Going to the supermarket is convenient. You can find all of your food in one place. There is usually a pretty good variety and mixture of foods to choose from. Today, more and more grocery stores are starting to offer a selection of organic products and a health food aisle for those who are concerned about eating healthier.
In the United States, the vast majority of people get their food from the supermarket, but in other parts of the world, supermarkets take the back seat to more traditional food markets. What´s the difference, you ask? Food markets are more informal. many times located on the street and taking on more of a bazaar-like atmosphere. Food is usually fresher and the variety of foodstuffs can be outstanding.
Though the grocery store had almost all but replaced the more traditional food market in America, there are still several historic markets that continue to operate in different parts of the United States. The increasing popularity of the local food movement is also bringing back thousands of farmer’s markets in towns all across the world.
I´m Dr. Foodle, and we´re going to visit two of America´s most famous food markets that continue to offer food along with fun and entertainment for the weekly shoppers. It just might inspire some of you to leave the anonymity of your local grocery store and experience the pleasure of your local food market.
In downtown Seattle, right along the oceanfront, you can find the Pike Place Market. Literally thousands of pounds of fresh seafood makes its way into the market where hundreds of vendors line the stalls offering their products. Loads of fresh produce and appetizing food stands also make up part of the assortment of foodstuffs you can find here. As a cosmopolitan city with a very diverse population, many vendors of different nationalities also offer a variety of ethnic food dishes.
One of the most popular attractions of the Pike Place Market, however, is the fish throwers. Hundreds of people line up to watch burly men at a seafood stand in the market purchase fresh fish brought in from local fishermen. Once the fish are bought, one of the market vendors yells “Fresh 20 pound salmon incoming,” and heaves the fish 20 feet in the air to where his partner stands waiting to catch it, prepare it, and place it on ice in the display case for sale. It is quite a sight to see.
On the other side of the nation, in the heart of Amish Country, the Lancaster (Pennsylvania) Amish Market is the nation´s oldest continually running market. Every week, hundreds of local Amish farmers (and others) bring in the harvest from their gardens and recently slaughtered meat. Also offered are a variety of jellies, jams, preserves, and other canned products. You can´t beat the home-cooked meals of the many Amish restaurants that fill the market with an irresistible smell.
Seattle and Lancaster aren´t the only places to explore the wonders of the more traditional food markets. Almost every small town in America has some sort of traditional market, and bigger cities may even have ethnic markets to explore some great food diversity. Leave the aisles of the grocery store one week to explore the wonders and diversity of your local market.