the farmer’s market: produce

I love our local farmers’ market.  Every Saturday morning, dozens of vendors gather in our city to sell their wares:  fruit, vegetables, fish, eggs, clothes, sewing notions, dishes, cleaning products, linens, and more.  The prices are good, the in-season produce is locally produced and sold by the farmers themselves, and the quality is great.

I love these garlic braids – they have about 25 heads of garlic each, and I go through a braid every few months!

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16 thoughts on “the farmer’s market: produce

  1. How wonderful! I would worry a little bit about the potatoes out in the bright sunlight, but if it’s not for long, they should be ok. Thank you for showing us!

  2. I love seeing fresh local produce at markets. It always gives me inspiration to get in the kitchen and get cooking. It is one of my best memories from going to France last year and I am really looking forward to this when I go to Greece next month.

    Do you have any tips for dishes to try when in Greece?

    • hi there! I absolutely do! Especially if you know where you’ll be going. Each region has its own specialties, and I highly recommend that visitors eat the regional specialties and avoid eating the “Greek national dishes” unless they are in the very specific area that is known for. that dish. Do you know yet where you’ll be going?

      • We will be spending two weeks in Greece. The first we are staying in Athens, near the acropolis and exploring around the area. The second week we are staying on Santorini. What would you recommend for each? We are renting a holiday home in each so I will be hitting the markets as well to cook at home once or twice. I have really enjoyed following your blog so far, its very interesting to see what life in Greece is like at the moment.

        • In Athens, you are lucky because you can get really good dishes from all over the country, if you pick your restaurants carefully – and it’s pretty unique in Greece for having GOOD local food from other areas. Predictably, there is a lot of ‘tourist trap’ kind of food in Athens, which might be passable but is not the best out there. I’d highly recommend trying a Cretan restaurant (there’s a good one in Pangrati called Katsourbos, and another one very close to the Hilton Hotel called Alatsi – both are good, though I prefer Katsourbos, both are reasonably priced). One of my favorite restaurants (gosh I hope it hasn’t gone out of business – that holds for Katsourbos and Alatsi as well… with the crisis you never know) is called Resto on Panepistimiou St in the center near Omonoia Square, everything is organic and their food is some of the best in the city in my opinion, again at a reasonable price. In the neighborhood of Psyrri, which is in the center and is quite popular and busy at night, there are several good restaurants in the square, you can’t go wrong there. In the area near the Acropolis, there’s a lovely restaurant with a great view too, called Filoistron; if it’s a nice day, get a table on the terrace. In Gazi (Kerameikos metro stop), try the restaurant Logia tis Ploris for fish. For a quick and cheap (and delicious) pita, definitely try Ariston on Voulis St very close to Syntagma Square – some of the best pita in Athens.
          Websites to check out for some of these places:

          As far as shopping for your own meals… there’s really only one thing to know: the Central Market & Spice Markets!!! Head up Athinas St (at the Monastiraki metro stop) and you’ll come to the huge Central Market where you can find anything you can imagine, food-wise (they also have lots of kitchen stuff). Turn down Evripidou St which, as you go up Athinas St, before you come to the central market, you’ll turn left onto Evripidou St; go about 2 blocks and you’ll come to the spice and dried fruit markets… Bahar and Elixirion are the two most famous. A visit to Athens without visiting Bahar and Elixirion is not complete!!

        • Santorini is a little more difficult, for two reasons: it’s an incredibly touristy place, and it gets very little rainfall (though the soil is very fertile thanks to the volcano). The foods you have to try in Santorini are the fava (which I have already posted a recipe for), the fried tomato balls (domatokeftedes) but you are going too early in the year for actual Santorini tomatoes, but see if you can get some canned/jarred to try – they are shaped differently from regular tomatoes, like this:
          Aside from fava and tomatoes, try to get some fresh fish. I recommend a restaurant called Galini, which is located near the airport at Monolithos. Call first 22860 32924 to make sure they’re open when you want to go. They have great fish and it’s not tourist-trappy. Unfortunately in Fira, Oia, and the other caldera-view towns most of the food is either extremely expensive or not very good. If your wallet can handle it, try the restaurant called 1800 in Oia – and pay special attention to the historic building it’s in.
          The other big deal in Santorini is the wine. You can do tours of wineries – Santo Wines I think is the one that does the most tours.

          My recommendation having been to Santorini way too many times is to make time to see the towns of Pyrgos and Emborio, to see the archaeological site of Ancient Thira, and to rent a car even if just for one day so you can be independent. It’s easy to fall in to the “drinking €15 coffee in Oia” trap that most tourists do, but I think it’s a shame to do that. Santorini is large enough to get away from that especially if you head down to the Akrotiri area where not many people go. You could also take a trip across to the island of Thirassia which is very small and not many people go there, but it’s only a few minutes away. Generally speaking the further out you have to go to get to a restaurant, the better the food will be; the really central ones in Fira are crap. The vast, vast majority of them don’t have Greek cooks (or waiters for that matter) much less actual Santorini natives! Most visitors to Santorini eat food shipped in from Athens prepared by Albanians and think it’s “Santorini cuisine,” which is fine if you don’t know any better, but if you do, it kind of sucks. Especially since you’re paying for the ‘authenticity’ aspect.

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  4. I love going to “laiki” every Tuesday. I wrote a post about farmers’ market four years ago and although at the time I planned to do this more often, I always forget to take my camera with me. May be I will do this again soon and compare with prices of 2008.

    • that would be very interesting! and probably disturbing…. A major supermarket chain here (AB) has been advertising a whole list of about 500 products that they are selling “at 2008 prices” but I checked them one by one against what I pay at the supermarket closest to me and their “2008 prices” are higher!! I don’t even know if they are telling the truth.

      I am thinking I will take some more photos, at least of the seasonal stuff, when the seasons change. Right now it’s pretty weak since Thrace in winter is not exactly a cornucopia of variety. (Turnips, cabbage, and leeks, oh my!)

  5. Pingback: the farmers’ market: food | homeingreece

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