Monday, September 15, 2008

Sunday Market

I went to the weekly farmer's market at the Lung Center yesterday, something I used to do almost every week, but have not for a while now. When I was a child I hated the wet market. It was hot, noisy, smelly, and worst of all, boring. This was when I didn't really care about food. Or maybe I did but my interest in food did not yet extend pre-kitchen. Now that food is my life going to market is always a treat for me. The variety of produce never fails to astound me, and the changing of produce with the seasons.

Often the inspiration for a dish or an entire menu will come from a particularly beautiful vegetable spotted in the little corner store, or some incredibly fresh seafood at the fish stall. Now I find the market smells invigorating. The market is a feast of fresh produce smells, warm cooking smells, wild colors and textures. And noise, noise, noise! The market throbs with life. Sometimes I spend hours just walking around, caught up in the milling crowd, enjoying the vendors' calls, the haggling, hurrying porters hauling goods, the occasional stray crab crossing the lane.

At this Sunday market the vendors come in from the provinces bringing their best stuff, so there is an incredible variety of goods. Longganisang Lucban, kesong puti ng kalabaw from Bulacan, sinaing na tulingan from Batangas, kasoy from Antipolo, from Palawan. Fruit from Davao. Fish from GenSan. Greens from Tagaytay. Every kind of pancit from every province you can think of. Chicken Inasal from Bacolod. It's endless.

Here, a lady sells sushi next to another selling pasta dishes. There, a man selling Batangas knives and machetes. There, baskets and woodcraft. There are pets for sale, and potted herbs and ornamental plants. There are kitchenware and baby clothes and yes, the ubiquitous pirated DVD's.

I didn't really need to buy anything as I don't have a catering gig scheduled this week, but I still managed to spend about three hours at the market yesterday just soaking it all up. My loot: some gorgeous tuna steaks, some nice shrimp, some carabao cheese, some green tomatoes, and a bottle of goat's milk. I'm already looking forward to next week.


Blogger wyatt said...

Thanks for the post JB. I'll visit the place one of these days.

4:42 PM  
Blogger JB said...

Thanks, Wyatt!

I'm sorry, I just realized the layout of this post is all screwed up! Will fix it soon.

Some of these photos are not new. Some were taken last summer, thus the fantastic tomatoes. Obviously you won't find tomatoes like those this time of year.

2:21 AM  
Blogger wyatt said...

it's ok. It looks good from my rss reader. about the tomatoes - yes they're expensive this time of the year. last week, i bought a kilo of cherry tomatoes for P250. (and its from Pampang - central market of Pampanga pa)

4:41 PM  
Blogger JB said...

Ako naman I bought some green tomatoes and cooked Fried Green Tomatoes hehe. Yeah cherry tomatoes are really nice in the summertime.

10:37 AM  

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