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As the stage for our epic culinary tours of Barcelona we’ve spent years getting to know the vendors and tracking down the very best bites of the neighborhoods we visit. With this Barrio Box – and the accompanying video virtual “tour” – savor some of these iconic establishments in your own home and support and celebrate their return to business.
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When the afternoon hora de vermut comes, you’ll have everything you need to partake as if you’re in Barcelona (sadly we are not allowed to ship the vermouth itself – but we will include a list of recommended bottles). First, spread out the paper placemat from the Sant Antoni neighborhood’s beloved Bodega d’en Rafel, in business for some 100 years, pour some vermouth into the included classic bodega glasses and open up the selection of artisanal tinned seafood from Entrelatas, a favorite conservas shop in Grácia. Add to the table Llargueta almonds roasted at Casa Gispert, a food shop in the El Born neighborhood that opened in 1851 and that has one of Europe’s oldest nut roasters, and dip into the can of heavenly olives in anchovy paste from L’espinaler – a Catalan brand that is synonymous with vermouth culture – and the party has begun.
When it’s time to cook, add local accents to your dishes with a truly distinct Arbequina extra virgin olive oil or saffron from Castilla la Mancha saffron, an essential ingredient in paella and other dishes beloved in Barcelona. If you are roasting vegetables, do it the Catalan way and serve it with the included piquant Romesco sauce from Casa Gispert. The sweet finish of this box – turrón, a nougat made from Marcona almonds – is delicious any time of the year, but most closely associated with Christmas, when residents of Barcelona line up to buy it from tiny stands set up for the holiday. As surely as Christmas is coming, Barcelona – and more turrón and horas de vermut – is waiting for you.
Extra: Included with your purchase is a link to stream a video virtual “tour” that brings you right into the shops, bodegas and restaurants represented inside the box. Hosted by our local bureau chief Paula Mourenza, who curated the box, the video takes you through the Barcelona backstreets to get a deeper sense of the products in your box, the people behind them and their role in neighborhood culinary culture. It’s our way of bringing Barcelona a little bit closer to you.