This is a shop I visit at least once a month if not two! Casa Perris Barcelona.
Barcelona does this category extremely well. They take something uninspiring, like sacks of grains, pulses, rice – sundries and turn it into “Ooooo! Let’s go to that shop and buy some chocolate buttons or black chickpeas.” There is a long history of bean and pulse eating in Catalunya which developed out of the long lean times that the region endured during the Spanish Civil war and the long tenure of General Franco. Often times, an economical dish of white beans is made to go further with a botifarra or coarsely minced sausage to flavour the stew.
They are also incredibly cool to boot. When I shop with my daughter, she is always told to stick out her hand and is plied with more chocolate buttons than she sees in a week. If you stick a curious hand (and who can resist not poking and prodding at all these marvels?) someone shows up to help you figure out what you ‘need’.And they are so natural about it all. I can’t help but think, the equivalent shop in London would have a wall full of recipe cards for what to do with the strange and wonderful goods on sale.
I love this shop. I dare you to go into this shop and not come out with 3 kg of stuff that (who are we kidding) you really don’t need.
Plaça Comercial, 2