Monday, August 31, 2009

Rethymno Farmer's Market

     My taste buds were not ready for my trip to Greece. They are under stimulated by US produce. The flavors of the produce in Crete were so intense that it was information overload for my mouth every time I took a bite of anything. The watermelon, the tomatoes, the cheese, the cucumbers, everything truly defines was eating local means. 
     Most taverna's grow their own vegetables and herbs behind the restaurant and if you want to see locals, the Farmer's Market is the place to be. My idea of photographable locals are really old, leathery people and the Farmer's Market was chock full of them.
     And what's my favorite thing after old wrinkly people? Food. Fresh local food. I was on a mission to get some fresh green figs. To describe the sensation of eating a milky fresh fig on a Mediterranean island in the summer is impossible. The moment the sweet flesh hits my tongue I close my eyes and know I am in heaven. I believe that if there is one forbidden fruit, it is the fig. 
 Let's talk about olives. The Greeks know their olives and that was next on my must have list and I was not let down. They were probably the best olives I've had in a very very long time. So fresh and perfectly salty. 
The next logical step after olives is olive oil and the olive oil lady gives shots out knowing that once you try it you must have it. I ended up smuggling a few liters home. 
    And the herbs, the entire place smells like fresh oregano, and its not the same stuff as you can get here. Greek oregano is in a class of its own. Its so pungent and even has a mild sweetness you would never associate with oregano. 
    I bought some Raki, thats Greek moonshine, and the man threw in a giant bushel of grapes. The grapes you get in the supermarkets here taste like water, the Greek grapes are so sweet and bursting with delicious grapeyness.
  Union Square is a great Farmer's Market, but you will not find live snails for sale, or live rabbits ready for slaughter. I felt so bad for those rabbits, but I was obsessed with the rabbit man. He's great and you know he has never felt bad once for strangling a bunny. I can respect that. This is easily my favorite photo from the trip. 
   Right next to the vegetable stalls is a flea market and this girl is like, "what, I'm wearing a neon yellow shredded backless shirt and my trunk junk is hanging out of my puma poom poom short, and?" She's my Greek idol! 

No comments: