The title of this post might seem rather dull, but I think the markets in Spain are really nice and always worth a visit. For me a whole new world opened when I entered into a Spanish market for the first time. Going to open-air markets and even the supermercados were like sightseeing for me. My first experience was back in 2011 when I went to La Boqueria Market in Barcelona (located on La Rambla). Maybe this market is quite an extreme example and maybe Dutch people are a little sensitive, but wow…
For me it was (and still is) surprising how dead animals are exposed everywhere and nobody, except for the tourists, seems to care. Spaniards don’t mind a little bit of meat, I guess. You can find the heads of some animals, but also complete chickens, rabbits, and pigs, while in The Netherlands this is not really common. Also the smell of the seafood, which arrives daily and directly from the nearest harbours, is undeniable. The image of all the seafood (sometimes still alive), meat and the colourful fruits is quite impressive and it causes many tourists to take pictures. There aren’t many tourists who actually buy products, but they are only there to stare and the market people and locals are a little annoyed by that.
Last november I stayed in Jerez de la Frontera (Andalusia) and of course I had to pay a visit to the local market. There I was impressed, again, and I had to take some pictures of the fruit, fish and rabbits. I still feel like a tourist after all.
Besides the local markets on the streets, the supermarkets are a little different too. While in the Dutch supermarkets I am used to finding boxes of frozen seafood and rather small packages of meat, in Spain you can find fresh fish, countless hams and even complete animals.
Maybe the image of this is quite overwhelming and a little scary in the beginning (and even after a couple of months I am still not completely used to it), but the way they sell food in Spain gives me the feeling that everything is a little bit fresher and tastier. Though there is a chance that I am a little biased because of the love for Spain and this country’s delicious cuisine.