One of my favorite things about Valencia is the abundance of high-quality, inexpensive, and seasonal produce. It’s a side effect of being so close to the Mediterranean Sea, and the mild climate is perfect for a variety of plants. The temperature rarely gets below freezing. Fields around Valencia are often filled with a variety of crops year-round.
People get excited about fresh fruits and vegetables here. Like really excited. People who have experienced some pretty lean years in their lives show quite a bit of enthusiasm about the produce available at pop-up farmer’s markets. Frankly, I’m right there with them. I’m someone who had to pay top dollar for flavorful produce in the United States. Fruit that actually tasted like fruit was a rarity in the typical grocery stores near where I lived.
I am always amazed at the quality of produce at the grocery stores and green grocers around town. Every neighborhood near the city center has two or three (or more) green grocers selling a variety of fruits, vegetables, and other farm-to-table products, like honey or eggs. These grocers are a great place to find a slightly different selection of plant-based foods than the supermarket.
So when a friend suggested that we go to a pop-up market on a brisk and overcast day near my place, I enthusiastically agreed. This event was sponsored by various businesses in Patraix, a neighborhood in Valencia. While I didn’t know what to expect, apparently a lot of other people did. Plaza Patraix was packed!
A variety of local fruit and vegetable growers, along with culturally-themed social organizations, had set up booths in the square. People were lined up to make purchases of amazing-looking produce. While we didn’t make any purchases, we saw a lot of people that had their eyes on particular shopping finds. The chilly weather did not prevent people from coming out to get their fruits and vegetables for the week.
Marvelous! Greens, walnuts, shallots and more. I love it. Can't wait to get there and explore markets like this.
There’s an enormous market near Murcia, too, which a main farming area. These kinds of markets are really fostered by the nearby rural areas that provide some amazing produce!