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Jamon in the Boqueria

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Hi. I've done some research on the Boqueria in Barcelona and apparently there are dozens of vendors selling Jamon bellota. So the obvious question arises... should I seek out a particular vendor to get my Jamon on? I'm not trying to buy a whole jamon. I just want to assemble a "do it yourself" jamon sampler, trying jamon from different regions and different parts on the pig. I've read about Jamonisimo, but I'm looking for an easy/cheaper "go-to" place for Jamon. Somewhere that I can go daily to get my fix. I'll be in Barcelona for five days.

Is it better just to buy a plate or bocadillo from one of the tapas stalls? Any advice would be much appreciated!

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  1. First off, Jamon comes from only one part of the pig. The back legs. What's made from from the front leg is called Paleta. It's very good in it's own right, in fact I prefer it for bocadillos, but it's not jamon. Another popular cured cut is Lomo which is the tenderloin. I'm not a big fan of lomo, but it's not bad. Then there are the embutidos: salchichon, fuet, chorizo, dried morcilla...

    You could go to a restaurant and order a plato or tabla de Ibericos, but you will pay way more than what you would at the market for the same quality.

    Your best bet is to make your way past the two first jamon stalls at the entrance of the market and go a bit further into the market. I like the two places more or less across from the wine shop. Get some hand cut jamon and paleta. The best I've tried is jamon de Guijuelo, but there are others like Jabugo that are equally good. Once you have all your stuff go find some good queso manchego, some wine and some bread and head over to the Parque de la Ciutadella for a nice picnic.

    8 Replies
    1. re: SnackHappy

      Barcelona locals have told me that Boqueria is going to be unnecessarily expensive, that same quality can be found at other, less touristed neighborhood markets.

      1. re: magiesmom

        Yes indeed, you can get the same stuff at Santa-Caterina or Mercat de la Llibertat. Both are very nice markets with great selection. AFAIK, other markets have less selection. There are also very good charcuterie shops outside the markets. I don't know if prices for charcuterie vary as much as they do for fresh produce.

        It's certainly a valid point, though. I would encourage anyone going to Barcelona and who has the time to visit the two markets I mentionned at the top of my post.

        1. re: SnackHappy

          Snackhappy,

          have you been to the Concepción market in Eixample? It is only 10 minutes from where we are staying.

          1. re: SmokinActuary

            We stayed a couple of blocks away last month and shopped at the Concepción market and the grocery store under it. There are a few stalls with jamon that you can try. It is a really nice market and nice to have it just down the street.

            1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

              Thanks for all the suggestions! We're staying right in the middle, between the Eixample and Gothic quarter, so it looks like we have choices. I was hoping to make Boqueria our "one stop" food shopping headquarters, but it looks like we'll have to spread it around a little. That's fine. We're here for almost a week so we'll have fun exploring new markets.

              1. re: jamonman

                The Boqueria should be experienced. It may be one market in the world that gives one the Stendhal syndrome.
                Ceci dit, it is not necessarily the best market of Barcelona. Nor am I saying it is bad, it is not.
                My fave is the Santa Caterina, because of what's inside and surrounding too, and because when I am in town I always live near it. But I always go at least once to the Boqueria, sit down for a plate of cipis at El Qim. It's part of the hajj.

                1. re: Parigi

                  We were in Barcelona in May. I definitely preferred Santa Caterina to Boqueria. The variety and quality of food was fantastic and it was less of a frenzied atmosphere. We also enjoyed having a bite to eat in the restaurant there.

            2. re: SmokinActuary

              I've only walked through Mercat de la Concepció once on a day when I didn't have any time to stop and shop, but I remember being quite impressed. It's a lovely space with a good number of nice looking shops. I'd say it's definitely worth a visit.