Épicerie Solar (Perpignan)

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Where can you find both young tattooed chefs and grandpas in espadrilles, all looking for the first asparagus of the season? At the radiant Solar épicerie of course, which has just popped up in the beating heart of Perpignan, run by Célia Peraire and her family – who had the smart idea to trade in the ready-to-wear lifestyle for the ready-to-peel one. Here, you won’t find anything apart from local treats: impossibly fresh strawberries from Ille-sur-Têt; multicolored chard from Elne; beautiful bouquets of artichokes from Villelongue… And to go with that, all kinds of mouthwatering local eats: jugs of Aixandri olive oil; Encantaran artisan sun-dried tomatoes; first-rate charcuterie and cheeses… Plus a few cookbooks to keep your mind well fed. // Eddie Muffin 

THE HIDDEN GEM: The Espinaler sauce, a caliente emblem of Catalonia, which heats up any patatas bravas worthy of the name (€3.45 for a 92 ml bottle). 

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