There are many things I love about our newly adopted home of Spain and the list is growing. My favourite though has to be the Spanish market days. This is probably just as well, because in Spain everyday is market day 🙂
In our area of Andalucia, I could go to a different market each and every day. From the smallest village with a couple of stalls in a single side street, through to the principal town of Baza, where the market truly is King for the day.
Living on the outskirts of Baza means that for us, Wednesday is market day. It’s a true cultural experience and one that awakens all 5 of my senses, whilst also being kind on the wallet !
My sight guides me from stall to stall, taking in the variety of things for sale.
Besides clothing (and what a variety), they offer fruit and vegetables, antiques (real & fake), furniture, music, flowers, plants and trees and much, much more. They even sell things you didn’t realise you needed until you get back home and find them in your bag 🙂
I love to people watch, and not just the shoppers and salesman. The old men passing the time of day on the shaded wooden benches. The policemen trying to look inconspicuous as they keep an eye out for bootleggers and pickpockets. I am sure you get my gist ?
My hearing attempts to catch and understand the shouts and cries of the stall holders with the hope of improving my fledgling Spanish. To me the stall holders are both salesmen (and women) and entertainers alike, trying to entice you in with their wares.
My sense of smell, Oh ! how it taunts me. Without fail it always leads me to the ‘Pollos Asados’ wagon. I have never successfully passed one by. I always end up handing over 8 euros in exchange for the most succulent chicken I have ever tasted !
My taste buds are spoiled rotten as I sample the various wares on offer. An olive here, a sliver of cheese there and maybe just that little piece of jamon … its like tapas on the go.
And finally my touch. To be able to simply pick up and select your fruit and vegetables, most of which are gnarly and unique in size and shape is still a wonder to me. After all, I come from the generation of sterile supermarkets, selling homogenous sized and shaped pre-packed fruits and vegetables. I don’t mind that the choice is less and that it is often seasonal. For me that’s the joy – to be able to buy local, fresh produce without packaging.
On my last visit I never intended to buy oranges, but there they were – grown not an hour from us and picked so recently that they still have fresh green leaves attached. Who could resist ?
But for me market day is much more than just the market … it’s an opportunity to give my custom to the local shops that surround the market – the panaderia, the carniceria, the pescadero; small family run shops that have sadly become something of a novelty back in the UK.
And after a hard mornings shopping there is nothing better than recuperating at the nearest bar. Here I can continue to watch the hustle and bustle of the market over caña (or two) of Cruz Campo, complimented by the tasty tapas that accompanies it.
Looking down at today’s shopping, we have half a dozen recently picked oranges, a bag of locally grown almonds and pollo asado. Not much … but as you may have gathered, I didn’t really come to go shopping. I just love to wander around Spanish markets 🙂
Now with the shopping gathered and my thirst quenched, all I have to do is head home and load up a slice of freshly baked bread with juicy chunks of pollo asado.
Really … what’s not to like about Spanish market days ?
So … Who are one foot in the cave ?
We (Danny and Josie) have spent the last 10 years living and working in the Caribbean. In 2015 we decided we wanted to move closer to family and friends so bought a cave house in the Granada region of Andalucia, Spain. We moved there full time in January 2017. Now we write about our experiences of cave living and how we are adapting to life in Spain.
We also have a Facebook page full of pictures, experiences and information that we have found useful along the way. If its your thing, you can also follow us on Instagram 🙂
5 words related to this blog entry …
The 5 Senses – Los Cinco Sentidos
Fruit and Vegetables – Frutas y Verduras
Roast Chicken – Pollo Asado
Oranges – Naranjas
Small glass of beer – Caña