Saturday…Market Day

23 Sep

We have been going to an open market in Cape Town almost every Saturday.

The market is in and surrounds an old biscuit mill in a neighborhood called “Woodstock.” Woodstock used to be a run down, seedy area of the city. In the last few years artists and creative entrepreneurs have discovered the area, renovated warehouse spaces and made it a vibrant place in the city.

The setting is open air with a back drop of the Table Mountains. The old buildings, some renovated, some in the process of renovation lend a gritty contrast to the colorful wares.

Handmade clothing, shoes, jewelry and flowers greet you as you enter the courtyard. Inside you can find sellers of chocolate, olives, cheeses, fresh vegetables, breads, jellies, mushrooms, wine, handmade beers and liqueurs.

The vendors come from all over the Cape Town region extending up to the northern boundaries of the countryside where  the land  around Stellenbosch and Elgin is covered with vineyards and olive and fruit farms.

The market shows the bountiful variety of a temperate Mediterranean climate.

But the real treat at this market is the widest variety of professional food vendors of any market we have ever visited.  The booths for the vendors are permanent for the season with full-sized stoves and ovens for food preparation.

You can order Spanish paella, Italian pizza, French pizza, Chinese Dim Sum and Malaysian stir fry,  paninis, fresh bagels, rolls and muffins stuffed with herbs, chocolate or cheeses, eggs in crepes, in rolls and in croissants, omelettes with avocado, tomato,  bacon, cheese, onions or mushrooms,  mutton curry, fresh oysters,  a steak sandwich on homemade hard roll with lettuce, tomato, onion and oil and vinegar dressing, homemade soups and any kind of coffee you can imagine.

Yesterday Dana had Dim Sum and I had a crepe stuffed with sautéed beet root, sweet potato, eggplant and feta cheese with a balsamic reduction drizzled over the top. Yum.

The flowers are particularly dramatic as there are so many varieties of protea in the mixed bouquets.

The market experience here has been totally different from Sicily where eating was more restricted to sampling wares.  Here I would plan what I wanted to order before I came. And my mouth started to water as we parked the car.

2 Responses to “Saturday…Market Day”

  1. Ursula Freer September 23, 2012 at 4:24 am #

    Wow, our Farmers Market is nothing like this!

    • Jill September 23, 2012 at 4:32 am #

      I agree. Each outdoor market has its own charm. When I left Santa Barbara I thought I would not ever find a market I like so well. And look at me now.

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