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Aug 30, 2013 09:43 AM

Food souvenirs I should bring back from Barcelona?

Back when I was in Paris (about two years ago), I managed to take a number of macarons, chocolates, hard cheeses (vacuum packed ), bread and even Tahitian vanilla beans (relatively inexpensive) back to NYC to give as gifts to friends and family.

I am hoping to do a similar thing with my upcoming trip to Barcelona and am wondering are there any cheese shops, shops that carry a great selection of Spanish olive oils, spices, gourmet specialty stores (similar to G. Detou in Paris), and kitchenware shops you'd recommend?

Thanks again!

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  1. Roasted hazelnuts from Casa Gispert (roasted in a 150 y.o. wood burning roaster which adds a little smokiness to them) It's also a great place for fancy beans - some of the new crop could be in by late October and freshly dried beans are always a treat to me.
    Vila Viniteca has a nice selection of high-end canned seafood and other gourmet things and a great liquor/wine store (there's an unusual gin from BCN that I like - Gin Mare)
    La Ribera is a good for lots of things - canned seafood, oil, wine, vinegar, spices

    2 Replies
    1. re: caganer

      Ooh! Thanks, caganer!

      Where is La Ribera? I've tried Googling it but the searches point to the neighborhood rather than an actual store.

      1. re: chocokitty

        Plaça Comercial, 11 - the edge of el Born very close to Estacio de Francia

    2. Tin cans of food (fish, seafood), jars of preserved stuff...

      Jamon (vacuum sealed),...

      I really like the "Formategia La Seu" (Carrer de la Dagueria, 16) cheese store; owner in english, so it helps if your spanish/catalan is not that good, but it is not a tourist shop.

      11 Replies
      1. re: Maximilien

        I would skip bringing jamon into the US, especially for a New Yorker - freshly hand-sliced ham from D'España in soho will be better than vacuum packed and the fine from customs can be hefty.

        1. re: caganer

          I know ham (or any pork product, really) is a big no-no for US Customs...

          I'm definitely going to the Formatgeria La Seu. (I love cheese of any type, especially the unique or funky ones.)

          1. re: caganer

            One of several threads on this topic:


            With limited time, you can find a fabulous array of items at Corte Ingles, at the food markets, and at La Ribera in Born. Torta del Casar is a wonderful cheese from Extremadura with limited availability in the US. I always bring home ventresca tuna, and other, more unusual canned seafood products such as berberechos. The variety of conserved seafood is astounding..look at any large supermarket and you will see shelf after shelf. Make sure to check prices at home and online before buying, though. ( I just bought Ortiz canned ventresca (in red box) online for about $10 per can including shipping; you may not find it for that price in Spain


            Boquerones, or white anchovies.

            Pimenton, or smoked paprika in the three varieties (the agridulce version is not easy to find in the US) is always in my bag, in multiples.

            Also like the "tomato marmelade" made by the famous Sevilla preserve maker (forget the name right now but available in supermarkets).
            Interesting varieties of dried beans like Tolosa.

            Saffron (threads, only, never powdered, and always marked with region of origin; look for La Mancha) La Ribera is a good spot for this.

            Pedro Ximenez (sherry) vinegar. (look at label in back to make sure there is large proportion of PX; I like the Lustau product but can be difficult to find).

            Canned piquillo peppers from Navarra.
            Marcona almonds.

            Those are just a few of my basics; I could go on and on....

            1. re: erica

              ( I just bought Ortiz canned ventresca (in red box) online for about $10 per can including shipping; you may not find it for that price in Spain.)

              That is an extraordinary price for an extraordinary tuna. When l worked at D&D we sold it for $16 and that was 5 years ago.
              l get it in Paris for @ 10 euros. Going online now, thanks

              1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                That can is around 7-8€ in Spanish supermarkets, so about the same price. But you can find larger formats that come out much cheaper per kilo.

                1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                  Welcome. Look at Taylor's Market, on Amazon.

                  1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                    I have a case of Ortiz Bonito del Norte so googled to see what you referred to. Here it is on Amazon for $5!


                  2. re: erica

                    I think you mean La Vieja Fabrica / Angel Camacho brand of mermelada...and don't forget the Albaracoque with Sevilla orange!

                    Forget the meats. A disappointed soul and his family in front of us had their bags stripped to the bones in search of contraband hams and Customs pulled about $300 bucks worth from their stash.

                    Agree with Erica...pimenton, azafran threads with a stop at El Corte Ingles to get the lay of the land, at the lowest prices.

                    1. re: Mike R.

                      El Corte Inglès and lowest prices are not really terms that go hand in hand. The supermarket at El Corte Inglès is pretty much the most expensive place to buy groceries in Spain.

                      You can find things much cheaper at large or even medium-sized supermarkets. Unfortunately, to get to those you have to leave the city centre. That considered, I would rather buy my food souvenirs from a local colmado like LaFuente, Colmado Quilez or La Ribera instead of giving my money to some overpriced department store.

                      1. re: SnackHappy

                        There are Mercadona supermarkets in Barcelona; they tend to have very good prices, especially on their own brand of products, including ventresca.

                        Mike: Yes, I think that is the name of the marmelade I bought!
                        Reasonable prices and a long line of fruit-based conserves.

                      2. re: Mike R.

                        We were on a cruise ship that departed BCN and the celebrity chef got his confiscated. Don't know what he subbed :(

                2. Don't be a dum-dum like me and forget to bring back Salsa Espinaler for your canned seafood. It's great on potato chips, too!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: SnackHappy

                    Yes, and pack the bottle well, to avoid leakage!!!! (from experience!)