El Pan de Olivas
The beauty of living in Europe is the exposure to authentic breads made according to ancient recipes. Slowly but surely, throughout the years of my "exile" (read voluntary absence) from Asia, bread is slipping into my diet at the dinning table, replacing my natural urges for fragrant jasmine rice.
One of my preferred bakery in Barcelona is La Boulangerie (aptly named in French, meaning THE bakery) and they happens to carry one of my preferred breads too -- el pan de olivas -- a crusty bread made of succulent pitted black olives. To my knowledge there are three branches, two of which are right at Avenida Gaudi, the diagonal road that cuts through a few massive blocks linking the massive Sagrada Familia and the modernistic Hospital San Pau. The third one is near Passeig San Joan in the L´eixample Derecha.
If you happen to live in Barcelona, or vacationing for that matter, the one right outside the entrance of the Hospital San Pau on C/Santa Maria de Claret has a great breakfast or merienda deal. For 2.20 euro or so, you get a nice hot cup of cafe con leche with a homemade or in this case storebaked tart or cake. Mind you, we´re talking about real confections to the tune of wholegrain apple pie and apricot spanish-style cheesecake, which would cost at least 2.50 euro a slice if it´s to go. And of course after your little snack or breakfast, you can pick up your daily loave of bread. I suggest molde de nueces, a wholegrain molded bread with walnuts, or the one featured in the picture above.