I know it has been a long time since I posted something, due to traveling but I’m back! Well, back in Barcelona! I have been in Barcelona for exactly a week now and I can honestly say this is one of my top 3 favourite cities in the world. Of course I had to visit the market La Boqueria the first day and I have with no exception, gone back every single day to buy fruit, vegetables, talk to people, walk around and just admire the amazing atmosphere and arraign of food. I would love to share the pictures I made and a few of the stands I went back to everyday. If you would like to see more of a story about the market itself and the people I talked let me know! But for now, here is snapshot into my idea of heaven on earth!
(little tip if you have to opportunity to visit this market for yourself, stay away from the centre and walk through the outer stalls. Not only are there a lot more people in the centre, but also the pricier will be double. In addition, these marketeers are more likely to get into a conversation with you about their food, which is always fun)
This is how the main entrance looks like, however if you want to avoid the crowed there are also two side entrances; one on the right (next to Wok to Walk) and one on the left as well.
Beautiful and very affordable greens! This is the stand (if you go through the main entrance turn right and it will be one of the first you see) where i have been buying most of my leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables.
This might be my favourite stand (located at the back of the market), it has the most incredible selection of (dried) mushrooms and herbs. (The next three photos are from this stand as well)
Cheapest strawberries ever and mouthwateringly good. I have had 1 kilo of them for every breakfast for the last 5 days,
This week’s food from our market, not as much as usual so this won’t last us all week. Usually we will get some extra fresh food in the middle of the week. Also tomorrow we will be going to Neighbour Food Market in Westergasfabriek in Amsterdam, so we will probably get some more good food there.
If you are thinking of getting a better relationship with food, in general, the first thing you should do is; eating more seasonally. At first this might seem less important than other changes you could make like; eating less factory farmed meat, eating more whole foods or stop eating processed food. However the thing is, as soon as you start eating seasonally, you automatically do those things. If you eat according to season, most processed foods become, well, absent. It is not like we only get Oreos in winter or that in summer Ben and Jerry ice-cream is at its peak “ripeness”. Also I have never heard of chicken-season??
Isn’t that to complicated?? Remembering all those charts when what vegetable or fruit is season when and if you’re not able to do that, doing your groceries at your supermarket with one of those charts in your hand, checking with every food you put in your cart if it is or isn’t in season. I mean most of us do not have time or interest in such a thing. So how are you going to put this to practice? Here is where markets come in handy; when you go to your local market and head over to your fruit and vegetable stall, it is easy to spot what is in season, because that is what is abundantly and low-priced layed out. And what is not in season, will be either very hard to find or ridiculously expensive. No charts or grocery list needed, you just go and get what they have, easily done.
Eating seasonally will not only give you the most nutrient rich foods, but will also spark your creativity as you will have to change what you eat every few months. In weekends, I often do not plan my meals ahead, but get inspired by what is in season. For example, last weekend I saw that our stall had bunches and bunches of green asparagus for little money. So I bought those and built the following two meals around asparagus.
Having said that, I still feel it might be helpful for some people to get an idea of what is in season at the moment;
I have contemplated for days what my first post should be and what to say in the intro. However after having done my weekly market shop yesterday, I just wanted to start writing and what a better way to begin by showing you what my staples look like. These are the foods that you will probably always find in my house, with maybe the exception of Fridays, the last day before the market returns in town. I can’t tell you how much I look forward to the Saturdays, it really has become a routine; in the morning my dad and I will first go to a hard needed Vinyasa yoga class ( yes my dad is now a yogi as well and I will do a post on my yoga story in the future, but for now let’s keep it at food and markets). Fully detoxed and awake we then head our way over to “our” market. Also there we have a favorite stalls and with that, also a list of foods we can not leave without. Of course the list varies a bit according to the season, but i can say that even then some foods never fail to find their way into our crates (my dad has a love for wooden crates and boxes and always seems to have a few in the back of his truck). Besides the fresh foods we buy from the market, there are also a few other items that always have their place in our kitchen. These do not always come from the market, but are bought in different small shops. I really try to avoid conventional supermarkets, but one can not be perfect. These are the fresh foods I buy from the markets almost every week, in all seasons:
We buy fresh fruits every week and often have to restock mid-week, as we go through fruit rather quickly. Also when you buy your food from the markets, it is as good as ripe, so you have to consume it within a few days. These are the staples we get all year round. In addition we get seasonal fruits, but those of course differ per time of the year.
Apples – this may sound cliché but apples are a perfect fruit all year round. In the winter you can make warm apple sauce, for which I will only use Goudreignet apples; you just have to peel and core them and put them in a big saucepan with a little water. Cook them for less than half an hour and it will become this perfect apple mush. Sometimes i add some cinnamon or raisins in, but you really don’t need the extra flavour as the Goudreinet has an amazing taste. And in the summer enjoy them whole, or make apple juice as an alternative to lemonade. I must confess though I am a little of an apple snob; Jazz apples are the only conventional apples I will eat whole, as they are just the perfect balance of crispy but juicy and very sweet.
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