Star spanish products
Majority of my friends and families, when they came at Barcelona the first time, always asked me “what to buy ?”, “what things to bring home ?”
If you travel a lot, you should know that each country, not only, has its own particularity but also its own national products. I am not going to tell you to buy postcards, souvenir dolls… because firstly, I didn’t and won’t recommend it to my circle so I will not do it with you too. Secondly, because such things you can guess by yourself and you don’t need any help.
Just walking down la rambla street, around plaza catalunya...
you will find a lot of shops and stalls which sell postcards, jewels, dolls, paintings, t-shirts... but Barcelona and Spain, in general, don’t resume to those products. Spain owns star products like wine and ham for example. Iberian ham is famous world widely (well may be not, I don’t think that tribes in Amazon know it :-) and you can find a lot of types but the best one is called “pata negra” (black leg) and it is the most expensive one. The starting normal price is around 20€/kg and if you buy the whole piece, it can weight 5 kg minimum.
When I said the whole piece, it includes the bone but you have the option to buy it without (easier to transport) or you can buy only a portion (easiest to transport and cheaper because smaller).
Most of the autonomous regions produce their own wine and you will find more diversity in red and white wine than in rose wine. The best ones, for me, are from Rivera del Duero which unites 4 towns (Burgos, Segovia, Soria and Valladolid).
Wines are made and produced according to the rule of the denomination of origin and in order to get this denomination, the final product has to pass a test established and performed by the Regulatory Council which includes an instrumental (chemical, biological and physical) and organoleptic analysis. They are divided in 4 categories : young, aging, reserve and grand reserve.
About liqueur, I will recommend you the catalan cream liqueur (licor de crema catalana - which has a taste similar to the baileys, a little sweater in my opinion but very good) and the pacharán (liqueur based on anisette and sloe).
Another liquid product but not alcohol is the olive oil which is rich in vitamins (A, D, E and K) and favor the absorption of minerals (calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and zinc). In Spain, you can find it in 3 different categories : refined, virgin and extra virgin.
Like the wine, the cheese is made and produced from different autonomous regions with their own characteristic and aroma. It exists 23 protected cheeses with the denomination of origin like manchego cheese from La Mancha region and they are divided in 4 categories : farmer or cottage, cured, creamy and green or blue. One of the cheese I like it is the denomination of origin Idiazabal cheese – made of sheep milk and with an intense flavor.
By walking a little, you will easily come across shops which sell those products but if you want to find them all in the same place, I will recommend you to go to supermarket like Carrefour, Alcampo, El Corte Ingles…
If not, you can go to specialized stores which sell only wine, ham… At La Boqueria in Barcelona on la rambla street, you can find those stores. And if you want to buy those products cheaper, I counsel you to shop outside of the downtown area (around plaza catalunya) like Gracia neighborhood.
Of course there are more spanish products to buy like "angula" (young eel) and a lot of things that you may not encounter in your country but those described in this topic are the main ones that I recommend first to everyone.