Walking into the fresh market, for the first time, I was overwhelmed with the atmosphere created by the people and the colors of all the fresh items that were being sold. It was very apparent that I was in a atmosphere I was not accustomed to. I can buy just about anything that is in season with top freshness in Barcelona at most markets.
I have been lucky enough to live directly in front of my neighborhood Market. This surprised me until Berta, one of the representatives from CEA, told us “there are 40 fresh food market that sells fresh fruit, vegetables, meats and fish in Barcelona.” This concept was foreign to me. I am used to having the availability to get mangos or strawberries at any time of the year, the only difference is that the fruits are going to be at a premium price. Since many of our products are shipped from Central America due to rising commands, the products have to be at a higher cost due to labor costs. Now, I am learning what foods are in season and finding out that the ones that are, are less expensive.
There is one market I do not suggest going to if you want the freshest, least expensive ingredients you can find. On Las Ramblas, a street known for tourist, there is a famous market called La Boqueria that does not seem as fresh at the others. During my experience there, I saw things like lemons and blueberries in abundance, which have not been at any other markets that I have visited because they are not in season. According to Barcelona Yellow Pages and Travel Guide there are other markets that are “livelier, fresher, and much more authentic than La Boqueria.” I even tried the mango juice, since I have been buying it at my local market and it tasted incredibly sugary which was unexpected because I am used to it tasting exactly like the fruit. Comparing this market to the others I have been to, La Boqueria, reminds me more of what I am used to in the States because I can get just about anything I can imagine even if it is not in season.