One of my favorite things to do while I’m in Spain is visit the open air markets. Most towns have one twice each week. Every town I’ve visited in Spain (and I’ve been to quite a few) has what they call a “Central Market” – it’s kind of like an indoors farmer’s market. The majority of shoppers rely on the Central Market for their day to day shopping needs. Yes, there are supermarkets and yes folks do shop there. But when you talk to the Spanish people, they prefer the freshness and quality available at the open air markets. I have to say that I agree wholeheartedly!
This picture is from the open air market at Castalla – a wonderful little town with – appropriately – a castle at the top of the hill.
I gotta admit – I’ve never in my life come across a crate of living, moving snails at the market! This was a bit of a surprise! I really wanted to take the picture of the little old man who had gathered these to sell, but he was not willing to have his photo taken. He was proud to have me take a photo of his snails, however!
This is the open air market at Altea – a beautiful little town on the Mediterranean – in fact, this market is just two blocks from the beach!
The flowers were locally grown for the most part – and the fragrance as you entered the row of stalls past these flowers was heavenly!
These tomatoes look at first glance as if they’re underripe. In fact, they aren’t. They are used to make what my friends and I dubbed, “tomato mush” – a wonderful relish with finely diced tomatoes, minced garlic, and olive oil. I suspect there’s a splash of vinegar of some sort in there, too. It’s *fabulous* on freshly baked bread!
Oh to bring some of these back for my own garden!
As you can see – lots of variety, and seemingly everything coming into season at the same time!
I can hadly wait for my green onions to be ready for harvesting!
I live in strawberry country, here in beautiful Washinton County, Oregon – and I’m partial that ours are phenomenally good. I was shocked – even with the Euro so strong against the US Dollar, the strawberries were cheap compared to ours!
I love getting to meet the farmer who grows the produce at the stands!
In Spain, they pickle pretty much everything they can get their hands on. This is actually a pretty small offering compared to some of the stands that you can find in the Central Markets of some towns. I love the teeny tiny little pickles – they’re hot! And I love the pickled baby corn.
I’m so glad to be home, but so looking forward to my garden kicking into high gear!