Weekly Writing Challenge: A Splash of Color

The vendors’ stalls in El Mercat de La Boqueria in Barcelona breathe life into color.

Once inside, you realize that you have never before seen red, until you saw the strawberries in front to you…you’ve never seen orange until that piece of Valencia next to it.

Splash of Color, La Boqueria

The myriad of fruits, vegetables, fish, meat, cheese, coffee, cafes, tapas…each vendor hawking his wares, looking you in the eye to make sure you understand that theirs is the best, the freshest, the tastiest, beyond compare.

Si, Señora, these are the best!

As soon as you enter La Boqueria, you are swept in, like a pebble in a river’s current, and the smartest idea is to go with the tide.

So many different colors of tomatoes

The fruits and vegetables bloom in the ultimate expression of their given colors…

while the grays, whites and pinks of the squid and octopus are pulsing as they writhe to escape the fishmonger’s table.

The colors fill the air, surround you and get into your nostrils as you inhale…

LIVING color…vibrant, palpable, LIVING color.

Chefs, grab your ladles

Much has been written about the gender wars when it come to cooking.  Who makes a better chef, a man or a woman?  Who pays more attention to detail? Does one gender have a natural penchant for cooking? (A-Hem) and so on…

But the real question is…why isn’t my husband making dinner more often? (No, actually, truth be told, I can’t say that…at all!  Steven is an excellent cook and I probably just got myself into a lot of trouble)

But what I mean to say is

Barcelona is a center of culinary delight.  The freshness that spills out of markets like La Boqueria and Santa Cristina is testament to that.  So what better place to learn some of the secrets of their ‘cuina’ (yeah! I know a word in Catalan!) than cooking school?

Steven and I went to the ‘Cook & Taste’ cooking school in Barcelona and learned some Catalan specialties…divine!  We also learned the answer to that long-debated question, who makes a better chef, a man or a woman?  The simple answer is…

Whoever puts down their wine glass long enough to get the work done.  In the case of our Catalan cooking class, it was definitely the men!

10 of us, eager students and food lovers, arrived at 11 a.m. where Maria, our instructor, had laid out all the items we were going to need to cook each dish.  She went through them one by one, starting with the Romesco sauce for roasted courgettes (zucchini).  Once she had demonstrated how each dish would be cooked, she invited us to start pouring our wine (Spanish, of course); after all, what self-respecting chef cooks without wine?

We laughed and savored our way into Catalan cooking and eating until well after 4 p.m.  We were stuffed and swore off eating…until about 9:30 that night (it is Barcelona, after all).

Maria, I need you for a dinner idea tonight!

(Click on image below for slideshow)

Next time you are in Barcelona, you can find them at:

Cook & Taste   Tallers de Cuina – Cooking Workshops

Paradis 3, 08002 Barcelona

T. +34 933 021 320         http://www.cookandtaste.net

(Have you ever been to a cooking class when traveling?  I would Love to hear about it!)