Markets are the best

Nothing gets me excited like a market. We have a Carrefour 5 minutes from our flat and it’s miserable. It’s always a mess and there’s always plenty of Flutty Flakes cereal (mascot: duck in a ball cap) but they seem to restock the very adult chocolate muesli only once every other month. In reality it’s quite wonderful, because for the most part they have anything a reasonable person might need, and I can figure out what everything is with plenty of time spent staring at the label to decide if what I’m holding is cornmeal or corn starch. (It was corn starch.)

Literally on the doorstep of the mini-market, though, are these permanent vendors with piles of beautiful produce, a variety of very similar breads, a spectacular assortment of olives, and a collection of gas canisters that Colin had to go visit on Friday after his long day of class. I spurn the produce in Carrefour because I like the guys outside so much more.

But even better than those guys were all of the vendors in the public market of Akkari, which was less than a 20 minute walk from us. The produce stretched for blocks, and then around the corner were young girls with warm bread, canvas bags full of spices and legumes, and men with the fresh fish of the day–it looked like sardines.

It was fabulous! And all thanks to our landlady, who perhaps caught a glimpse of our woefully under-stocked pantry area when she was here to help caulk up our leaky ceiling and suggested we visit the market.

We’ll be making a trip to the market a nearly weekly event, I imagine. Especially since this weekend’s haul included such wonderful green beans, oranges, and artichokes.

No butter, no mayonnaise, dipping sauce for artichokes
for one large artichoke
2 heaping soup spoons of plain yogurt
2 smallish garlic cloves, minced
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt
5 twists of the pepper grinder
tiny squeeze of lemon

Combine first four ingredients and let sit for the 10 minutes of time following when the artichokes should be done steaming and when they are actually done steaming. While they drain, mix in the lemon juice*. Adjust S&P to taste. The garlic flavor gets more potent the longer it sits. Awesome.


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