I’ve returned from Spain and even though we are in the process of re-acclimating, I still have lots of posts to catch up on so you haven’t heard the last from me just yet.
Not having been in my house in 5 weeks, I had no food in my home so a grocery store trip was in order very early this morning. I drove over to my local grocery store and reminisced about the grocery shopping in Spain and drove home to write this post.
For the last few weeks, grocery trips have gone something like this. My husband and I grab our grocery totes, take the elevator downstairs and walk across the street through a fragrant flower shop. As we pass through the flowers, we step into a market with 3 bars where the locals are eating and drinking and rows of fruit stands, a wine shop, an olive oil shop, a fresh pasta stand and a few jamon and cheese stands line the market. The majority of the shoppers are elderly, which makes me believe the younger generation does not cook. We are avid cooks and for us, we have died and gone to market Heaven.
My favorite place to visit is a fruit and vegetable stand. There are about 4 of these stands in the market but this one is always the busiest and for good reason. It’s all women and they are the farmers (because their photos are posted of them pulling veggies out of the ground). Not only do they sell the most amazing produce but they want to know what you are going to do with it so they can pick out the best one for you. They always treat you to a little lagniappe too, whether it is in the form of some free herbs (they insist not charging for them and looked at us like we were mad when asked “Cuanto?”) or a fresh cherry that just came in. They also know tomatoes.
This is where I gained a good Spanish/Catalan vocabulary, by listening to them speak with other shoppers or having them help us with our own Spanish so we could buy the right thing. I’m forever grateful for these ladies and all of the other merchants for being our own private Spanish lessons these last couple of months. The best part is that all of these fresh ingredients cost next to nothing. We cooked so much while in Barcelona and have promised an entire post dedicated to this at some point. We used a lot of our favorite tried and true recipes, which tasted better than ever with all of this local produce.
I truly miss this experience already as I shelled out almost $50 this morning for a single tomato, a lemon, a head of garlic, a bag of Dunkin, a bag of parsley and basil, a block of Parmesan, 4 bottles of Perrier (to try and relive drinking Vichy Catalan), 3 chicken breasts, Eggo waffles and some fruit. In my Barcelona market this would have cost $15 total. Annnd, I had to pick all of the produce out MYSELF!! (<– spoiled)
Instead of a breakfast of fresh cheese and jamon, or my favorite truita with patates and pan con tomate …
I had Eggo waffles. The waffles were a pretty delicious guilty pleasure and I chose to have it on my great-grandmother’s gold china that I recently acquired, and I had it with 2 cats, so I’m not complaining too much but I sure am missing that Spanish breakfast.