The joy of food shopping in Spain: First the fish

I love food shopping…all kinds. I’d happily do it for other people if they’d pay me enough! I know, it is kind of weird, but even a trawl around the supermarket at home is enjoyable for me. So imagine how excited I get when I’m abroad! I seem to take as many photographs as products I buy so of course I had to post a blog about it. Then when I was downloading my photos I realised that there were several posts to share with you. So first the fish!

Okay, it helps that in the La Manga area you are surrounded by water that seems abundant with all kinds of tasty morsels. The fish shop (pescados) in Cabo de Palos is a true stunner! It is a fishing village of course, so they have everything you could want and stuff I haven’t ever seen before.

These beautiful cigala are similar to langostines or Dublin Bay prawns. One of my favourite chefs, Rick Stein, always raves about them.


A temptingly pink box of cigala

The richly coloured pulpo (octopus) always makes for a dramatic picture. This is ready cooked (cocido) so even more of the work is done for you. It’s perfect for a traditional Galician-style dish of cooked octopus with boiled potatoes, olive oil and sweet Spanish paprika.



These beautiful babies are called escorpora, I couldn’t find a direct translation into English. They look amazing though.


Impossible to resist taking a picture of these in their beautiful redness

A bowlful of fresh clams (almeja)

A bowlful of fresh clams (almeja)

And then there’s the supermarket (Mercadona). Their fish counter always makes me gasp with delight. There’s often a queue there while four of five ladies work busily at preparing an amazing variety of fish to their customers specifications.

The fish counter in the local supermarket

The fish counter in the local supermarket

Okay, so they aren’t fish, but they do live in shells…so I couldn’t resist adding this large bag of snails discovered at one of the vegetable stalls at the market in Cabo de Palos. I have to admit I wasn’t brave enough to buy them and have never cooked snails. Any suggestions anyone?

A large bag of live snails in the market

A large bag of live snails in the market

Seriously, this is just a small sample of what’s available. And I have no idea on how to cook a lot of the produce on sale…I guess it’s a mission I’m going to have to accept for the future.

2 thoughts on “The joy of food shopping in Spain: First the fish

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