Hey friends! Over the past 9 days I travelled to 4 different countries throughout Europe, eating some truly traditional regional dishes paired with some amazing wine. All the while learning about how these dishes tell the story of the development of their countries. Supporting the reason why I love being involved with food. Thank you all so much for your tips on where to eat and what amazing places I had to step foot in. I have put together a little journey of how I ate my way through Europe, with my favourite places, so that you can then get involved with this tasty adventure. Lets kick off this awesomeness with Barcelona!
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My friends! Ever wanted to find the Best Paella in Barcelona? The first thing you need to know about Barcelona (pronounced Barth-elona) is that it is the capital city of the nationality known as Catalonia. Although part of Spain Catalonia is trying to break away from Spain into its own country. In Barcelona you will only see Catalonian flags. My favourite place in the second biggest most populated city in Spain is the Gothic Quarter. It is the old town and where you will see what true Spanish history is. From the stone walls, archways and even remains of wars, there is plenty to get lost in. There are also amazing stores and places for ‘tapas’ the traditional small plate eating/sharing style of Spain.
There are many stories behind the origin of Tapas, my personal favourite is patrons used to apparently ‘tap’ for more plates once they were done to have more. This is one of my favourite forms of eating. Small plates of local dishes packed full of flavour and ideal to share. You always have to get the octopus or pulpo as it is so traditional and their offer of seafood is wicked. They will always come out with this tomato bread, Pan con tomate and you just have to eat that with a nice local red. Be sure to pick up some cured ham known as Jamon (to be honest you should pick a number of their cured meats) along with some manchengo cheese :))
My top picks for Tapas bars:
-El Xampanyet; get there before it opens at 6pm. As soon as those roller doors open its a scrum to get to a table
-Bar del Pi
You must not leave Spain without eating a Paella and if you want one that is real and not overpriced there are a few things to avoid. Do not go to a restaurant on La Rambla, or the main strip. What you are looking for is something in a back alley in either the Gothic Quarter or the side streets close to the beach. Avoid the places with signs and images, you want the smells and the locals to guide you. We came across a place called Salamanca. It has become so popular they have a place across the road now open too for all the over bookings. With all the cured ham legs hanging from the roof it is not only entertaining but the service was super fun.
When ordering be sure to get the local dish in this case the one with seafood (being close to the beach) and compare it with another say one found in the mountains. So to summarize
-avoid the main strip (La Rambla)
-choose places found in the gothic quarter or the back streets
-never go to a place with pictures
You should bay anywhere between 15-25 Euros for your Paella, anything else and you are getting ripped off.
So now you know the how to find the best Paella in Barcelona. There may be different places, but at least you know what to avoid and get that happy grin.
The next little breakdown is France my friends. I find it truly amazing that despite being connected on the same land how different the two places are (and all of Europe for that matter). So thank you Barcelona, I look forward to bringing you baguettes, croissants and a hole lot of colorful wins.
See you soon France!!!
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