Madrid Musings: Mercado de San Miguel

One of my favorite "foodie" experiences during my trip to Madrid was visiting the Mercado de San Miguel. In fact, I enjoyed it so much, I went each day while I was there. The market reminded me of the West Side Market in Cleveland, but with serious Spanish flair. There are a variety of vendors (over 30, I believe) serving different tapas dishes, meats, sherry, and seafood. I didn't even know where to begin, so I just started wandering.

One of the delicacies of Spain is Jamón Ibérico which is harvested from black Iberian pigs. The finest selection is Jamón Ibérico de Bellota which is ham that is harvested from free range pigs who roam around oak forests and have a diet that consists primarily of acorns. While this is becoming more common in the United States, I couldn't believe my eyes when I turned the corner and saw so many hanging in the storefront. 

My name is Catherine Courtney and I am addicted to cheese. Imagine the smile on my face when I saw this case? Burrata and mozzarella in almost every combination possible! It took quite a bit of self-restraint not to order one of each. 

It's hard for me to think of Spanish food and olives not immediately come to mind. During my first trip to Spain, I visited Barcelona where I had the world renown Adriá olives. While these were olives weren't quite the same, I loved the assorted spears that were available for purchase. I could make a meal on these alone! 

Further down the aisle, I found an amazing nut vendor. He had almost every nut imaginable! 

In case you weren't hungry enough or perhaps needed a heartier of a dish, there was a vendor serving up three different kinds of paella: vegetable(featured below), chicken and seafood. Apparently, I did a poor job timing my visits to the market because every time I would visit this booth, the seafood paella was sold out. Clearly, it was a crowd favorite. Seriously though, how big is that pan?!?

Finally, a few other pictures from the market. I truly wish there were more markets like this in the United States. I enjoyed getting lost among the hustle and bustle checking out the tapas bites. It was interesting to see what was popular among the Spanish culture. Thanks for joining me on my journey!   

Until Next Time!