The European Market-
What a perfect way to buy food. Don't stock up once a week, buy fresh, get to know your purveyors and choose superlative local goods. Most markets in Europe are available several times a week and
Market stalls offer specialty themes- one will have cheeses, another spices, another meats and so on. There are more prepared foods than there used to be like the beautiful paella that we saw repeatedly. Fresh fish and vegetables are de rigeur and a store that offers bad quality is out of business. I saw nothing that was not wonderfully fresh. Many of the stalls will give you tastes of their cheeses, salamis or bits of pastries. It has caused me more than once to buy what I didn't need. Walking by the strawberries they were so
aromatic I had to get them only to ignore where they were in the bag and come home with jam. Sure smelled good though!
This is also a good place to buy some home goods, tablecloths to dishtowels and personal clothes. I saw lots of nice sweaters, wraps, home crafted woven tops. The prices vary from very reasonable to tourist or collector come ons.
Mornings are the times to visit. Many markets will close at 1:00 and by close I mean pack up and empty the square or the street so completely that often restaurants will spread to the open spaces creating a culinary market of a different sort.
To walk through the market is to feel alive. The sounds of the shoppers, the smells of the foods, everything regales you with the wonder of how lucky we are to walk in a world that offers so much bounty.
Flowers of course are scattered throughout. Some markets, like those in Nice and Amsterdam are justifiably famous for their fresh flowers. Many seem to be imported from Africa. Other, potted varieties seem to be local. It is nice if you are settled for a few days anywhere to bring a bouquet into your living space.
Because I love photographing markets so much I will include a variety of markets I have loved. Imagine the smells and possibilities!