After a flight, tired and bleary eyed and in desperate need of a caffeine fix we arrive in Barcelona and meet up with Cesc our Catalonian guide – aka our own personal gastronomic shepherd. Cesc Castro is a proud Catalonian man.
Being Catalonian, which is a trait, is something you will find in anyone from that region.
We awaken our sensors with an adventure around one of the many markets situated throughout Barcelona, always perfect to get a feel for what’s in season.
The next stop is a wine bar/bottle shop - Bar Can Cisa/Bar Brutal (something we need to see more of in Australia).
Our jetlagged bodies are woken up by a hue of natural wines which is the house specialty; it is a good mix of European wine with a focus on Spain, many bottles of which we have never seen before.
We soldier on to the next wine shop like the true pork chomping, wine swilling warriors that we are. This store is a bit more mainstream than the last, but also has a large selection of cured meats and cheese added into the mix, which can be consumed right in the center of the shop - which of course we embrace!
We discover a sexy little orange cheese called “La Teca” which can be likened to something along the lines of a Welsh Cheddar.
Still hungry and starting to get a bit of a buzz going on, Cesc shows us to an old school bodega. It is simple fair, we snack on crisp pig skin (the same way you would chow down on a big bag of Dorito’s) and wash it all down with some vermouth, served straight up, no ice with only a dash of house made bitters and a green olive thrown into the mix.
We also consume a very rustic dish of pig’s head, potato and Spanish staple paprika and it is delicious.
Our stomachs still not quite satisfied and our bodies aching for something to get us through our jetlag, we march onto the next bodega from the guys behind Casa Mariol winery. This baby is full, clearly a local favorite with large quantities of red and white being consumed at what can only be described as a “Spanish” rate.
Like all good drinking haunts in Spain, their tapas is nothing short of spectacular, with of course the pig shining through on most dishes (a theme across the whole trip - if in doubt just add pig!). Snails spiked with Morcilla and paprika, warmed Spanish necessity chorizo, huge anchovies served along side olives, with the stand out being a massive very textural and onion heavy Morcilla.
Amongst all the food and drink consumed today we notice a theme occurring (besides there being some form of pig in everything). Nearly all the bread is served with tomato! So perhaps tomatoes are the new olive oil?