The best way to experience a culture is to experience it through the food. As such, most of my trips include several culinary adventures. Spain was a fantastic place for sumptuous wines and tantalizing delectables!
It wasn't intentional but for my trip to Spain, I participated in a lot of small group tours. Small group tours are usually groups of about 6-8 people at most and it is fantastic, I noticed you get a more personalized intimate experience through small group tours and there is this feeling of exclusivity that come with these types of experiences. I was happily the 5th wheel on a small group food and wine tour. On this tour we experienced a sumptuous breakfast at the base of Montserrat. After breakfast we drove up to Montserrat ( I was actually lucky enough to go to Montserrat twice during my stay in Spain) to explore, drove down to the other side of the mountain where we had a fantastic lunch and then finished the tour with a wine tasting Parés Balta vineyard/winery. Moral of the story here is when you travel and you have an opportunity to take a food tour......DO IT! It is always a great time and gives you an opportunity to really immerse yourself in the culture.
Booking site: Viator (my favorite booking site/app)
Duration: 10 hours
Cultured Americana Tip: It's always fun to extend your travels as much as possible. As such, when I go wine tasting during my journeys I always have wine shipped back home. I will admit that this is expensive but such a worthwhile treat. My tradition is to share the wine I've tasted with my guests at Thanksgiving dinner.
Onward to find the world's best chocolate cake! Next Stop Bubo. Somewhere along the way I learned that the award for best chocolate cake belonged to a bakery in the El Born district of Barcelona. Of course, I couldn't say I experienced Barcelona without collecting that chocolate cake eating experience.
I continued my culinary expedition by taking a paella making class with a lovely woman named Marta who teaches the classes in her lovely apartment. I found Marta's class through eatwith.com. It was great being welcomed into a local's home. Cooking classes are another wonderful way to immerse oneself in a country's culture and come home with a new skill. Although I travel to meet locals, cooking classes also give me an opportunity to meet fellow travelers which is also fun. I was so glad I took the paella making class because I wanted paella my whole time in Barcelona but I couldn't get it at restaurants since the minimum serving was for two. By taking a cooking class I had an opportunity to learn how to make paella and had a group of people to share the experience with.
Last stop in my search for culinary delights was La Boqueria. Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria is a large public market. I have been to public markets of course but this was like nothing I had ever seen. It was so big, beautiful and colorful. Marta from the paella cooking class suggested we buy saffron and paprika as souvenirs so that is exactly what I did. Now I have a taste of La Boqueria when I make egg, chicken and countless other meals I make at home. Barcelona and the surrounding areas were such a amazing culinary escapade! Buen provecho. Enjoy your meal!