The next few posts will be dedicated to something I love – REALLY love, and that’s food. And how we buy our food. I love visiting food markets around the world to see how other people eat. We have the luxury of having a good food market near our house but there is something a little more “real” about the way that other cultures deal with their food shopping. The most confronting market I have been to was the Athens meat market in the centre of town – cuts of meat and offal on big blocks, goat and pig heads, blood on the floor, butchers yelling at you selling their wares as you passed and a good deal of flies. You certainly felt pretty close to your food source!
In Bangkok mm and I searched in vain for the “famous” flower markets. I think we had come at the wrong time of day – we saw a few sad bunches of orchids, but the gushing description of blooms and plumes from around the world as promised by the guide book was nowhere to be seen. Instead we found a very cool wet market – big trays of chillies and turmeric, big tied up bunches of kaffir lime leaves, tuk tuks shifting lemon grass around and people running with trolleys from the river up to the stalls. It was alive and exciting.
Cultres that have an exciting way to buy food – fresh, “real”, colurful, lots of variety, seasonal – also tend to be more connected to food in general. Food plays a big part in day to day living – meal time and eating is central to the day. It’s not something that you “make-do” – you really care about what you serve up, or sit down to. It’s sad that we have lost that connection, and it’s probably a big part of why Australia is the most obese nation on earth. We are more comfortable buying things in plastic trays or out of the freezer. We buy food that is pre-processed as we have no idea to add flavour ourselves. We are happier to buy a pasta sauce in a jar than use the basic ingredients of tomotoes, onion, garlic and some herbs. It’s also cheaper to do it that way – and takes a about a minute longer to prepare.
Next post; some handy local sites sent to me from Brendan at The Wine Point – a guy who is VERY passionate about his grub!