Markets in Madrid

Posted on January 17, 2010


Each area in Madrid has its own market. They are different to the Parisian markets as they are permanent, covered markets that are usually open every day during the week, plus Saturday mornings. The hours are usually along the lines of 10am to 2pm (as with Spanish lifestyle the stall holders need their siesta) and then they reopen at 5pm until around 8pm. On Saturdays they are just open in the mornings.

The experience isn’t quite the same as in Paris. I keep getting told off for touching the fruits and veg to see if it is ripe….if you do this, try not to get caught. I’ve also had market stall holders drop veg on the floor and then still put it in the bag with the things, so make sure you keep an eye on the stall holders too. But sometimes the same rules apply as with othr countries – if you see a stall with a long queue…go there! The locals know the best places to go for food so follow them and you will likely be rewarded.

Given that my Spanish isn’t fantastic, conversations at the market can be hilarious, but this is the best way to learn a language and I’ve only had one major cock-up to date (my friends enjoyed a ‘chunky’ chilli one night as I couldn’t ask to have the beef ‘minced’). Besides, I have to say that Spanish people are generally more friendly that then French and they seem to have been incredibly patient with me. One guy even used props of a bag of beans and a frying pan when he was trying to work out how I was going to cook the morcilla that I was trying to order.

Spanish food is actually pretty different to other foods that I usually cook so living here with all these different ingredients to hand, is making me experiment. The other day I made a lovely chorizo and roast pepper dish, and I have bought some morcilla to cook this week.

I love being able to mix and match recipes so today I am going to make roast sweet potatoes and red onions, with feta and pine nuts. It adds some variance to a standard English roast (which I am also a huge fan of in the winter)