27 April 2014

Redneck Gitana: Mercado de San Miguel

On our recent trip to Spain, we flew into Madrid and barely had twenty-four hours before heading south to Seville.  I wasn't going to pass through town without visiting it's premier market, Mercado de San Miguel.  




Mercado de San Miguel is a gourmet indoor market in the center of old Madrid, steps from the Plaza Mayor.  It's not where one goes to get groceries, but to have a snack, a drink, or pick up specialty items.




Our first stop was for a drink at the vermouth stall.  Vermouth is a very common aperitif in the north of Spain.  It's typical to order a vermut de grifo--literally draft vermouth or house vermouth.




I know it seems odd to drink vermouth straight since we don't have that practice in the States, but it quickly became a favorite.




It easily pairs with strong flavored tapas such as the assortment of olives--olives stuffed with tuna, olives stuffed with anchovy, olives with cheese or cured meats or sun-dried tomato.  The list goes on.   




A drink and olives (and several slices of queso manchego for Viv) sustained us through a quick tour of the very crowded market . . .


monkfish at the fresh seafood counter . . .





boiled Galician barnacles, a delicacy. . .




a stall devoted to fresh oysters and champagne . . .



large grilled red shrimp . . .




angulas, or baby eels, on bread . . .




the burrata trend is alive in Madrid as well . . .




a section devoted to the prized Iberian ham . . .





chorizo and chicharrones (crispy pig skin),







and then a beer and some chorizo bites before heading to our next stop.

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