It started real early this morning, I heard the first vans arrive around five o’clock, and by the time we got up the market was in full swing. I enthusiastically said to Ian, that I knew about these markets, that I knew them from Belgium where they have them too every week, but not half an hour later, and after I started to walk along the stalls did I realise that this is not a Flemish market, by no means, it is definitely twice or three times as large, and has a lot larger variety of stalls. The fish stalls alone take up many meters, not to speak of the fruit and vegetables, and Maltese biscuits and goodies of all sorts. Besides food there were stalls selling every kind of thing under the sun, from clothing, shoes, and baby things to plants and lightbulbs.
But we bought our supply of vegetables and lots of fruit, so colourful and smelling so nice. There were herbs there too and I treated us to fresh coriander, parsley, bayleaf, and very fragrant oregano. I then decided that I had to have fresh capers, they are grown locally said the elderly lady who sold them to me, she measured them in a small wooden barrel before she let them roll into a bag and handed them to me, telling me that they use them on bread spread with tomato. Sound lovely!
Though I never cooked them before I bought some artichokes, fingers crossed I succeed in making them eadible and tasting good! We also bought local goats cheese, and some Maltese figrolls. And finally we got to the fish, we choose some white bait, but after having cleaned it tonight, and cooked it, there were so many bones in it that I don’t think it was worth it, maybe we shall try a less bony fish next time round. I do like to try local foods, it is so exciting. There is one food that I do not have the courage to try yet, it are the snails, I’ve eaten escargo in Paris, no problem, but here the snails are small just like my garden snails, I cannot bear to think of cooking and then eating them, not yet anyway.
An overview of a tiny section of the market stalls from our bedroom window.
Lovely fresh vegetables and juicy oranges straight from the trees.
Grapes, citrus fruits and fennel
All sorts of fish, most of which I don’t know the name and have never seen them before.
Many different types of beans, lentils, chickpeas, nuts, and dried peas. Local honey too, and seeing that it was Palm Sunday today, there was a parade taking place right next to the market, with local people acting out the bible story of Christ entering into Jerusalem on a donkey, palm leaves were blessed today and children were carrying each their branches.
Fresh herbs from the gardens surrounding the village, and delicous strawberries. I have noticed that once you walk passed the village houses here, that there are many terraced beds where vegetables and fruits are grown. We have not found out how the Maltese view organic foods and if they are freely available, I am not sure if they use a lot of fertilizer or insecticides, so right now I don’t know whether all this lovely fresh produce is what we are used to back home where we use our own vegetables or organic produce from the local market.
It was a day a for leisurely stroll among the market stalls and enjoy the many local people, tourist also, Marsaxlokk is a famous market every Sunday, people come from far and wide to get their goods, or to enjoy a day out, and meet with friends and family, the ambience was just brilliant and the day was warm. It was also a day for cooking and tasting new foods. I have thoroughly enjoyed myself. Now all is quiet again out there, the market people have packed up, cleaned the streets, and everyone has gone home. We too are resting up, tomorrow we are hoping to hop on a bus for a tour of the island, and that too should be interesting!