1. Barcelona: Paella Cooking Experience & Boqueria Market Tour
On this 3-hour activity you’ll join a professional chef on an introductory tour of the world famous Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria, Barcelona's oldest and best food market, dating back to the 13th century. While telling you about the foods on offer, especially the seafood, and the basics of Spanish and Catalan cuisine, the chef will buy some of the fresh ingredients needed to prepare an authentic paella de marisco, or seafood paella, Spain’s traditional rice dish. Walk with the chef through the winding streets of La Ciutat Vella, or old town, to El Born, the most fashionable district of the city. Enter you your private dining room that’s adjacent to the big open kitchen where the chef will prepare the delicious paella de marisco, as you watch the process. Take the edge off your appetite with some traditional Spanish and Catalan hot and cold tapas. The chef will introduce you to a variety of the famous appetizers such as patatas bravas, pimientos de padrón, tortilla de patatas, chorizo, and of course the famous dry-cured ham, el jamón. Learn how to make your own pan con tomate, the most typical Catalan tapa, and how to build traditional Basque pintxos or montaditos, the tapas with toothpicks. Then you can enjoy your creations accompanied by some lovely sangría. While you are eating your tapas and homemade pintxos, the chef will cook the paella de marisco. You’ll be into the adjacent open kitchen to stand around the large paellera, the traditional round, shallow pan made of polished steel that the paella de marisco will be prepared in. As the chef begins to prepare the paella you’ll hear about the history of the dish, the ingredients used, and the steps in the preparation. With the paella simmering in the kitchen you’ll be invited over to the bar where you’ll learn all there is to know about sangría, the world famous Iberian wine punch that dates back to medieval times. Try your hand at mixing your own sangría. Once the paella de marisco is finally ready to be enjoyed, you’ll head back to the tables, sit down, and enjoy the feast along with your own freshly mixed sangria.