I walked into La Seu Cheese shop with a friend that likes to Instagram. Before her phone could make its artificial ‘click’ – Catherine came out. “Ah” she cautioned “you can only take a picture if you ask nicely.” We both searched her face to see if she was being funny in a ha-ha way or the other way. We both came away empty, her face was inscrutable.
Whichever way the conversation was going to go – us being thrown out on our backsides or managing to coax some cheese out of the woman – I decided I liked this woman.
La Seu Cheese shop has been there for 14 years, in an old butter making factory, that drips with character. In her cold room, Catherine has a collection of Spanish cheeses. We pepper her with questions, she’s worked at Neal’s Yard Dairy and at some point tried to bring over English cheeses before deciding it wasn’t worth the hassle and focusing on local fare.
We order a sample of cheese and a Vermut to have at the bar (€3). It comes on something that looks like a ceramic paint palette with a hole for your thumb and a hole for the glass of Vermut. Sheep, cows and goats cheese – delicious. Prompts me to order some cheese from home.
A process that gets interrupted over a period of 15 minutes as ‘regulars’ come in and Catherine goes directly to their favourites and cuts out what their habitual quantity is. “Just let me take care of them, I know what they want.”
The whole time we are there she deadpans – “There is a new shop opening across the street, he’ll be surprised when he realizes that this isn’t Passeig de Gracia.”
She is extremely discriminating about her customers. She would like to avoid time wasters. The “Oh, look! It’s so pretty! Let me waste your time, take pictures to post on my social media feed and then go off empty-handed to the Boqueria where I will waste their time and probably just leave with one of those (infernal) juices.”
I mean? Who does want to deal with that? Go there to eat or buy cheese. It’s good. Full stop.
See this and more addresses on my Foodie in Barcelona Map
C/ Dagueria, 16.
Barri Gotic 08002