For 700 years there has been a market on the site of Zaragoza's central market, although this building only dates to the 1900s. As with any market, wandering through this sunny space offered a real slice of life of this city. Lindsay recently interviewed Marjorie Williams, author of Markets of Paris, for her Franco File Friday series and it got me thinking about markets. Our relationships with them (routine vs. luxurious splurge) our perceptions of them (local food source vs. yuppie hang out) and our memories of them (my first 'market date', my first 'market crepe').
I find so many markets to be stuffed to the rafters with tourists and those who go to market to see and be seen with that bunch of organic rainbow carrots. And there's nothing wrong with that, per say. I love me some organic rainbow carrots. But Zaragoza's market was a good reminder of what a market, in essence, is. It was clearly all about the locals here - local buyers and local producers. You could tell the vendors knew their customers, and no one got dressed up specifically to stop in here. First and foremost this market was obviously all about simple food, and simple human transactions. And it was simply lovely.
You might be surprised to learn that, even though I live in Europe, I actually don't buy all my groceries from a market. I don't even go to a butcher, baker, or candlestick maker. I go to a grocery store in the basement of the mall next to my flat. Glamorous, no?
p.s. our wedding might be in a market!