The hidden cuisine of the Barcelona markets emerges in a book | Catalonia

They are a guarantee of fresh and local products. And, for the most part, served with a sympathy and closeness that is sometimes difficult to find in posh restaurants, which, in the face of their pretensions and elitism, contrast the luxury of simplicity. They are the bars and food stalls that increasingly proliferate in the municipal markets of Barcelona behind its rehabilitation, which already allows an authentic gastronomic route, like the one offered by veteran journalists Xavier Febrés and Àngela Vinent in the book Hidden kitchens (Cossetània Edicions).

“Unpretentious does not mean without genius”, say the authors, who go through the 40 markets to find the bars that have most impressed them, bringing to the book the best dish offered there, combined with the historical (and personal) back room of the stop that serves them.

The journey takes them not to neglect any corner of the city or type of food, from the classic Pinotxo de la Boqueria (they recommend their squid with Santa Pau beans) to an Octopus the fair taken at dawn in the Fish Market in Mercabarna, passing through a couple of fried eggs at their cooking point, but with truffle filings (the surprise of the delicacy where it is not supposed to be constant) from the Racó del Mercat bar in Provençals, or some tender beans in the brand new market in the Bon Pastor neighborhood, in the Cíntia bar. Because that is another characteristic: many of the stalls and dishes have a name, like the turbot from the Carmen y Toni fish shop (Fort Pienc); the Yoli apple omelette (Guineueta) … As a frequent variable, the proliferation of chickpeas and beans as an accompaniment, the result of the existence of a cooked legume stall that is never lacking in these facilities.

Vinent (cook with her own gastronomic club) and Febrés (author of the cookbook Little ones and other pig delights), although they affirm that in bars in the Ciutat Meridiana, Canyelles or Carmel markets you can find “small treasures such as those of Les Corts, Sarrià or Gràcia”, they have confirmed the “social gap: the difference in composition and offer of the stops does not go unnoticed ”. But they emphasize that there they saw “almost a class solidarity between restaurateurs and customers.” And that yes, in all, the disposition of chefs and cooks “little recognized, but not for that reason less skillful and imaginative” to cook any product that the diners bring from any stop or to escape themselves to look for what they asked if they did not have . Authentic hidden kitchens.

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