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The fact that there’s now a second kosher restaurant in Barcelona (the first being Delicias de Santaló) is neither a coincidence nor a fad. As a cosmopolitan city dependent on foreign visitors, Barcelona needs such diversity. The city is more and more accommodating to its Jewish residents, visitors, and, above all, Americans arriving on cruise ships, not to mention those that come from Israel just to see their favourite football club. Barça has had trouble providing food in accordance with Jewish law.
It all started when cardiologist Muriel Brinia and a group of students of Rabbi Daniel Ben Itzjak grew tired of going to restaurants with a lunch box when the clergy came from Israel to teach courses before there was the Centro Judaico de Cataluña. The rabbi and the doctor now manage Kosher Club, solving many a problem for visitors, residents and friends, and offering simple but high-quality cuisine. Don't worry if you don’t eat kosher – the food is delicious and nutritious.
'Many Israelis arrive during the day before a Barça match and visit us, proudly displaying their tickets for Camp Nou', explains Muriel. They buy the majority of their prime ingredients from Paris, Prague or Israel. 'In Barcelona we’re just a little shop on Carrer Porvenir.'
'Anyone who isn’t Jewish can discover and enjoy some little-known foods', adds the rabbi. To be kosher, one must follow rules like not mixing meat and dairy (not even in the fridge) and eating fish that has scales and fins only. Kosher Club is a vegetarian establishment, and one of the best of its kind in Europe. The gravlaks, salmon marinated in beets, started us off, and next came expertly prepared hummus and an exquisite baba ghanoush. The bluefin tuna coated in sesame rounded out the feast.
Shira, a young Israeli girl who completed her training at Barcelona restaurants Fishhh and Manairó, made us try some excellent potato gnocchi with artichokes. The Jewish challah bread arrived at our table freshly made. The wines are all kosher, and they serve Taanug cava (Penedés) that’s every bit as good as some champagnes.