Ten days in Spain.... oh my! What an incredible treat for all things sensory. We spent a week staying in a tiny white washed village in the mountains outside of Granada, road tripping everyday and stuffing our faces. The landscape is flushed with fruits of biblical distinction, olives, almonds and pomegranates grow in abundance. Andalucia is extremely beautiful and it feels a lot like a certain area of South Africa with big skies and stunning light. Salty, irresistible Jamon made its way into our mouths at every opportunity. Sweet and hot pimenton coloured and elevated every dish. And of course... the wine... the wine... glorious, robust Rioja in little glasses accompanying Manchego cheese and membrillo.

Following our quiet week in Andalucia we went to Barcelona for four days and it was there that we truly treated ourselves to as much Catalunian food as possible. Seeking out authentic and traditional tapas bars, we ate until there was nothing left to do but smile and smile, fantastic. Deep fried calamari, tortillas to die for, anchovies, sardines, padron peppers, chickpeas, spanish kidney beans, white sausage, razor clams, cured tuna, empanadas... more jamon....

Everything we ate was incredible and worthy of description but a few experiences really stood out. A visit to La Boqueria, Barcelona's famous food market. The intensity of colour, texture, taste and smell was utterly intoxicating. Every stall generously laden with the freshest seasonal offerings, abundant and mouth watering. I was seriously down hearted at not being able to buy up loads and head home to cook... My dismay was short lived and evaporated with a surprise visit to a very special tapas bar called 'Tickets', high end tapas made with produce from the market that day. Food memory extravaganza. Coffee and Churros, the perfect breakfast.... anything with a doughnut is for me. Lastly, we managed to find probably one of the last authentic lunch time spots, behind an unassuming door with a rather ropey interior. Saw dust on the floor to catch the olive oil, a tightly run ship relying on bits of paper and lots of shouting. The food in this taverna was extraordinary, super fresh seafood, artichokes, salt cod, fiery rice balls, vinegary salad, wine by the jug, chorizo.... all else pales in comparison. Oh Barcelona!! I am inspired and in love!!

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