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by Gabriel Pernau

Barcelona boasts a number of large marketplaces, such as Sant Antoni, each of them occupying the area of a whole city block. However, the real Marketplace - with a capital M - of Barcelona is located on the outskirts of the city, in the "Zona Franca". It covers ninety hectares, which equals the roughly square area contained by Casanova, Girona, C˛rsega and Gran VÝa streets. "Mercabana" is the great wholesale marketplace that supplies goods to the shopkeepers of Barcelona as well as those of a large part of Catalonia. Practically all the fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and fish that we consume have passed through - even if only a few hours - that macro-market. Where the fish trade alone is concerned, the current volume of sales reaches 100.000 tons per year, an amount that accounts for some 80 per cent of the total consumption.