Barcelona is the jewel of Catalunya, or Catalonia, province in Spain. Catalunya is in the northeast sector of Spain, flanked by the Mediterranean, Andorra, and France. The food from this episode is primarily the fruits of the Med and the best that the rich land has to offer.
Barcelona has been given short shrift for many years, at least up until about 10 or so years ago, when it was suddenly rediscovered. Spain was the poor cousin of the EU countries up until about 15 years ago, when many businesses discovered the lower cost of doing business in the country, along with the gorgeous, lengthy coastline, and the sun, which is what gives the land the bounty we see during this series. The wines, the vegetables and fruits, and of course the pork and seafood which define Spain. The influx of other European businesses had the added bonus of allowing those Europeans coming into the country to extol the country’s beauties and bounties. Now, suddenly, property values shot up, music festivals began cropping up, and tourism rocketed. The property boom brought many Euros from the wealthy Europeans who were now becoming familiar with the country, and the rest is history, as they say.
I spent a week in Barcelona about ten years ago, but unfortunately I was working and got little chance to see the sights. I think I saw more of the most famous sites in this episode than during the week I was there. Spain is noted worldwide for its artists and architects, and Barcelona is filled with examples of both.
Sometimes, when you’re watching a TV show, you’ll look at the clock and note that you’ve been watching an hour, while only three or four minutes has elapsed. This series is quite the opposite. You’ve watched it for three or four minutes and suddenly the episode is ending. I stated that I saw more during the show than during my week there. Yet, I was irritated when the end credits began running, as I felt they’d hardly scratched the surface. But I’m not complaining, because it gives me that much more reason and determination to return to Spain.