When I was a kid, at least a couple of times every autumn and at least once in early summer, we would get in my dad’s old Econoline van or my mom’s Valiant and drive over the bridges that would take us from North Vancouver and into Richmond to Lulu Island. We would stop at the farms to buy produce. In the autumn it would be squash – we would come home with a big box that would sit in the cool of our basement and would last us all winter. In early summer we would pick big buckets of strawberries from which my mother would make freezer jam – very little tastes better on hot buttered toast than the ice cold sweetness of strawberry freezer jam. As I grew up, and the urban sprawl that is Richmond encroached on the farmlands, the trips to Lulu Island dwindled down to nothing. For a long time, the only vegetables and fruits that came into my kitchen came from the supermarket. Recently, I started frequenting Farmers’ Markets. The produce is wonderful but I find them expensive. Farmer’s markets have become trendy and the products, while undeniably delicious and top quality, are not, in my experience, for everyone. There are so many people who have incomes unable to support purchasing the best produce.
Markets in other parts of the world are different. The markets in Sicily are filled with the best fruit and vegetables, fish, meat, cheese, coffee, and so many other things yet the prices are affordable even for the poverty stricken – and Sicily, with its 25% unemployment, definitely have people who are poverty stricken.
Market day in our small town is on Tuesdays. From 8am to 1pm, one corner of Cianciana is filled with bright colours, aromatic smells, and the sharp sounds of the vendors hawking their wares.
The colours!! I would eat my way through the whole place… a sample here, a snack there… any swigs of the good red stuff to be had? 😉
Lots and lots! It is Italy after all. For us, what is astounding is the cost of the wine. We bought a couple of nice bottles of red – the one from Lanzia was €1.25 and the one from Sicily was €1.89. Stunningly cheap for someone from the Canadian side of the world!
Yes… the best part of those inexpensive local wines? They very often taste better than wines bought here in Ireland for more than € 10!! 😉
I don’t actually drink, but that is what my husband says. Better than at home!
I love visiting markets anywhere I go. Great colours, great sounds, see how the locals interact and what they buy. Interesting to see different types of vegetables or fruit, or local produces
Gorgeous, vibrant pics, Diane. Thank you.
We buy our wine from one of those places where they have it in barrels and you have to take your own bottles for them to fill.
It’s cheaper than petrol in Sicily, yet very good stuff – which is very hard for an English person to believe!!!
Yes, we discovered those places just before we came back to Canada at the end of August. Next trip, that’s where we will buy the wine!
Have you seen Pecora Nera’s post about finding dozens of antique wine bottles with beautiful labels, cleaning them up, and getting them all refilled with local wine for special occasions? It’s such a great idea and his post was really beautiful.
The Sicilian market’s produce looks divine! We’re now in Split, Croatia and enjoying regular visits to our local outdoor market. Even this time of year, so much goodness awaits. 🙂 It’s really a fun way to interact with the locals too.