a food blog by samwellsphoto.com
December 24, 2014

One of my favorite things to do while traveling is to visit all types of markets. Nothing educates me more on a culture’s cuisine than the local markets where the ingredients are sold. Industrialized production, storage, and shipping of food has pretty much homogenized our food selection in supermarkets. We get food from everywhere in the world, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing if I want bell peppers in the winter, but we are pretty much sold the same things all year. On top of that, some of the most interesting fruits and vegetables that don’t travel well get left out of the system because spoilage rates are too high. Going to local markets gives me a pulse on what is grown in the area and there’s always something unique I’ve never seen before.

This is the only floating market I’ve ever seen, but I guess everything is floating in Venice, so it only makes sense.

Crossing the border from Spain to France shows the drastic change in bread making styles. Bread was sold by the kilo at this market in Santiago de Compostella in Spain. Below shows all the classic spices at the same market.

I found that French markets were all merchandized perfectly. Everything was organized, and then systematically reorganized all day as things were sold. Their pride in their merchandize is definitely shown in the details.

Fish markets prove how diverse food is around the world. It’s an awakening experience to see how much fish displays in the US consist mostly of fillets from large fish, while most fish markets around the world consist of smaller fish. Cooking whole fish is one of my favorite things because the flavor from the bones and skin is indescribably good. All my deep sea fishing friends think I’m crazy when I ask them to bring back some mackerel, sardines, or small bi-catch that they use to catch big game fish. Identifying fresh fish is the secret to cooking epic fish, so use your senses to pick the best. Look for clear eyes, a neutral fresh sea smell, firm texture, and a fresh slime coat on the skin. If anything is fishy, don’t buy it. No amount of spices will ever cover up funky fish. If the fish is good enough, cooking it with salt and drizzling it with extremely good olive oil is the only thing you need to do.

In Costa Rica I found this street fruit stand shown below selling Rambutan, and the photo above shows this giant market compound that sell food, fish, meat, and produce everyday.

Some beautiful colors you can’t find in a supermarket found at a farmers market in Santa Barbara, CA.

One of my favorite markets to visit up near Moss Landing, CA. It was kiwi season, so we got 10 giant kiwis for $1. We ate so many, and went back for more.

Below is a market on the streets in Buenos Aires where we got some of the best cheese of my life. Argentina is known for its high quality beef, and from high quality livestock comes high quality cheese.

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