Every Friday, the huge Moraira car park is transformed into a bustling, stall lined market, heaving with tourists and locals alike. The usual stalls selling ‘designer’ bags, cheap bikinis and such tat are aplenty. As are the tourists lugging huge paella making paraphenelia across the road, brow glistening at the effort under the Spanish sun. You can’t help but think their burst of spontaneity and good intentions are probably doomed to failure. There might be one inaugural meal, after which it’s likely the pan shall take up permanent residence deep in the bowels of a cold garage. Such impulse seems to pop out from people at a market, irrespective of country. You end up buying more than you should and more likely, what you really shouldn’t.
Being a creature of impulse myself, I tend to glance down these aisles and walk quickly. When my feet reach the produce aisles though, the pace is decidedly snail like. Indulgence here, is never a waste, be it time, photo taking, eating or buying. I feel a desperate urge to cartload bags of fresh veg and fruit back to the apartment and just cook. I just about managed to stop myself when I considered the lack of real space, let alone gear, in the rented apartment. I got greedy with the fruit though. My kids are fruit monsters, they live on the stuff and bags of plums, peaches, grapes, melons and cherries were carried home. Vendors are more than happy for you to have a sample, like the young, happy, loud bloke shovelling cherries into a bag, insisting his were the best on show. Having sampled a few along the way to his stall, I had to agree. That bagful was demolished within a couple of hours after my return.
‘Local’ supermarkets cannot compete with the fresh and highly reasonable produce on offer here and why would folk choose to purchase fruit from there? A food market is on every day of the week in different towns around this area. All that’s needed is a car and you could eat well, seasonally, supporting local communities and businesses all of which is healthier for the body and on the pocket. I remember standing in the midst of the noise and colour, feeling despair at the thought that such produce would never grace the shopping trolleys of Doha. Being a desert country, this kind of abundance has to be imported, at a cost to purse and quality.
I have placed the order of the pictures, as the stalls are laid out in the market. Sweets and turrons, spices, dried meats, dried fruits, olives, fruit and vegetables. This considerably long aisle ends conveniently with a cafe. More promisingly though, it all starts, with a Churros Van.