Food markets are here to stay and I for one am all for them! They present a unique opportunity to celebrate food and all its wonderment. I like how markets showcase local farmers and producers and their offerings, encourage smaller batch foods products and made to order meals.
More than artisan baked goods and drinking beer at 10 am, food markets offer an atmosphere that you won’t find in shopping malls and supermarkets. Often there’s live music, plastic chairs and wooden benches or even better, haystacks as seating. There’s a buzz amongst markets that unite stall owners and visitors by their love for real food, their inquisitiveness and search for inspiration. These days, almost every city around the world has one or more food markets and they’re boldly taking their place on tourists “must-see” lists.
As a foodie, I’m always in search of total food immersion when I travel and although I haven’t been to many, I count myself lucky to have visited a few international food markets during my recent adventures.
On my list was the very popular Borough Market in Southwark. It was raining on the day I went down to visit, which was actually very fitting for a day out in Central London. What I liked about this market was it’s variety offered. There was typically British foods like pies and fresh, local seafood but also, because of their close proximity to- and big influence of European countries, there were Italian meats and French pastries and German breads and Spanish tortillas – a true foodie’s dream.
Also in London, I walked through the Portobello Market where the “food court” had a spread that included Moroccan delights, Argentinian pockets, Cuban sandwiches, Portuguese pastries and foods representing Thailand, the Caribbean, Germany and more. My only criticism was that I didn’t have enough stomach space to taste it all! Oh well.
I was very excited to visit La Boqueria, the vibey food market in Barcelona. Here I found, amongst the usual fresh produce, meats and fish, lots of exotic fruits, edible flowers and rows and rows are fruit juice combinations. I tasted avocado gelato and watched an ol’ senore cleaning his dentures after enjoying lunch – a “had-to-be-there-experience” and one which I am grateful to say that I was there for.
During my time in the states, I enjoyed a midweek visit to a farmer’s market downtown Indianapolis. The city closed down one street to make way for stalls and food trucks, which meant I got to walk in the street of course! Inside the food hall there were rows of different cuisines for each meal time – breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert and anytime treats.
*French Market, New Orleans, Louisiana
*Chow Wagon, Louisville, Kentucky
Back home I’ve celebrated a few food adventures at the Neighbourgoods Market at the Old Biscuit Mill, a Cape Town institution and then also the Route 44 Market at Audacia Farm Stellenbosch.
Did I mention my favourite part are the tasters? Long live the markets!
Has anyone else visited food markets worth mentioning?