Spain: Bubo, Takashi Ochiai, and Girona (not in that order)

3 Apr

Yes, this cake was as amazing as it looks. It was a passion fruit-banana tart. It came from a “pastiserria” (pastry shop) called “Bubo”, which is also the name of Pastry Chef Carlos Mampel’s tapas door, next door. Both are near the Basilica Santa Maria del Mar, in Barcelona’s El Born neighborhood. My friend Karina, took me on a walking tour on Sunday of some of Barcelona’s best pastry shops. I was still struggling with my stomach, but those few bites of the Bubo tart were amazing. I’ll be back to sample some of the other goodies, below:

Before Bubo, we stopped by a Japanese pastry shop, called Takashi Ochiai. I bought a few items to gift to Diana in exchange for holding my bag while I went back to the states. I bought her fresca (strawberry) and green tea macaroons (they were gigantic), as well as something called Daifuku, which looks like mochi, but it’s not exactly. It’s soy wrapped in rice paper, and it’s kind of sweet, but kind of not. Diana thought it tasted like something you get at communion. I had to agree. I also took a bite of her strawberry macaroon (I know, I ate her gifts – bad, Rachel!), but it was the best macaroon I’ve ever eaten. I will return to Takashi Ochiai for the iced green tea, which is only served on Mondays and Tuesdays (a very special treat according to Karina) and more macaroons. I’ll also try some of their other delicacies, such as Kastera de té verde which is supposedly like a piece of green tea pound cake.

Below are some pictures of Girona. Mark and I went on a day trip there a while back and I’m just getting around to posting the pictures. Girona is an interesting town. It’s about 1 1/2 hours north, by slow train. It has an old part of the city in which there is a beautiful cathedral, stone-walled buildings, cobblestone streets that meander, and ancient Arab baths. Then, they have a new section of the city in which there is some pretty decent window shopping for clothes to be had. We didn’t actually shop or check out the modern city as we had an agenda to see just the old part on that trip. I’ll be back to window shop and to buy some organic gin (for my dad) I saw in a very unique liquor store that was closed for siesta time, or maybe just closed the day we went. Below are some pics of the Arab baths (actually, a bath), the cathedral and other old buildings.

Arab bath:

Ceiling of Arab bath:

Beautiful masonry work on the walls of the bath:


Cathedral from afar:

Other pics of the old town:

As you can tell from the pictures, we were lucky to visit Girona on another gorgeous day in Spain. I think it was 79 degrees F that day. When I left, it was also in the low 70s, high 60s.

Today, in Canon City, CO it’s snowing and in the 40s. Yikes! But, I kind of like it. I haven’t seen snow in a while and it’s refreshing. I’ll be here for 2 weeks, and then I’ll be back in Spain.

So, although I won’t be blogging about Spain in the next couple of weeks, I’m sure I’ll be cooking for my mom, so I’ll post any yummy recipes I make in that time. Happy Eating!

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