Recently, I had visitors from the United States staying with me in Barcelona. Two of them had gluten-free diets, and were also not able to eat tomatoes, ham, dairy, peppers and almost all meat except fish and chicken. I spent quite a bit of time fretting over what the heck these friends would eat. Turns out that while the Mediterranean diet we have in Barcelona is delicious, it is not gluten-free.
My visitors did find plenty of fish dishes to sample, and of course there are lots of veggies on the menu in Mediterranean Spain. So, in the end, with a little planning, they were able to get by just fine.
What most bothered me about my guests’ diets was that they were unable to experience one of the aspects of Spain I love most – the food. Heaps of sharp, creamy cheese; crunchy baguettes; tomato salads topped with cod, onions and olives; and all the deep fried breaded tapas – they had to stay clear of it all. Oh yes, and the wine. Neither of them are able to drink wine, a point that was probably the most sorrowful for me.
While my friends would not enjoy the Mercat de Mercats, a foodie festival held October 18-20, 2013, those who can partake in the gooey and gluttony side of life will adore it. Held in front of the Cathedral in the center of old town Barcelona, this is the best of the metropolis’ markets on display in one big calorie-ladened fiesta.
Come for the Catalan microbrews, local cava makers, ham of every shade and shape, goat’s cheese from inland farms, vinegar anchovies, rich sheep’s cheese, and a whole lot more.
How it works
Mercat de Mercats works with a ticket system. For example, four tapas will cost you €12. You can pick and choose from vendors once you have your tickets. Four glasses of wine and a wine glass will set you back €10. All in all, a budget-friendly way to sample some of the top nibbles in the city.
For more on the Mercat de Mercats food festival, visit the official website of the event.
Event dates: Oct. 18-20, 2013 from 12-8 pm daily.