Monday, December 10, 2007

To market, to market

When I first started going to the Mercado de la Concepción six years ago, I looked around at all the stands and picked one in each category with a long line – that seemed a sure guarantee of quality. That’s how I got to know the Fina Coloma family. And while I’ve been shopping there for six years, someone from their family has been at the market for over sixty.

It all started when the current generation’s grandmother moved to Barcelona to clean houses when she was 12. Those were different times. She was quick as a whip and when she had the chance to take over a market stall, she didn’t blink, even though she didn’t know a thing about butchering chickens. Of course she learned and things went well and when her daughters turned 12 she took over another one so that they could have their own. Those were different times too. The current generation started helping out when they were 18 and now, some years later (don’t worry girls, I won’t reveal any secrets,) they’ve seen it all. All of the changes in society pass through the market it seems. Thirty years ago, people bought quartered chickens (a few sophisticates ordered filleted chicken breasts.) Now people wait in line for their chicken meatballs, croquettes, canalones and other prepared dishes because even though they don’t cook at home they still want to make sure they’re putting good food they can trust on the table for their family.

If you’re still wondering where to go for your holiday bird, you have until the 15th to place your order (and you know they can trust them – they sell about 400 big birds a year for the holidays.) The year I made Christmas lunch for the family they gave me the recipe too. Be sure to stop by to see them regardless - their matching aprons (which vary from day to day so hope you show up for the roosters, or poinsettias,) and their quick wit will put a smile on your face after a morning of running errands.
Mercadp de la Concepción:
carrer Aragó, 311 bis
93 457 5329
Fina Coloma:
93 457 5335

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