Fabulous food, fresh local produce combine to make the perfect ingredients for your food shopping. In Spain you can still shop for specific items at individual shops, this is one of the things that we love- the individuality. You go to la panaderia to buy bread, la confiteria for pasties and cakes, la verduleria is the greengrocers, la carniceria for your meat and la pescaderia is the fishmonger. Yes, there are the big supermarkets similar to the UK. It’s still traditional here and that’s the way we like it!
The Covered Market.
As we come inside out of the sun we feel the cool air, our eyes are bombarded with a sea of colour, lemons, oranges, pomegranates, mangos and melons, all vying for our attention. Potatoes, carrots and leeks are piled high still with traces of soil, where they have been pulled freshly from the ground. Artichokes, mushrooms, walnuts and almonds, huge garlic cloves, fresh ginger, peppers and chillies, red, green and yellow, also big bunches of parsley that the vendors will throw into your bag free of charge. Fish freshly caught and landed that morning such as sardines, trout, sea bream, sea bass, mackerel, salmon. Clams, mussels, prawns, squid, octopus and crab, how can we possibly choose. The butcher displays chicken, beef, pork bacon and sausages alongside rabbit, quail, pheasant and wild boar. As the pace of life is slower here many of the more economical cuts are sold on the bone, here there is time to simmer slowly for hours allowing the onion, garlic and herbs to infuse with the meat which is served just as it falls off the bone. At the delicatessen rows of jamon serrano and jamon iberico hang proudly, Cheeses, salamis, pates and pies are presented along with strings of chorizo and of course olives. Choose from black olives, green olives, olives with garlic, anchovy, almonds, herbs or with spicy pepper. Then there is the olive oil. Spain is the world’s largest producer of this liquid gold, this fabulous food is one of the key elements for a healthy Mediterranean lifestyle.
The Street Market.
A wonderful combination, the street market is a melting pot, busy, vibrant and often a little chaotic. At the street market you will find most of the foods sold at a covered market along with it would seem everything else. As with all markets look for the stall with the biggest queue of Spanish, not only do they know the best vendor for fruit, veg, eggs and olives but also for pots and pans, clothes and shoes, fabric, bed linen, pot plants, handbags and even underwear!