Thursday, September 12, 2013

lunch at El Quim de la Boqueria

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Everyone talks about how great food in Barcelona is, but like ever urban city, there's also lots of bad food. Paris, Tokyo, New York, Shanghai - you can have transcendant food experiences, but also eat at places where the owners/chefs are clearly bored, uninspired, and otherwise simply untalented. I've experienced a few of those already here, but for one lunch, all those disappointments went away.

The Mercat de la Boqueria. A must-see on every tourists checklist during their Barcelona vacation, but locals come here too. For the seafood, for the produce - and for a quick bite. El Quim de la Boqueria, a busy bar set up right in the middle of the market, where standing to eat is sometimes part of the charm. And we stood. Lunch was stunning. The first time I experienced the magic that is los pimientos de Padrón, peppers from the village of Padrón whose harvest amounts to only about 15,000 kilos a year. Its season is ending fast, and I'm doing my best to consume as much as humanly (and financially) possible. Delicious. Full of that intense, sweet/smoky pepper flavour, while retaining a fabulous texture. Those flakes of salt sprinkled just before serving, the way the pepper's skin blisters but stays a brilliant green - a stunning, stunning find. Other things were ordered and consumed, but I'll never forget my first bite of this treasure.

Things are going to start getting real very fast. So before school begins, I want to remind myself why I'm here, why I made this sacrifice. I want to change my life and become a better person. Not to be a better analyst, or a better financial mind, or a better problem-solver. I want to be a better person. As I was (drunkenly) saying to a few classmates last night, I want to be open, but I can't compromise who I am as a person. I simply cannot. And gin, above all, reveals truth. That is my truth.

One thing at a time. One thing at a time. We're here for a reason and at least for me, I'm determined to simply be myself, drunk and stuffed with shellfish.

DF

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