Every Saturday morning, we have the option of going to an outdoor market that sells a variety of food. It’s not exactly a “farmers’ market,” because the vendors sell items, like papaya and grapefruit, that local farmers do not grow here in southern Germany. However, it is nice to feel a little more “local” and shop as many Germans do.
It’s also a good challenge since most of the vendors we’ve dealt with do not speak a lot of English.
I think we’re following the right custom here. You don’t always grab what you want. You tell the vendors how much of everything you want and they get it and weigh and bag it up for you. You could grab one item and pay for it, but if you have 5 items (or lettuce, which always seems to be in the back), you tell the vendor what you want. We typically go with our list already translated into German.
A neat thing to me is that you can buy less of a “bulk” item. For example, if you only want a few stalks off of a celery heart, they will break some off for you. You can also get half of a bunch of herbs, and they will separate it and charge you accordingly.
In addition to the fruit and vegetable stands, there are several meat and cheese trucks and even one fish truck.
We went to the market recently, because I wanted to cook fish. Coming from Boston and previously from Michigan, southern Germany disappoints my seafood expectations. Seafood is just not as much of the diet here as I have been used to. I’m sad to say that I hadn’t eaten seafood in 2012, so I had to get my hands on some fish.
Chris, always brave, attempted to order from the fish vendor in German by saying what we both thought was “one piece of cod.” The lady did not understand what he said, so he tried again. The lady looked at him as if to say, “I have no idea what you’re talking about.” After a while of trying, Chris just had to point to the cod and hold up one finger and say, in German, “Cod. One.” She understood that, and we paid for our cod.
I give Chris a lot of credit, because I thought he said everything perfectly. We had a wonderful dinner but realized that there’s still a lot more German to learn. I suppose there’s always another Saturday around the corner to challenge our progress…
See what I do the rest of the weekend: