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Best place to buy saffron in Madrid or Barcelona - also street art

Best place to buy saffron in Madrid or Barcelona - also street art

Old Sep 18th, 2022, 07:39 AM
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Best place to buy saffron in Madrid or Barcelona - also street art

Leaving soon for a much-anticipated trip to Spain. I wanted to bring back some saffron and, I know from other places we've traveled, quality can be hit or miss. Any suggestions? Also thinking sherry vinegar might be good to bring home. What else would be special and easy to carry back?

On another note, our favorite thing to collect from our travels is artwork - usually something from a street artist or local collective. Any ideas in either Madrid or Barcelona or Girona?
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Old Sep 18th, 2022, 08:11 AM
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If you plan on visiting La Pedera or Casa Batlló, both have really nice gift shops - I really liked the one at Casa Batlló, lots of interesting Gaudi inspired artwork and the usual miscellaneous doo-dads.
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Old Sep 18th, 2022, 08:50 AM
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  • Grocery store for saffron and sherry vinegar
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Old Sep 18th, 2022, 10:37 AM
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Best shop for saffron in Madrid: La Melguiza at Calle Santiago 12 https://www.lamelguiza.es/
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Old Sep 18th, 2022, 10:44 AM
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I wouldn't buy either one of those myself, but you must know people who cook with a lot of saffron. I don't cook things it would be required as they are too complicated and better in ethnic restaurants (like Indian dishes or risotto or bouillabaisse). It's best in those type of dishes, Also, spices like that aren't very good for that long (like beyond 6 months or so), but of course it is so expensive, you'd only buy a little. I suppose you'd just go to a grocery store or one of those big markets, I wouldn't buy it before my last stop as it isn't grown in either one of those places so just would be sent from the part of Spain where it is). I would buy strands not ground as you can detect better quality that way if you are a saffron fan. I imagine they sell it in La Boqueria covered mkt in Barcelona, but might be easier just to buy in a grocery store. I wouldn't buy liquid heavy stuff on a trip myself, like sherry vinegar, so can't help on that one but that isn't from either area, so I imagine same thing holds, go to a specialty supermarket or something. For the Jerez vinegar, just a regular grocery is probably fine. You can buy that in the US where I live for about $10 a large 750 ml bottle, made in Spain (brand Majuelo). That is a grocery store in the bottom of the El Corte Ingles store right off placa Catalunya. HEre is their brand in a small bottle for only a few euro. https://www.elcorteingles.es/superme...otella-250-ml/

Here is their safrina

https://www.elcorteingles.es/superme...ja-4-unidades/

I don't think I've ever bought any souvenir/gifts in Barcelona. I have in other parts of Spain. In Madrid, they have excellent silver jewelry and of course Majorica pearls. Also good handmade/painted pottery. I've bought in this store Cántaro, cerámica y alfarería
I've just bought some small plates which I could sort of wrap in my clothing for protection.

I've also bought some of the typical handpainted fans in Madrid which I really like for decoration on my mantel. Those are all over in various souvenir/craft shops. You can buy little stands to hold them also. Those are real easy to pack. HEre is a picture of store fronts with them

https://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-sp...-78889815.html

There were several stores like that near where I stayed, I think on c Preciados.

This is a good website for finding store types in Madrid

https://www.esmadrid.com/en/shopping/lladro
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Old Sep 18th, 2022, 10:52 AM
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I don't know what is wrong with FOdors that it did that, I said saffron is from La Mancha which isn't too far from Madrid, not near Barcelona, but I don't think that matter in terms of buying it in stores.
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Old Sep 18th, 2022, 11:25 AM
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I enthusiastically second Revulgo's recommendation of the saffron boutique shop, La Melguiza, for everything saffron.
(An Arab sheik sent his 2 personal shoppers there some time ago and they spent 22,000 euros!)

Also for beautiful Spanish handicrafts I shop in Madrid at La Real Fábrica Española, a lovely little shop on Calle Cervantes--here you'll find the coveted mohair blankets and scarves from Ezcaray, soaps, perfumes, Fajalauza ceramics from Granada, ceramic plates/bowls from Cáceres, tablecloths and napkins, decorative black swallows from Manises and other decorative items. The shop reminds me of a smaller version of Lisbon's A Vida Portuguesa.

https://realfabrica.com

For interesting art work, the Thyssen Bornemisza Museum has a lovely shop, as does the Centro de Arte Reina Sofía.

For sherry vinegar and olive oils, I like the brands that are sold in the beautiful gourmet delicatessen, Mantequerías Bravo, on Calle Ayala in the Salamanca district. The shop itself is a treat for the eyes and the senses, ninety years old and oozing with character. Prices aren't cheap but it's a pleasure even to window shop there, as the quality is very high. Also nearby is the Alacena del Gourmet inside the terrific Mercado de la Paz, my favorite indoor market with entrance on Ayala.

https://mantequeriasbravo.com
https://www.mercadodelapaz.com

Although you didn't mention extra virgin olive oil, there is a very nice olive oil specialty shop in the Salesas area, La Comunal, at Calle Mejía Lequerica 1 that sells the finest products from all the olive oil producing regions of Spain.
https://lacomunal.es/tienda-en-madrid/

If you happen to be in Madrid on Saturday, Sept 24, on Calle Huertas in the Literary Quarter (Barrio de las Letras) of Old Madrid, there will be an outdoor market from noon until 8 pm. It's the "Mercado de las Ranas" street art fair. The shops take their wares out to the street in a sort of flea market fashion. I've never purchased anything there but if you happen to be in Madrid next Sat., it might be fun to take a look at the offerings.

Last edited by Maribel; Sep 18th, 2022 at 11:36 AM.
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Old Sep 18th, 2022, 04:42 PM
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Thanks everybody, especially Maribel! I have noted these places and will definitely check them out. By the way Christina, we love to cook and use saffron in several dishes. As a matter of fact, we are signed up for the Paella cooking class at Cook and Taste. Very excited!

Maribel, I have been studying your restaurant suggestions and hope we get to try several. Unfortunately, we won't be there this weekend for the Mercado de las Ranas. We'll be in Barcelona from 29/9 to 5/10 and then Madrid from 5/10 to 10/10 in case you think of any other special events during that time. Thanks again!
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Old Sep 18th, 2022, 05:25 PM
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We use lots of saffron as well, as we have various types of paella on Sundays. I'll keep your Madrid dates in mind and check on special events for your 5 days.
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Old Sep 18th, 2022, 05:35 PM
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I really wonder and wanted to try this spice. I always saw it on TV or on the internet but is it really a big difference in the taste of the food if you will use it.
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Old Sep 18th, 2022, 06:32 PM
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Depending on when you arrive in Madrid on Wednesday October 5, there's the Solemn Changing of the Guard at the Royal Palace at noon, but it's best to get there early because it attracts big crowds.
https://www.esmadrid.com/en/whats-on...d-royal-palace.

If you're an art lover, there's a wonderful temporary exhibit at the Sorolla Museum, one of my favorite art museums, "Sorolla en negro". The museum is this Spanish post-impressionists' atelier/home, which is also a wonderful decorative arts museum, which really merits a visit.
https://www.culturaydeporte.gob.es/msorolla/inicio.html

There is a "Mummies of Egypt" exhibit going on until Oct 26 at the Caixa Forum.
https://caixaforum.org/es/madrid/p/m...ipto_a29681594.

At the Thyssen Bormemisza Museum there will be a Picasso and Chanel exhibit starting Oct. 11.
https://www.museothyssen.org/en




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Old Sep 18th, 2022, 09:51 PM
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On October 8 and 9, the cool 'Mercado de Motores' market is settled in a former railway station. Fashion, décor, music, gastronomy​…
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Old Sep 19th, 2022, 11:33 AM
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Wow! Thanks Revulgo. We have something very similar here at our old railyards. Will check it out.
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Old Sep 19th, 2022, 11:35 AM
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Thanks Maribel. I have the changing of the guard noted to go to on Saturday. I doubt we would get there in time on Wednesday. Will look at all the others, but we are only in Madrid until the 10th. Too much to do!
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Old Sep 19th, 2022, 12:10 PM
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What to do in Madrid https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer...0Ee5QhoSV3RolA
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Old Sep 20th, 2022, 02:02 AM
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Saffron is an expensive product, regardless of the fact Spain has some saffron production. Keep that in mind.

In the Catalan language, spoken in Catalonia (where Barcelona is the capital of), saffron is "safrà", roughly pronounced "sah-frah" with the strong syllable being the last one.

In Catalonia, there are around 50 local producers of saffron in 14 different geographical areas. The saffron produced in each one has different properties due to different climate conditions and ground composition. In areas such as the Conca de Barberà, Segarra, Bages, Urgell or Anoia, this crop experienced splendid moments between the 18th and 19th centuries. From the port of Barcelona, Catalan production was exported to different parts of the world. During this year's campaign, which is ending now in October with the harvest of very high-quality saffron, around 100,000 bulbs have already been planted.

This species is usually considered a good ingredient to enhance the aroma, taste and colour of rice and meals that come from the sea, but the use that has been made of it traditionally is very varied, both in dishes and desserts. My grandmother always put saffron in the mince, but not in the rice, as Catalonia does not like 'yellow' rice. Also in "escudella", a traditional hearty stew of meat and vegetables eaten at Christmas.

Some of the local producers: https://www.safradelmontsec.com/en/ - https://aromis.cat/en/ - https://www.safradelpallars.cat/ - https://www.safracat.cat/ (organic production)

As per shops in Barcelona:

-These three are located around El Born Centre de Cultura i Memòria Museum in the Old City:-The chain of organic food VERITAS, https://www.veritas.es/ca/ with several shops in the city, offers saffron from Molí del Pomerí.
-AL GRÀ, https://al-gra.com/ in Carrer de Sant Cristòfol, 17 (in Gràcia District)
-CASA RUIZ, https://casaruizgranel.com/ca/ in Carrer d'Aribau, 169 (in l'Eixample district)
-BON GRANEL, https://www.bongranel.es/ca/ in Carrer de Sants, 143 -not 100% sure though they carry saffron also

Then, this is not a shop but a company, but you might be interested anyway: https://damune.com/en/ They're located in Carrer Provença, 257, Entl C not far from Gaudí's La Pedrera museum.

Enjoy!

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Old Sep 20th, 2022, 10:11 AM
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I enjoy shopping at Casa Gispert that our Barcelona native Fodorite, EricM recommends.
I was just reading an article about the catalán saffron in the Culinary Backstreets newsletter.

https://culinarybackstreets.com/citi...eid=e77ae6aa3d.

At the saffron boutique La Melguiza that our Madrid local expert Revulgo recommends, the saffron comes from 2 different areas, the D.O.P. Castilla La Mancha and a variety from Teruel.
Here in this boutique on Calle Santiago they also sell soaps, shampoos, cosmetics and. candles with saffron as an ingredient.

Some photos of the shop and its wares-
https://www.expansion.com/fueradeserie/gastro/2021/05/20/60a22285468aeb773a8b46aa.html

https://www.wallpaper.com/travel/spain/madrid/shops/la-melguiza


And I almost forgot------Happy World Paella Day!

Last edited by Maribel; Sep 20th, 2022 at 10:17 AM.
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Old Sep 20th, 2022, 11:38 AM
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Having tapas like a local in La Latina
https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer...M_n0UfSteGaLVT
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Old Sep 20th, 2022, 04:03 PM
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Thank you Enric, Maribel and Revulgo! A real treasure trove of info. Certainly, more than I ever knew about saffron. We love visiting gourmet stores when we travel and always try to bring home some local ingredients so this will be fun. By the way, we did sign up for the Devour Tours tapas walk in Madrid. We took their pinxtos tour in San Sebastian and had a great time.

I just started reading Grape, Olive, Pig: Deep travels through Spain's food culture. A really good read. I'd be curious to see what you Spaniards think!
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Old Sep 20th, 2022, 04:13 PM
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Yes, I have Grape, Olive, Pig in my library. It's a good read, especially the chapter about the ancient, net method of tuna fishing, the almadraba, on the Costa de la Luz.
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