La Boqueria Mercat

In Placa Boqueria in Barcelona sits an institution whose specialty is to provide a feast of the senses. La Boqueria Mercat is Barcelona’s town market, where fresh produce are sold, it seems, for the shopper’s visual pleasure. A gigantic arc marks the entryway which leads to the fruit section of the market, where various colors and textures would be a still life photographer’s dream. The meat markets display game that is “too fresh,” and not for the squeamish. It is not unusual to find a freshly slaughtered rabbit hanging from a hook with blood still oozing from its cut jugular, or skinned goat and rabbit heads lined up like pink skulls straight out of Hannibal Lecter’s plate. The cured meats are king, and at the center of the market is a tapas bar which is always packed with people feasting on seafood fare over vino and cava.

I searched for a translation of the word boqueria, and found that it directly translates to “mouth shop.”A search for the word’s etymology was in vain, however, we are neglecting the obvious which is that “boca” is Spanish for “mouth.”  Would it be fair to say that boqueria would be a shop of tastes or a store for the mouth? Either way, it did not waste New York’s restaurant scene from coming up with its own Boqueria (53 W 19th St New York, NY 10011, Phone: (212) 255-4160), a tapas bar that is authentic enough food-wise, but then again, in a fancy New York Way. That means bright soft lights, tight layouts, and exorbitant prices That means that the whole ambience of my dear Bar Rodrigo in Barcelona is lost, where you can find triple or even quadruple servings of Boqueria’s tapas served in a homier, more “Barcelona” way, and for half the price. Of course, this would mean shunning the comfortable seating, smoke-free environment and metropolitan energy of its Manhattan counterpart – but if it’s the closest I can get to the old man smoking and coughing while he played the slot machines in Sant Feliu De Llobregat, I would take it any day (and twice on Sundays).

I miss you, Bar Rodrigo.
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3 thoughts on “La Boqueria Mercat

  1. Pingback: Tertulia Spanish Taverna, West Village, New York |

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