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On a Peruvian restaurant in Barcelona


In a time when European teenagers travel to Asia, Africa and the Americas at a drop of a hat, I sometimes find it embarassing to admit that I am well past forty and have never been out of Europe. Slowly, however, this shame is going the way of all flesh as Catalonia becomes dotted with more and more food shops and restaurants run by members of what has gradually become a hugely diverse immigrant community. My stomach, at least, can now travel around the planet, without me having to move more than a kilometre or two from my Eixample flat.
This week, for example, I visited Peru for the first time (one stop on the metro) courtesy of the Cebichería-Marisqueria restaurant. Luckily, I was with friends who were regular customers (he Catalan, she Peruvian) because although the menu was written in Spanish, it was a Spanish liquidised over the centuries with Quechua (now the fifth most spoken language in Catalonia), not to mention Aymara and the numerous tongues of the Amazon. Not understanding a word, I stared, nonplussed, at dishes such as 'cebiche', 'chicharrón', and 'papa a la huancaina' until my friends did the ordering for me and I discovered that huancaina was a yellow sauce served on baked potato, that chicharrón was fish (or octopus) fried in breadcrumbs, and that cebiche – the Peruvian national dish - was one of the most delicious things I'd eaten for years: raw fish marinated in lime juice and served with chili, tomato and thinly sliced onion. In the restaurant they had local Estrella beer, but I decided to stay in Peru and ordered Cristal, a fine, mild lager brewed in Lima. The Cebichería-Marisquería is on Rosselló 530. As you can see, I'm plugging it for all it's worth, and it's worth plenty, and costs little, and it's like travelling without the jet lag. Go!

- Textos i contingut: Matthew Tree - Disseny i programació: Nac -