Monday, July 5, 2010

Organic Market

On Saturday before I split for Amsterdam, Yve and Monica took me to the first organic farmers market in Lisbon, which was started by a local organic farming organization a few years ago. It was still early in the day so the market was small, but all the baskets were filled to overflowing with every fruit and vegetable imaginable. And wine. This market allows for the resale of produce from other places, as long as it’s organic.

Conventional produce markets have permanent housing in the “mercado” of each neighborhood. You can go get fish, bread, cheese and vegetables every day of the week within a few steps of the neighborhood center. These institutions are dying, however, as people everywhere spend less time cooking and supermarkets convince us that having everything all in one place is better than just about everything else, including taste, freshness, quality, relationships and service.

After we shopped and I took pictures and bought a fig, we went to have coffee and croissants for breakfast. I added my fig to my breakfast plate. It was huge, mildly sweet and juicy just like a fig is supposed to be.

The only thing I liked more than laundry in Lisbon was Monica’s social circle. I met a vibrant, whip-smart, funny and passionate woman every day of my stay. Not all of them are from Portugal, so I know it’s not something in the water, but there has to be something about this place—my guess is that it’s probably Monica—that makes it a great place to be.

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