During my time in Barcelona a visit to the world famous La Boqueria market was a weekly routine and it is possibly one of my favorite markets that I have visited in Europe, I have to say that Asia takes the crown for me when it comes to the old mercado, but St. Joseph’s in Barcelona, well that is certainly something special.
Today then I want to talk a little about the history of the market, what you can expect to find when you visit and why I have absolutely no doubt that you are just going to fall in love with this bustling place, just as I did.
The first time we heard the Boqueria market mentioned was as far back as 1217, there were tables installed close to the old city gate which were erected so that locals could sell meat. From December 1470 and beyond, this site was used as a pig market and around this time it was simply known as Mercadi Bornet. Later, until around the 1794 mark, it was known only as Mercat de la Palla, or ‘the straw market’. In the beginning, this market wasn’t enclosed and it didn’t really have a status as a market, considered simply as an extension of the Plaza Nueva market, which extended to the Plaza del Pino.The current name of the market is generally thought of to come from the Catalan for goat which is ‘Boc’ a boqueria, would suggest that this was a place where goats were sold. The market was officially recognized and built in 1835, and the inauguration of the structure was in 1853, the market was born.
What to Expect
This, like all good markets, is very much an overload of the senses and you will be instantly hit by the noise of the market, the smells of fresh seafood, sliced jamon, fruit, vegetables and spices, the noise of the market traders calling out to customers and there is a real excitement when you enter.
Here you will find just about everything that you need from meats and cheeses to fruit and veg, handicrafts, farmers goods, smoothies, sandwiches, prepared meals and cocktails. Many of the traders and their families have been here for multiple generations and there is very much a sense of community here between the stalls. There isn’t much that you won’t be able to find in the market and one of the reasons why it has grown to such famous levels is because of the high quality off products which you can find here.
CNN claimed that this was the best food market in the world and whilst I do not necessarily agree with that, it is very easy to see why they put it at top spot and why this market sells foods and other goods which keep this amazing city going.
If you are in Barcelona, then head to La Rambla and drink in all of the delights which this incredible food market has to offer.