Aromatic markets fuel creativity in kitchen

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FIESTAS DE SAN ISIDRO: Where agriculture and food are high on the agenda.

THERE are celebrations and festivals in Spain all year, but one of the largest and most widely celebrated is the May Fiestas de San Isidro, where agriculture, food and local markets are high on everyone’s agenda.
Why are the Spanish markets so special? It’s because they are thought of as the heart of their neighbourhoods. A tour of these wonderfully aromatic and colourful streets with their choreographed displays of fresh produce empowers you to cook.
If you’re a foodie with an open mind and a shallow pocket, Mercat de la Boqueria in Barcelona could be your new best friend. The Catalan capital is a veritable cornucopia of beautiful, creative cuisine that celebrates fresh, local Catalan produce. Walking into this 13th century establishment, your senses are teased with a burst of colours and aromas.
Madrid’s equivalent would have to be Mercado de San Miguel. The 100-year-old, beautiful, iron structured building has a commanding position over the Plaza Mayor. Its multitude of cultural and culinary happenings are extremely popular, especially during San Isidro weekend.
Further south in Malaga, Mercado de Ataranzas is best known for its 108 stained-glass window panes that run along one end of the building, and the magnificent Moorish gate entrance.
This market dates back to the 14th century. Strolling from stand to stand you will learn about the fresh local ingredients, herbs and spices, and tricks of the trade that will bring out the best in your food, and would make San Isidro himself want to put his apron on and start cooking.




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