Since I am obsessed with food, it’s only natural that one of my favorite places to spend the day is the market. To me, it’s a magical place full of colorful surprises with every step. In no other place do you get to see the beauty that is food in it’s most natural form. Well perhaps if you lived on a farm, but I don’t.
Unfortunately for me, Cologne does not have a central market like most big European cities do. Usually the first thing I look up after booking a holiday is the market and when it is open! This was again the case when we decided to visit Valencia. Turns out the market was a big attraction in this little Spanish city.
I love waking up early and joining the locals selecting the perfectly ripe piece of fruit, or the most sumptuous looking pastry from the local baker. The relationship between the buyers and sellers is so intriguing to me. Some are good and fast friends catching up on a weekly basis at the same place and time. Others come and go with just a word of thanks. Some sellers are passionate about their food, others can’t wait to get it off the shelves. It’s amazing how such a place ties people together in so many ways. How one seasonal vegetable can be made into hundreds of different dishes, each filling the stomach of an eager diner.
The Valencia Mercato Central fast became one of my favorites in the world. Few that I have visited have had the selection and atmosphere like this one. The vendors were very friendly and place was chock full of amazingly enticing produce and seafood. The brightly colored green and purple beans were calling out my name. The shimmering fresh fish, most of which I’d never seen before and the hand picked mushrooms were conjuring up recipes in my head. I wish I could have packed everything into my suitcase and spend days creating fabulous dinners.
Unfortunately the language barrier and the lack of kitchen in my hotel room left me savoring the food through my camera rather than through my mouth. So instead of filling a basket full of tasty treats, I will continue to spend my market time capturing the people and their treasures that make it so magical. Well at least until the day comes when I can live in a city with a market like this!
Where we ate:
Central Bar – Perfect location in the middle Mercado Central to get a bite to eat after perusing the gorgeous selection of fruits, veg, seafood and meats that you unfortunately can’t take home in your suitcase. Have a taste of some of the daily seasonal items instead at this little restaurant. Definitely try the Coca de Pisto -Bacalao Pinones (a flatbread with a very soft ratatouille topped with flaked cod and a pistachio pistou.