It’s all about the Sangria, Barcelona

Sangria on Barcelona Wharf

Sangria on Barcelona Wharf

One of my favorite things about Barcelona is the Sangria!!!! I have been to Barcelona twice and both times, fully indulged in the Sangria. The picture above is at a restaurant on the Barcelona Wharf. Need I say more. What makes Spain’s Sangria so deliciously unique is…..the full body and character of the wines made in Spain. Sangria can taste like watery soup if made incorrectly.

Eons ago were the wine-loving Romans in Spain who wisely discovered when settling in the area that the climate was ideal for growing grapes. As time passed, Europe’s penchant for wine-based punches enhanced with fruit and often other alcohol.

Sangria at Barcelona Wharf

Sangria at Barcelona Wharf

There are all kinds of sangria, it can be made with red wine (my favorite), white wine or rosé (Rosado in Spain). Sangria by definition is a “fruity wine punch”. The Spanish word Sangre means blood. Sangria is a

Sangria on La Rambla

Sangria on La Rambla

wine from Spain, Portugal and Argentina. It normally consists of wine, chopped fruit, a sweetener, and a small amount of added brandy. Chopped fruits such as oranges, lemons, limes, apples, peaches, melons, berries, pineapple, grapes, kiwifruit and mango are commonly added. The usual sweeteners are honey, sugar, syrup, or orange juice . You can really make sangria your own by substituting brandy for other liquids such as Seltzer, Sprite or 7 Up.  In some parts of Southern Spain, sangria is called zurra and is made with peaches or nectarines.

Sangria is served throughout Spain and Portugal during summer. Sangria is often served in 1-litre pitchers or other containers large enough to hold a bottle of wine plus the added ingredients. Among the Spanish and Portuguese, sangria is most typically served at informal social gatherings, much like punch, from a punchbowl. Sangria is often served with a wooden spoon, used to get fruit out of the bottom of the punchbowl or pitcher.

Sangria was initially introduced to the United States in 1964 during the World’s Fair in New York. Although many believe that this wine punch has been around in Europe in various incarnations for hundreds of years.

Sangria is so pretty!!! Traditionally sangria is served in a pitcher but at parties I have served it in a large, glass container with a spout because it looks gorgeous. If you serve it this way, be sure to have fresh fruits that were marinated in the sangria overnight, on the side so people can add them to their drink. Another fun idea is to make two sangrias- one for kids and people who prefer not to have alcohol and one for the adults. When making the sangria for kids, use white grape juice instead of wine and omit sweetener. It is a great party drink for all seasons. I have served sangria at winter parties with apples, cinnamon sticks and pears floating inside.

National Sangria Day is December 20th!! When making or ordering sangria, what you must know is that the main ingredient – fruit is what differs the types of flavors for sangria. In addition, whether or not spritzers are added.

Cheers!

Cheers!

Here is a recipe for authentic, basic Spanish sangria

1 Bottle ( 26 fl. oz) Spanish red wine

1 tablespoon sugar

Juice of 1 large orange

Juice of 1 large lemon

1 large orange, sliced thin crosswise

1 large lemon, sliced thin crosswise

2 cups sliced strawberries

1 liter 7-Up (add last minute)

1 cup of Grand Marnier

Refrigerate over night and add 7-Up at the last minute!!!

ROSÉ and SUMMER FRUIT SANGRIA
Rosé wines are popular and very delicious to use in sangria, particularly when combined with ripe, in-season fruit. Serve with small forks so you can pull out fruits swimming in the drink and eat them.
Preparation time: 10 minutes, plus chilling time
Makes: About 5 to 6 (2 glasses each) servings
2, 750-mL bottles dry rosé wine
1/2 cup (125 mL) orange liqueur
1/2 cup (125 mL) icing sugar, or to taste
2 medium, ripe apricots, halved, pitted and thinly sliced
1 large plum, halved, pitted and thinly sliced
1 medium ripe nectarine, halved, pitted and thinly sliced
1 cup (250 mL) fresh blackberries
1/2 cup (125 mL) fresh blueberries
1/2 cup (125 mL) fresh raspberries
1 medium lime, halved and thinly sliced
2 cups (500 mL) soda water
Ice

1. Pour the wine and orange liqueur into a large bowl. Whisk in the icing sugar until dissolved. Taste and add more icing sugar, if needed. Add the fruit, cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours, or overnight.
2. When ready to serve, stir the soda water into the sangria mixture. Fill a pitcher or two, depending on size, half full with ice. Ladle in the sangria and serve.

This recipe was found at life.nationalpost.com

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The Marketplace- Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria-

Mercat

Pinotxo Tapas Bar

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Salami and Jamón

Food, Food, Food!!!!! By far one of the most memorable things about Barcelona is the marketplace.

Fresh baked bread at market

Fresh baked bread at market

It is an exploration of food for the whole family and offers an array of pastry, meats, cheeses, olives, seafood and drink. The marketplace is accessible from the main drag of Barcelona- Las Ramblas. Our hotel happened to be on Las Ramblas and once we discovered La Boqueria, we explored daily. My son was in awe of all the seafood brought in fresh daily on ice. My daughter, very picky, even found a candy section of the marketplace!

I woke up every morning craving their coffee and fresh made chocolate croissants. I was surprised to find counters to sit at and eat meals right in the marketplace. One of the restaurants, Pinotxo Bar, was featured on the Cooking Channel show, From Spain With Love. The owner, Pinotxo (Pinnochio) has been in the marketplace for 70 years and our kids were fortunate enough to meet him. Restaurants serve different items daily so be sure to go more than once!! My daughter even ate a quiche, Tortilla Espagnole, for breakfast that had escargot in it. Check out the Pintxo Bar at http://pinotxobar.com/

Pintxo Bar

Pintxo Bar

Great memories were created for our kids. We gave them their own euro’s, they picked out fruits and had smoothies made daily for 2€. We did not assist them with the communication barrier, they were on their own and did really well.

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Assorted nuts

$$ saving tips: When exploring the marketplace, be sure to browse multiple stands prior to purchasing as many of the vendors will sell similar items at different prices. For example we found Jamón (ham) Panini’s for 3€ each and then found a stand which sold them 2 for 5€. Before taking off on your excursions or double decker bus ride, stop off at the marketplace and grab salami, cheese, wine, Panini’s or whatever you would like to bring for a picnic. We picked up food almost daily. The market place is conveniently located on the same street as the double decker bus transfer at Las Ramblas about a 4 or 5 block walk.

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Candy bar

History:
The Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria, often simply referred to as La Boqueria (Catalan pronunciation: [ɫə βu.kəˈɾi.ə]), is a large public market in the Ciutat Vella district of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain and one of the city’s foremost tourist landmarks, with an entrance from La Rambla, not far from the Liceu, Barcelona’s opera house. The market has a very diverse selection of goods.

The first mention of the Boqueria market in Barcelona dates from 1217, when tables were installed near the old city gate to sell meat. From December 1470 onwards, a pig market was held at this site; at this time it was known as Mercat Bornet. Later, until 1794, it was known simply as Mercat de la Palla, or straw market. In the beginning, the market was not enclosed and had no official status, being regarded simply as an extension of the Plaça Nova market, which extended to the Plaça del Pi.

Family at La Mercat

Family at La Mercat

Later, the authorities decided to construct a separate market on La Rambla, housing mainly fishmongers and butchers.

St. Joseph La Boqueria

St. Joseph La Boqueria

It was not until 1826 that the market was legally recognized, and a convention held in 1835 decided to build an official structure. Construction began on March 19, 1840 under the direction of the architect Mas Vilà. The market officially opened in the same year, but the plans for the building were modified many times. The inauguration of the structure finally took place in 1853. A new fish market opened in 1911, and the metal roof that still exists today was constructed in 1914.

Fresh baked chocolate croissant

Fresh baked chocolate croissant

There is even a Culinary School within the market!!! The courses are taught by chefs and sommeliers as renowned professional, and by young artists.

http://www.boqueria.info/