Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Discovering markets and hidden treasures

Whenever I travel to a new country one of my first visits is always  to a market.
It somehow reveals you the spirit and atmosphere of the place as well as the way people are living their daily lives.
Organized tours are OK but they only show you the sights people would like you to see and that makes you  just a tourist, not a traveler.
Or, to quote G.K. Chesterton, : "The traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see"

Markets here are fantastic places to discover. There are so many products I've never seen before a and when you ask people about their origin and use they are friendly and very proud about the interest shown.

Usually I go with my shopping list and then end up often with some totally different products, but it's great fun to learn something new about the local cuisine and sometimes other shoppers even passed on some their favorite recipes.

At this market stall I found an incredible variety of potatoes in different shapes and colors: yellow, purple, pink... side by side with purple corn. What looks like harmless Capsicum at the right side of the picture is a devilishly hot chili called "Rocoto". 

Between the apples and oranges you can see  gorgeous Chirimoyas, great for light desserts and juices.

Exotic fruits and peeled Grenadines, ready to be prepared in fresh juice or for  decorating, laying side by side with apples and raspberries.

An old man, selling traditional medicinal herbs like Lanten (a great anti-inflammatory ), Coca leaves (excellent for altitude sickness. It's also used as a mild anesthetic and to damp excessive appetite), Eucalyptus ( for respiratory problems and influenza) and many others which I still need to investigate.
More about it in one of my next posts.

At the end of the day we went to a beach restaurant where we tried a delightful " Pulpo al Olivar" or Octopus with Olive Mayonnaise.

 And encountered "The Three Graces" enjoying the sunset under their colorful umbrellas.

Have a great week ahead,see you next Tuesday!
Share this article


  1. Hi Daniela, thanks for sharing your market photos, Those fruits sure look refreshing and some I've not come across. Be it use for cooking,dessert or salad, fresh fruits are still the best for diet or for maintaining youth and beauty.

    It's always interesting to explore the market when you move to a new place. Looking forward to see your interesting discovery.
    The octopus dish look very inviting. And off course the three graces is very cute. :)

    Have a lovely week ahead,regards.

    1. Hi Amelia,
      I agree totally, fresh fruits and vegetables are the best way to keep healthy and fit.
      Here I discovered many species which I haven't seen in other places and I still have to learn how to use them.Learning something new is always fun and I enjoy it enormously.
      Glad you like the picture of the " Three Graces" I just couldn't resist to take the picture :)

  2. Daniela, which are the geraldines and what are they? Interesting photos and you're right about getting out to meet people and find out about local foods when moving to a new place.

    1. Hi Kathleen,
      suppose you are referring to the Chirimoyas?
      I just found out its name in english: Custard Apple
      Here is a links with further information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Custard_apple
      Have a great week ahead!

    2. Oh, dear, I can't spell, can I?! I meant "Grenadines". I finally found it - pomegranate.

    3. OK, thought you were referring to the Chirimoyas but as I can see you found the answer already: Grenadine = pomegranate :)

  3. I love visiting markets too! They're usually the highlight of whatever trip I'm taking. Interesting to see the variety of potatoes on offer - my local supermarket usually only has several, and almost never anything out of the usual. Fun post - thanks.

    1. The variety of potatoes is indeed incredible. In Peru there are over 3000!! different types registered.In case you want to have a look, there is more info at this webpage:
      Have a great weekend.

  4. Now that is a way to get passers-by attracted to your fruit and veggie stand!

  5. You are so right. When traveling, a market is always near the top of my list. So much to learn about a country, a cuisine and the people. Marvelous photos here and everything so beautifully presented!

    1. Hi Barbra,
      as I can see, we are at the same wavelength, visiting markets when
      travelling is such fun.
      Thanks for visiting my blog!

  6. love your photos! so much delicious looking produce!

    1. Hi Jenn,
      So glad you liked the pictures!
      I really had great fun shooting them :)

    2. I so enjoyed the markets in Peru. They were a riot of color and choice. I loved the photo of the three graces. It was wonderful. I hope you are having a great weekend. Blessings...Mary

    3. Hi Mary,
      So nice to hear that you have fond memories of the beautiful markets in Peru. Me too, I enjoy them very much.

  7. Getting to know a place through the markets is so much fun. Love the photo of the fruits!

  8. Hi Lisa ,
    I cuoldn't agree more. The cuisine is part of the culture and lifestyle of a country and markets are their true reflection. Besides, it's so nice to visit them :)

  9. Hi Daniela! I'm very attracted to Octopus with Olive Mayonnaise. I never thought of using mayonnaise like that. Japanese loves Japanese mayo and I cannot wait to try this on my own. :) I enjoy your adventure and thanks for sharing pictures!

    1. Hi Nami,
      I'm with you, this Octopus with Olive Mayonnaise is a really glorious creation.
      I'll try to get the recipe and publish it at one of my next posts.
      So glad you enjoy the adventures :)


Copyright © 2014 The Ambassador's Table • All Rights Reserved.
back to top