Today we were going to head to the market in Vilanova but changed our minds because we only needed to pick up some meat. We decided to go to the butcher in Moja a little village very near ours. Our neighbors/friends Kim and Virginia had recommended this butcher and it was our first time to visit it. What a wonderful experience it was.
I must tell you that our first impression of the village of Moja was a not a positive one. We had wandered through the village on Easter Sunday and didn’t see but one person. It was a bit eerie. We actually got to a dead end and heard dogs barking and as I was telling Bob to hurry up and back up I saw an elderly lady in the doorway where the dogs were. It just seemed very strange that there wasn’t any one out an about or driving through. As we were driving out of the village we noticed a shepherd with a flock of sheep. I really wanted to stop and take photos but we didn’t.
Well, today was a different feeling all together. We went to Mitjan La Botiga looking for the items on our list. When we first walked in and saw the display case we didn’t really see what we were looking for. However the owner was so warm and friendly and this made us stop to see what the place really had. She asked if we spoke English and said she knew a little. She explained what items they make and gave us samples of their sausage and pâté. Her daughter was there and spoke more English so she assisted with the translations between Catalan and English. She told us about the family business that dates back to 1910. We also met her mother. It was just a lovely time.
We asked her if they had baby back ribs and she explained that she could have some on Tuesday for us. We were also looking for pork and she cut us two very nice pieces. It became obvious that their display case was not all that they had. She brought out some fabulous steak and cut us a couple of fillets. She then brought out some lamb, both rack of lamb and leg of lamb. She then told us that there is a local shepherd that brings his sheep through the village daily. We told her that we had seen him on Easter Sunday.
She showed us their fabulous dining room which was set up for a tasting for Cava Hills.
In addition to the pork and steak we bought some sausage and pâté and will return Tuesday for our ribs. They carry fruits, vegetables, pasta, wine and cava and so much more.
We have found that the local people are so incredibly welcoming and this was just another example of that. It is like making new friends every time we explore a new shop or business. This shop, and most of the ones we frequent, focus on local products, and are clearly proud of what the region produces and their heritage.
I have always been aware of the push in the U.S. to “buy local.” I would much rather shop in a local boutique/shop than in a large box store any day. Yes, I have done both, and know that we were used to having the produce we wanted year round. Blueberries, strawberries, blackberries were available from somewhere around the world. Yes, we enjoyed having blueberries in December, but I know it is different here. We are only able here to buy what is in season locally, and although it is an adjustment I think it is a good one. We just found a fabulous new local shop with Mitjans and I feel like we will be calling them friends in no time. Please check out their wonderful website.