Indeed, Barcelona and I have had a lot of solo meals together. So when I recently went back to the city – alone, again – I decided to work on our weird relationship. I’d join a food tour. Me, Barcelona, other people, and food. Perfect!
It would be a Devour Barcelona Food Tour, to be exact — and for good reason. You might remember that I joined their Madrid tour a while back, a euphoric experience that had me high on Madrid life and local cuisine. Naturally, having the opportunity to do so in Barcelona was a no-brainer.
So come along with me (virtually) as I flash back to my foodie bonding session with Barcelona, which, believe it or not, has something to do with baklava.
First we set off to test this sausage y sandwich. Try not to be tricked by its not exactly impressive appearance, though. That meat you see there is called butifarra, a specialty of the district of Catalonia, and which possesses a flavor like paradise when warmed up and served on a crisp baguette that has been rubbed all here and there with tomato.
Then we went to the Mercat de l’Albaceria Central, the Gracia neighborhood’s focal business sector, and a less-touristy different option for Barcelona’s fan-most loved La Boqueria. This business epitomizes all things neighborhood, from the individuals, to the straight from-the-close-by ocean fish, and obviously the prepared to-be-ate up eats (like this greasy platter of cheddar and fruity membrillo).
At our next stop, we inspected one of Barcelona’s most signature and storied tapas, the bomba. It’s presumably not that difficult to envision why this could be known as a “bomb” — I mean, take a look at that thing! In any case, there is something else entirely to its name than simply the way that it’s a zesty and flavor-stuffed fricasseed bundle of calories. The culinary creation was composed in the 1920s to speak to the revolutionary state of mind of the times, hence the tapa looks like a bomb both outwardly and as far as its touchy flavor. Boom!
And behold: the moment you’ve been waiting for (or was that just me?): the BAKLAVA.
No, you aren’t imagining things — baklava is not a Spanish or Catalan creation. In any case, this is the part that I particularly adore about this visit: that it highlighted a nourishment strength made by one of the city’s regarded settlers, who shapes an indispensable piece of the group here.
(Likewise, it’s baklava, so I truly don’t even need a lovely backstory to legitimize why its conclusion is awesome!)
At this point I was in a baklava stupor (which may have added to the way that I purchased an entire additional to-go plate of it, which I swear I could hear calling my name from the sack, simply imploring me to eat more). In any case, there was all the more non-baklava sustenance to be had, similar to this fuet-finished bread with a side of salted anchovies, both intended to be washed down with that glass loaded with dense, red vermouth.
Then there were these meatballs swimming in some magical sauce along with perfectly tender garbanzos. But honestly, my mind was still on the baklava.
Finally, we moved on to our last stop, a sweet little cafe-meets-bakery. And just when I thought I might have to excuse myself to go to the bathroom for a baklava binge, these little guys came along. Called cremats, the chilled slices of poundcake-like goodness came topped with a dollop of crema catalana (similar to creme brulee). Between the texture, temperature and hypnotizing delicious flavor, I quickly tuned out the call of my beloved, stored-away baklava. I’d found a new love.
Well, until I left and hopped on the bus to my conference, at which point I cracked open that box and — among new friends and no longer alone — nearly polished off the entire thing. Indeed, I’d finally forged that missing bond with Barcelona, and this time with good company, and, of course, baklava.