Somewhere, somehow, fruit cutting technology was lost. Well, it’s obvious that someone out there must still have it as they have found some way to dice up fruit to present it in plastic cups for tourists at La Boqueria market.
It wasn’t always like this and even having started centuries ago, there are many of us who are residents of fair Barcelona who still shop there on occasion. Some more regularly than others. There are those, like me who shun it. It was definitely the case that up until a few years ago, you could find any manner of wonderful, consumable items there (there’s a mushroom stall that’s fantastic). Despite tourists already flooding it, locals would get up early and go there to buy these few items. However, these element seems to have been lost and while still a fantastic market, there are others in the city where I can go and buy a string of rubbing tomatoes without some idiot grinning behind a ridiculous, cock-extension of an SLR while taking my photo.
Now, like most things in the center, La Boqueria seems to be mostly for tourists and for some reason, they’ve all come to the conclusion that buying a fucking cup of cut fruit is the best thing to get there. So naturally as one asshole vendor started doing this one day, others saw him cashing in and followed suit to the point there the front section near Les Rambles is mostly a cut fruit in a cup market.
As to why people buy this, I’m at a loss. I can really only think of two reasons: horrid laziness and the illusion of healthy eating. These cups of fruit are insanely more expensive than actually fruit which is, when in season, insanely affordable in Catalonia. Of course then you have to peel it yourself which yes, is hard, but putting a bit of backbone in to it, by god, you can do it, much like I’ve seen monkeys do in the wild.
Then there’s that health thing. These half liter cups of fruit have upwards of 250 calories. That’s two glasses of wine. When push comes to chug, I’ll take the wine and eat an actual meal as a cup of fruit is little more than naturally occurring junk food when eaten like this and you can see that it’s not doing much given the sacks of lard sloshing their way through the market.
The politicians have by and large given the center of Barcelona to the tourists. I didn’t really believe it before moving here, but yes, it’s true and it’s not possible to live a normal existence there anymore. If they were to actually care, there are things that could be done about it. For one, they could put up gates around the market and charge people 10€ to go in. If you have residence in Catalonia, speak Catalan, or are an old lady with a Rolser, then you don’t get charged. This would be a moneymaking system to liberate the market from the brain dead tourists who treat it the same as they would television and buy nothing, but get in the way of those of us who do. The other solution would be to place snipers around the corners of the market and shoot anyone who walks in to it holding a camera. My fear with the second is that it would be a horrible waste of perfectly good bullets.