Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Enjoying the Frutas (y Verduras) of Madrid

PLEASE CLICK on this picture to see more detail.

Towards the end of my week in Madrid, I found this nice grocery store about a three minute walk from my hotel right on the way back from the neighborhood entrance to El Parque de Buen Retiro, which I visited every day.

I waited my turn while I listened to this woman discussing the gazpacho she was going to make with the produce man. There, of course, the produce seller picks out everything for his customer. We don't sully the frutas or the verduras by touching or squeezing them with our fingers. They picked out everything she needed – tomates, pimentón, a little bunch of sweet, yellow cebollas and some nice heads of ajo. I can’t eat peppers, onions OR garlic, and it still sounded good, a nice cold vegetable soup in the ‘midst of Madrid en Julio. Most days it ranged somewhere over a hundred degrees in the afternoon.
La Senora made a friendly joke to me, about how long she'd taken and I told both of them how much I'd enjoyed listening to her cooking plans, since I was just visiting. That seemed to help me out of the tourist and into the visitor category.
This man handed me both a fresh cherry and an apricot to eat while I waited and, after he marked the price on each package of produce, he added in extras to each bag for this, clearly well-known, customer. Grocery shopping in another country is as enjoyable a cultural experience for me as restaurant eating is for the next woman.

No comments:

Post a Comment