remaining ingredients in a food processor to form a smooth paste. Add bread and soaking liquid and continue to process adding extra water if required to make a thick soupy consistency. Season well with salt & pepper and possibly with extra vinegar if required. Stand for at least one hour then strain through a fine sieve discarding solids. Serve at room temperature with bread crusts and a drizzle of your very best extra virgin olive oil.

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arroz con chorizo y pimentos (spanish rice with chorizo and peppers) serves 3-4

If you can’t get your hands on pimentos you can either leave them out or char and peel a couple of red capsicum (peppers). This would also make a lovely vegetarian (even vegan!) meal. Just omit the chorizo, substitute vegetable stock for the water, and toss through a can of drained chickpeas when you add the pimentos.

3 tablespoons olive oil 1 large onion, peeled & chopped 2 cloves garlic, peeled & thinly sliced 2 – 4 chorizo sliced 1 cup Calasparra rice (or Arborio) 1 x 400g (14oz) can tomatoes, chopped 2 teaspoons smoked Spanish paprika 2 cups water 1/2 jar pimentos (about 4), sliced

Heat oil in a large saucepan and cook onion over a medium low heat, covered and stirring occasionally until soft but not browned. Add garlic and chorizo and cook for another minute or so. Add rice, tomatoes, paprika and water and bring to a simmer. Cook stirring occasionally until the water is absorbed and the rice is soft – 20 minutes more or less. If it becomes a little dry before the rice is cooked, add a little more water. Stir through pimentos, season well and allow to heat through. barcelona for food lovers [www.breadshoes.com]

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paella serves 6-8

The first time I made paella was at a class at the Sydney fish market when I discovered the magical ingredient that is smoky Spanish paprika. A world apart from you dull, supermarket paprika, this smoky spice is bursting with flavour and vibrantly coloured. It really is the critical ingredient in a good paella. Feel free to vary the meat and seafood to suit your taste. In Spain they use a wide variety of ingredients for paella depending on the region. Think rabbit, pork, squid, crab or even snails. For a vegetarian paella try grilled peppers and artichoke hearts.

2 chicken thighs, sliced into thin ribbons 2 large pinches saffron threads, soaked in 1/4 cup hot water 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1/2 cup dry white wine 4 teaspoons Spanish smoky paprika 1.5L (6 cups) chicken stock 4 tablespoon olive oil small handful green beans, topped 2 chorizo, thinly sliced 6 large green prawns, body peeled and deveined, head and tail intact 1 large red onion, finely diced 6 black mussels, scrubbed and debearded. 3 large tomatoes, deseeded and finely chopped lemon cheeks, to serve 3 cloves garlic, finely sliced 2 red capsicum (peppers), charred, skins peeled sliced into thin ribbons 400g Arborio rice or Spanish calasparra

Combine cayenne pepper, half the paprika and half the oil in a small bowl. Add chicken, season and toss to coat. Cover and marinate overnight in the refrigerator or as long as you’ve got. Bring the stock to the boil in a large saucepan and keep warm. Heat remaining oil in a 35cm paella pan or a 32cm frypan over a medium high heat. Add chorizo and cook for approx 5mins or until golden brown. Remove chorizo with a slotted spoon and reserve. Add chicken and cook until browned all over. Remove chicken with a slotted spoon and add to the reserved chorizo. Place onion in the pan and lower the heat to medium low. Cook stirring periodically for 10mins or until onion is softened. Add tomatoes, capsicum and garlic, and remaining paprika and cook for a few more minutes. Rain in the rice and stir until rice is well coated in the vegetable mixture. Add wine and stir to deglaze the pan. Return the chorizo and chicken to the pan and stir through with 3 cups hot stock. Allow to simmer briskly for 10mins. Shake pan periodically to mix but do not stir. When the rice is starting to soften and absorb the liquid add 2 more cups of stock and sprinkle over the beans, prawns, clams and mussels. Reduce heat and simmer gently for 15-20 minutes or until rice is cooked. If the mixture starts to look dry pour over remaining stock or add hot water. As each mussel and clam opens and the prawns change colour to opaque remove and keep warm. When the rice is cooked, return seafood to the pan, arranging prettily. Cover pan and remove from the heat. Allow to stand for 10 minutes to allow the crust to release from the bottom of the pan.  Top with lemon cheeks and serve the pan at the table for everyone to help themselves. barcelona for food lovers [www.breadshoes.com]

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DRINKING


a brief introduction to spanish wine

Spain is up there as one of the largest wine-producing countries in the world and, thankfully, modern winemaking techniques have been having a positive influence on quality levels in general. While there are many native Spanish grape varieties such Albarino, White Grenache, Black Grenache and Tempranillo, the usual suspects of Chardnonnay, Merlot and Cabernet are also abundant.

Cava is the Spanish sparkling wine made by the same process as Champagne. Traditionally is was produced from the local grape varieties: Macabeo, Xarel.lo and Parellada.  Today, Chardonnay may also be used. Most Cava comes from the Penedes region near Barcelona. I had brilliant fun exploring the world of Cava which is much more reasonably priced than Champagne. Penedes is the main winemaking region in Catalonia which produces mostly of the Cava. Priorat is another winemaking region close to Barcelona that is more focused on red wines. Particularly Grenache and also some Carbernet and Shiraz. Ribera del Duro is a region in the centre of Spain dedicated almost entirely to the production of red wine from Tempranillo. Rioja is to the North of Ribera del Duro and also focuses on Tempranillo, although Grenache is also used. Rioja is the premier red wine region of Spain. Crianza is aged for at least 2 years. Reserva at least 3 years and Gran Reserva at least 5 years.

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THE INEDIBLE ESSENTIALS


accommodation guide

I highly recommend getting yourself a little apartment so you can cook a little and make the most of food from the markets.

barceloneta suites www.barcelonetasuites.com I absolutely loved my little apartment in Barceloneta - the old fishermen’s quarters which has yet to be gentrified in spite of its incredibly central location. Right on the beach and a tiny walk to the Born area and old town, you could do a lot worse than base yourself in Barceloneta. casa camper www.casacamper.com/barcelona/accommodation-en.html If I wasn’t planning on staying in a place with a kitchen, casa camper would be my first choice for boutique hotels. Like the shoes, the design is impeccable with a tendency towards minimalism that I really love. In the Ravel area it’s only a few minutes walk to Placa de Catalunya and more importantly la boqueria market. hotel omm www.hotelomm.es I haven’t stayed here myself but it was recommended by a friend. If funky boutique hotels are more your style, this could be the place for you. Central and close to the higher end shopping part of town - which could be damaging to the credit cards. the market hotel www.markethotel.com.es My elBulli dining companion stayed here and recommended it highly. Located in the el Ravel area it’s very close to number two in my top ten dining recommendation, Anima.

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cheers!

A big shout out to everyone who made my visit(s) to the beautiful city of Barcelona so memorable. In particular to my fabulous mate Keir, who was kind enough to put me in touch with the lovely, and very well-connected Fiona. If it weren’t for Fiona I wouldn’t have found such an amazing apartment, nor would I have been lucky enough to meet the Semlers. To George & Lucie Semler and their family, who not only shared their Thanksgiving feast but their boundless insights from the experience of living in BCN for such a long time. And George in particular for his entertaining, incredibly educational, and occasionally boozy walking tours.

To Ramon Caro for being kind enough to advise on everything from wine to hotels to brilliant places to eat. A big thanks to John Newton and Robyn Murray for helping with my pre-trip planning. And to Jason Friedman for being a good sport and coming along for not only dinner at elBulli but backing up for lunch at El Cellar de Can Roca the next day. And lastly, a big thanks to GB, my Irishman, for always believing in us. Grá Mór baby.

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The author of this ebook is Jules Clancy. I’m a food scientist, writer, runner, photographer and aspiring minimalist. I live in Sydney and I hate having my photgraph taken. In January 2010, I packed in my day job as a chocolate biscuit designer for Australia’s largest biscuit company to become a full time blogger. I write stonesoup | minimalist home cooking (www.thestonesoup.com), a blog that helps people become better home cooks by using a minimalist approach to cooking.

about the author

After snagging a reservation, I was lucky enough to dine at elBulli - the best restaurant in the world. It was truly the most amazing food experience of my life and inspired me to start a blog to chronicle my eating adventures called breadshoes (www.breadshoes.com). Last year, I self published my first cookbook, ‘and the love is free - mum a life with recipes’ to celebrate the beautiful life and cooking of my Mum who died from cancer in 2007. Recently I published a companion ebook called ‘how to bake your family cookbook’ that aims to help people pull together and record their own family recipes. Both are available to purchase through stonesoup. When I’m not cooking, writing about food or taking photographs [of food], I can be found indulging my passions for long boozy lunches, travel, running, sweaty bikram yoga, cookbooks, boating on Sydney harbour, cheese and red shoes. [OK. all shoes]. You can contact me at jules@thestonesoup.com

barcelona for food lovers [www.breadshoes.com]

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barcelona for food lovers