To market, to market, to buy a fat pig, or at least a fine, hormone-free chicken

Yesterday we went to the Farmers’ Market here for the first time this year. The morning was bright and sunny (I think that’s redundant) and it was just the perfect way to begin the weekend.

We milled around the stalls, people watched, bought some items like eggs, really good farm-raised chicken, assorted herbivorous things and fresh homemade donuts (to balance the green stuff, for fear of overdoing ‘healthy’.

I think Max enjoys our market jaunts as much as we do. He chats with all the other dogs there, and it’s so pleasing that dogs are as welcome as people. That’s what a market should be like in terms of tolerance.

There are some people around who would like the market to move indoors to a permanent structural enclosure – you know the sort of place; they’re called supermarkets. To those who would like that to come to pass, I say fie on them. In my mind I used a stronger ‘f’ word, but I don’t want to break your bucolic mood. Anyway, keep it outdoors and we’ll keep coming back.

We don’t confine our marketing to the local scene. When we travel we also check out the marketplaces. We have regularly attended the market in the little town of Kilauea on Kauai (pictured above). It’s actually quite similar to our homegrown version other than a much larger array of tropical fruits. We head over there after having Kauai coffee and the best macaroons on the planet at the Kilauea Bakery. Doesn’t get much better than that.

Unless you happen to attend the market at Avarua (pictured above) on the Cook Island of Rarotonga. There they throw on entertainment in the form of unscripted dogfights involving the feral canines that wander the island. That’s fun, as is wondering how long before one would succumb to e-coli after pondering for sale food dishes that involve a lot of mayonnaise and prawns that have been sitting in the tropical sun for hours. Either the Rarotongans have iron-clad guts or diarrhea is simply ‘one of those things’ in your reality. We didn’t take the chance. We figured we were safer buying coconut and bananas.

I absolutely loved the open market in the Arab Quarter of Grenoble. There you could avail yourself of clothing (with labels that may or may not have been real, and electronic equipment just recently fallen off a truck in the French countryside, and again vegetables and other foodstuffs, garden plants and whatever else you might be seeking. All of this was accompanied by a cast of characters out of an Indiana Jones movie.

I’ve also attended markets in many, many English cities and towns, and in Old Town San Diego. Something some stall operator here might consider and that is making and offering churros. That’d work for me.



8 responses to “To market, to market, to buy a fat pig, or at least a fine, hormone-free chicken

  1. That struck a chord!
    On Saturday I paid my first visit to the Saturday market down the road from my house in San Jose…mostly veg stalls, but butchers, fishmongers, cheese purveyors, caffs galore and a mariachi band.
    All the usual suspects but also aubergines (sorry) as I’d last seen them in Turkey, slender and curved like a scimitar, proper mini courgettes, Swiss Chard, herbs galore and new varieties of potato to try.
    It was the best I’ve come across here….and brought back fond memories of markets in Turkey and Egypt, just as your mention of the market in Grenoble reminded me of the fell off the back of a lorry ethnic markets in major French towns.
    Where there’s a good market there’s civilisation!

    • Tropical markets are the best. The market in Grenoble was such an experience, however. It ran every day and we went regularly. I didn’t get sucked into buying a fake Rolex, I’m proud to say. Re. your market and civilization comment, absolutely. Actually European trade grew out of local markets.

  2. Yes, keep it outside as much as possible! I like that you can take your (leashed/controlled) dog with you; it’s so much more civilized and friendly. I wish I could visit it more often.

  3. I miss the Central American and Chinese market stalls that abounded during my years abroad. We do have produce stands and Farmer’s Markets here, but they are difficult for me to get to and the supermarkets are all overpriced as far as I can see.

  4. The organic farmers market up at the cottage will be starting up at the beginning of June. Yay!

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