La Comida De Barcelona (Barcelona Food)

Being the international city that it is, Barcelona is not confined to any one set of cultural practices. Like I mentioned in my travel diaries about language and culture, despite being a Spanish city, there are several languages common spoken here daily. Heavily influenced by multiple cultures, countries, languages, and people, Barcelona offers amazing diversity in multiple factors of life. I´m sure you can surmise from the title of this post, which of those ¨factors¨ I'll be writing about today; food. Aside from delicious traditional Spanish foods, this city offers many different types of cuisine. Italian, French, ¨Americana¨(as they say), Mediterranean, and so on and so forth. And much like the states, even food from different cultures, being prepared by people from those cultures, still varies from how it may be prepared in its country of origin in the interest of fitting seamlessly into Spanish culture.

Needless to say I´ve been indulging myself, and taking full advantage of all edible possibilities, and snapping a few pictures along the way.

Warning: Do not read this post if you are hungry

 

Pizza

We'll start here because this is probably the food I´ve  had the most of since I´ve been in the city. Actually..this is probably the food group I´ve had the most of since I´ve been alive. Unlike America, pizza in Spain can actually be classified as Italian food. The crust is always relatively thin, but is always prepared fresh daily. Marinara sauce here, I´ve noticed, is a little bit on the sweet side (which I don´t mind because I´m a

sugar-in-spaghetti type of girl), and a little more textured. I love pepperoni pizza, however here pepperoni is sliced very thick and is spicier than in the states. In fact, I´ve seen it written in several menus as ¨chorizo caliente¨ or ¨Spicy Sausage¨. It´s still good, but not as good in my humble opinion. But aside from that american pizza cannot touch the pizza here. Dominos? Don´t know her.

 

(left) San Marino Pizzeria - Bacon (right) Resturante Bivio - Chorizo Caliente

(left) San Marino Pizzeria - Bacon (right) Resturante Bivio - Chorizo Caliente

 

My favorite pizzaria´s thus far:

  1. Pizza Napoli Barcelona

  2. San Marino Pizzeria

  3. Les Dues Siciles

  4. Resturante Bivio

 

Japanese & Chinese Food

I wish I had more variety for this section but once I found MY sushi place, I forgot other sushi restaurants existed. My sushi place, Youme, has a delicious, affordable, and vast menu, AND they deliver. I´ve become a huge fan of Uber eats since being in the city. Not only because it's actually available here but because delivery charges are extremely cheap ranging from 1,30€ to 1,80€. Maybe that's typical of big cities but in my college town delivery is usually upward of $3. That being said, I've ordered youme through uber eats no less than five times and feel absolutely no shame about it. A few days ago I decided to branch out a little bit and get sushi from a place that also served traditional Ramen. The menu was completely in spanish so I just clicked on something that sounded good through my abysmal translation skills and hoped for the best. It was incredible.

(left) Youme Sushi - Tempura California Roll, Rollitos Japoneses (spring rolls), Udon Noodles con Gamba y Verdura (Prawns & Vegetables).   (Right) Koikoi Sushi - Hot Tartar (spicy tuna sushi) & Ramen

(left) Youme Sushi - Tempura California Roll, Rollitos Japoneses (spring rolls), Udon Noodles con Gamba y Verdura (Prawns & Vegetables). 

(Right) Koikoi Sushi - Hot Tartar (spicy tuna sushi) & Ramen

 

I've also tried a few chinese places, that looked incredibly sketchy, which of course means that the food was superb. I don't have pictures of those because by the time I remembered I was planning to write this post the food was gone. But I will list them below.

 

Sushi Places

  1. Youme

  2. Koikoi Sushi

Chinese

  1. Chen Ji

  2. Palacio De China

You can also sign up for ubereats and get $10 off your order using my code ¨eats-mercedesb57ue¨

This is not sponsored but I get $10 off too and I really want that. So, sign up. Thanks.

 

TACOS

^ That's in all caps because I am extremely excited about this topic. Being the Spanish vs Hispanic confused youth that I was prior to this trip, I was very excited to try some ¨authentic Spanish tacos¨ and that's 100% not a thing. Tacos are classified as Mexican food exactly as they are in the U.S. However, that doesn´t make them any less delicious.Much like with the sushi, I found a taqueria that I loved and got settled in. Taqueria Tamarindo has to have some of the best street style tacos I've had. Plus the staff knows me by name and has offered me free shots of tequila twice now. They´re basically family.  

House made Guacamole & Chips and Trompo Tacos (pork)

House made Guacamole & Chips and Trompo Tacos (pork)

 

I branched out and tried another taco place, Taco Alto Born, and after eating there twice I've decided that I really don't like it. They seem to cater a lot to American taste in food i.e flour tortillas and fake cheese. So after being blessed by the existence of Taqueria Tamarindo my taste buds shifted and I lost my taste for those things. At least when it comes to tacos. 

I also had tacos from a beach restaurant called Jefferson. Again, by then I was less of fan of flour tortillas, but their guacamole was fantastic and I have to give them props for presentation. 

(left) Taco Alto Born - Two chicken Tinga tacos, one Taco Gringa (carne asada) and one Taco Pirata ( pork). (Right) Jefferson Beach Club - three chicken tinga tacos 

(left) Taco Alto Born - Two chicken Tinga tacos, one Taco Gringa (carne asada) and one Taco Pirata ( pork). (Right) Jefferson Beach Club - three chicken tinga tacos 

 

Fine Dining

I've had two nicer dining experiences since I´ve been here. The first was actually my first night here at a beach restaurant called Carpe Diem. Before I even get into the food I have to talk about the seating for a moment. On the outside deck, facing the beach, there were several tables and chairs as is to be expected. But there were also couch-like seats built into the wall and lining the outside patio. They were like couches in that they were soft and had a back, but they were much deeper than couches so that someone could sit against the back and stretch their legs out completely in front of them. A group of six of us were able to sit in a corner section and eat there instead of a table. (they had silver trays so there was a flat surface for putting drinks on. Fancy.)  

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I ordered Curry Prawns with rice, which sounds exactly as good as it was. But this where I will note that it was quite a deal less seasoned than I would have liked. And I also noticed this at the other nice restaurant we went to in Girona. I don´t know if there's any direct correlation between nicer restaurants and less flavorful food but I do know that some salt and chili powder would have gone a long way.

(left) Carpe Diem - Curry prawns with white rice. (right) Casa Marieta in Girona - Roast chicken & potato

(left) Carpe Diem - Curry prawns with white rice. (right) Casa Marieta in Girona - Roast chicken & potato


 

Before I end this post, I have to admit it that  I did succumb to my American roots and stop into a KFC, once or twice. And it was so much better than the states, which I attribute to spain having higher standards for food. The chicken just seemed like it was higher quality. You can judge me, but realistically how long can a southerner go without fried chicken? Exactly.

 

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Barcelona Travel Diaries: Language & Culture

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Dear Diary,

Lmao just kidding, I´m not going to open my travel diaries like that. However,  these will consist mostly of my personal musings and observations about different things related to my travels, with a few pretty pictures here and there. No ¨How-to´s¨ or ¨10 ways...¨ here, just my and my thoughts.

Something I´m ashamed to admit is that until about a month before I took this trip I had not considered the stark differences between spanish culture, and hispanic culture, or even the fact they are two very different things. It wasn't even until I was watching a spanish drama that I realized that even the type of spanish spoken in spain is different than what you would hear latin persons speaking. Of course this should not have come as a surprise to me, as even english is spoken differently from the U.S to London to Ireland, or even from Arkansas to California let's be honest.  I gave myself a free pass since my cultural horizons could only be so broad as someone who - at that point - had never been out of the country. But now since watching those riveting episodes of the Grande Hotel (highly recommend), and since being here my knowledge of the language and culture has been greatly expanded.

Castellano spanish is the type of spanish spoken here, the main distinction being that the soft ¨c¨ sound is pronounced ¨th¨. So the way that we say Barcelona, would be pronounced ¨Barthelona¨. It definitely has a very lisp-y quality to it, but when spoken by natives it is a beautiful language. When spoken by me….well, anyway moving on. Something I didn't know until arriving is that Castellano isn´t just native to spain but to Barcelona specifically. A trip to Valencia (Valenthia?), madrid, the islands, or the countryside would each result in hearing different types of spanish. Again, this shouldn't be as surprising as it is considering english is exactly the same way but I was still fascinated by this knowledge.  

People who did know about Castellano Spanish being the prominent language here have asked me about adjusting to  using the ¨th¨ in place of the ¨c¨. In all honesty, it's been more difficult to remember to pronounce¨ j¨ as¨ h¨ and that´s typical Spanish pronunciation. But I´ve also noticed that, that is not the only way I hear Spanish spoken. In fact, I´ve only heard Gracias pronounced the Castellano way by a few people. I realized that despite Barcelona having its own version of Spanish, this is still a very international city. I hear the ¨typical¨Spanish as often as I hear Castellano, as often as I hear Croatian, french, German and English. And I won't lie, it was a relief knowing I wouldn't be frowned at for not using Castellano pronunciation because I just don´t know about all that.

Another language I hear spoken, almost more than Spanish is Catalan, a language I hadn't given any thought to until I stepped off of the plane. Catalan, native to Catalonia, can be loosely defined as a mix of Spanish and French with a little more Spanish than French. This is especially evident in writing, where Catalan combines articles and words beginning with a vowel with an apostrophe, like the French. (Example La Amour = lámour ), as well as in the overall flow of the language. However you are more likely to understand Catalan as a Spanish speaker than a French speaker, which is great for me who took three years of French in high school :)   

As I write this, there is a separatist movement by Catalonia to form their own country independent of Spain. Spanish Government, of course, is ¨not about that¨ for multiple reasons, not the least among them that Barcelona is located in Catalonia territory. Since being here, I have witnessed three Catalonia protests, and multiple banners advertising the separatist agenda. This is specifically interesting to me because I have never witnessed political unrest of this type.  

Siesta´s are apparently not a thing, at least not for me. Many shops and restaurants do close for a few hours during the afternoon, but as far as I can tell the working people take normal lunch breaks and then go back to the grind. It's too bad because I was truly looking forward to napping.

I was warned about there being no AC but that did nothing to prepare me for facing the reality of a summer in spain without air conditioning. Spain, where the sun doesn't set until 9:30 or actually leave the sky until a few minutes after 10pm smh. A scam.

All that being said, my favorite part of spanish culture is the attitude. Barcelona is a big city so of course there is a level of ¨hustle & bustle¨ that can´t be avoided, but it is so apparent how much more relaxed and carefree everyone here is, compared to the states. Even without the highly anticipated siestas, I feel a great deal more at peace surrounded by people who focus more on leisure and experiences than work and income.

That´s all for now, 

Mercedes Bell

 

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