Tag Archives: market

No sample cups needed

Are you as excited as I was?! Today we got to go to the local farmers market and see what Trinidad has to offer. Favorite thing to do when I arrive to a new place… check! 
Let’s start with the usual items you’d expect to see at any open air market.  

 Local vegetables and fruit galore! This was my first time seeing a yellow watermelon. I was jumping on the opportunity to try it, but was informed by the others that it tastes exactly like the red one (enter disappointed face here).  

    

    
Studies show that local raw honey contains pollen that is specific to your area and therefore can really help seasonal allergies. Here in Trinidad, it’s the only option as it’s illegal to import honey to the island. I love that they left the comb in some of the jars!
 Kombucha tea seems to be making a world wide tour since I first heard of it back in the states. I love to be reintroduced to it as a “brand new wonder drink”. Yes please, I’ll take 2. 

 Today, Ryan went with a loaded Arepa. Spilling over two pieces of fried bread are hunks of pork, beef, cheese, black beans and a homemade sauce. To me, it sounded like a stomach ache waiting to happen. To him, it was breakfast. For the sake of trying all things new, I geared up for a bite (you can tell how thrilled I was). A mini nibble was all I needed to stand up and keep looking around!
    
On my scavenge around, I ran into a popular dish that was put on my “must try list” by a local friend (thank you Lisa!). Curried crab and dumpling is a soup of whole crab marinating in a coconut curry broth. I asked for their smallest cup but was quickly informed that the only option was a family bowl, no… more like bucket size. When debating on my order, he offered me a sample (if you know me well, I rarely turn down a bite) so I put my hands together in a “thank you”stance. 

This is when he just stared at me. What seemed to be a solid minute of awkward giggling (by him, not me) he then opened my hands and said “here”. Ohhhh, I get it! 
I decided against the crab and kept enjoying the variety that was before me. Here’s a dose of some other options. 

    
 This one stopped me for a moment in curiosity. Is it three separate things, fish, tea OR soup? Nope, it was definitely “fish tea soup”. This I had to try! The broth had a perfect balance of sweet, salty and spicy with solid pieces of pumpkin, potato and white fish. Warning to future visitors, several dishes down here include the bone, so I highly suggest that you don’t chomp away like it’s your grandmas noodle soup!  
  
Sweet tooth? To my minimal experience so far, most of Trinidad has one! They fill this desire with a variety of sugar based treats ranging from Indian delights to homemade candy and ice-cream. I was drawn to this stand from all the color and the small sign that said “Cassava pone”.  Pone is not a pudding, not a cake, but somewhere in between. It’s usually made from root vegetables (this one from cassava) but you can also make them with carrots, sweet potatoes or pumpkin. 

I bought it to share and when she handed it to me, it was as if she passed a crumb covered brick. This thing was solid! Not my favorite splurge. 

 
Besides edibles, there were tables showing off jewelry, artwork, handbags and more.  What market would be complete without live music and a sitting area in which you can enjoy the surroundings!   

 Through the vibration of the cultural music, I could faintly here trickling of water… where was it coming from? Oh my, check out this one of a kind seating!  A typical picnic table covered in greens, with a small stream running right through the middle leading to a dainty waterfall.

When I grow up (or at least have an address) I will have one of these to share in good company!

  

As if all of the above wasn’t enough, the walk back to the car presented us with a colorful path of delicate flowers, blooming trees and fresh growing herbs.      

Next step up the stairs of this Trinidadian adventure leads us on a quick trip to Maracus Beach. If you speak with any Trini or previous visitor, they will most likely mention this hot spot. Why is it so special? I’ve been told 2 main reasons. First of all, it’s one of the few waterfronts protected by a deep bay creating a prime lounging area. Secondly, it’s known for the popular dish called “shark and bake” or “bake and shark” (depends who you’re talking with). This is a world famous sandwich that consists of two pieces of soft fried bread with a portion of shark as the meat. You then line up at what resembles a salad bar and top it off with whatever sauces, veggies and extras that you prefer. From garlic spreads to pepper sauces, coleslaw to fresh lettuce. Here’s a few shots from the drive to this trendy north coastal region.  

 A pit stop to check out the tourist section of our day. Here you can take a break and purchase some typical treats and souvenirs. A well known goodie along these parts is called chow. Chow is almost ripened fruit soaked in lime, garlic, herbs, salt and pepper. Although you can find it in a variety of flavors, you’ll often see mango, plum or pineapple.   We made it to Maracas Beach!
  
 
Chastine had made the comment that it “always rains on this beach”. After proving her wrong with the bright blue sky, within minutes (no exaggeration) nature giggled back with this… 

  Oh well, no law against having a shark and bake in the rain!  

 

Can you believe it’s only afternoon? Whew! I’m so grateful for Ryan with his photo skills and willingness to share… our friends with their high energy (you all are the best guides!) and this stunning country that has given me new material to stimulate the senses. Much more to come!  
  

Bridgetown Vs Bridgetown Market

Located on the southwest coast, Bridgetown is the capital city (and only city) in Barbados.  Like most cities in the world, you’ll find an array of contrasts within the busy streets. New cars and old bikes, historical sights next to booming businesses. There are street vendors selling colorful fruit, fresh veggies, snacks and random trinkets right outside of clothing shops, hair boutiques and popular mall stores. Casual cafes to nice restaurants sit along the dock offering local plates and if you’re looking for fast food (served with a side of greasy guilt) you can opt for one of the not so fast food joints on the island… Chefette, Burger King or KFC. 

FUN FACT: Barbados is the only country in the world in which McDonalds opened and closed due to lack of customers. The popular chain barely survived 6 months!

    

    
Have a sweet tooth? You can always find a bakery or local sugar shack but in this heat, the popular choice is anything cold, preferably frozen!   

If walking doesn’t suit your day, there’s never a lack of taxi’s eager to give you a lift. This cheerful cab driver was fine with us declining a ride, however was very dissatisfied that my head wrap didn’t have a bow in the back. He took it upon himself to make sure “dis angel sista gah-de-bow she deserve”. Thank you for brightening my day kind sir! 

 
We had two random priorities that consumed some of our time during our stroll through the city. First, my dear friend Shanda wasn’t going to put her poor feet through another step of blisters. Lucky for her, there’s several shoe stores conveniently located within the city. Success! 

 
Secondly, a handstand. In the years I’ve been enjoying this wonderful country, I have yet to snag an upside down smile in the Capital. Completed!

    

  
Thank you Shanda for sharing your creative photo abilities. Check out this cool shot! 

 

Moving on to the Bridgetown Market. Not to be confused with the capital city, this annual event happens in the final weekend of Cropover. With 3 days of jam packed entertainment, local cuisine and a variety of shopping, it’s known as one of the largest street fairs in the Caribbean. 

 Along the famous Spring Garden highway you’ll find a wide range of authentic Caribbean dishes like jerk chicken, macaroni pie, fish and chips, fried plantain as well as smaller vendors with local fruit drinks and baked goods.  

 This was our view in either direction where we sat to eat. You can imagine the contrast between this angle and the vibrant street behind us.  I suppose that’s just one more thing I love about this place. 

Once you’ve had your fill of edibles, there are plenty of items to wander through as you get lost in the colorful stalls lining the highway. If shopping is your intention, just look for the brightly colored stalls inviting you in for a stroll through unique products. Jewelry, bags, clothes and like items to plants, herbs, fruit and veggies.
   
   
 

If you walk down the paved road, you’ll be tempted to chip away to the soca music or at least stop and watch the ones dancing in front of the speakers. No joke, this fella was gettin’ down for the entire time we were there! 

 If you’re keen for more traditional tunes, just follow your ears to the small stage located behind the rainbow stalls.
 

So when you’re on the island during the entertaining week of Cropover, I’d suggest making time for a walk thorugh both the capital city as well as the annual Bridgetown Market.  I’ll leave you with a shot from our walk home. Hard not to smile, right?

 

Mr.Delicious doesn’t serve pig tails

Although several of my recent posts of Barbados have been mostly of major events or daily excursions, (if you haven’t seen them, I suggest checking out Down de Road and Paint me up mudder cup) they’re just a small part of what this beautiful island has to offer. I’d like to share with you a bundle of our “down time” days between the Carnival celebrations.

Here’s a walk to the famous Miami Beach where there sits a popular palm tree that you’ve seen pop up in my blog several times.

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This setting seems to provide quality opportunities for classic photos.

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Moving right along with the traditional jump shot that Hayden and I started back at Machu Picchu to Yosemite, followed by Stonehenge and now Barbados!

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Hungry along the way? No problem man! Mr. Delicious sells some quality Roti’s and fish cakes on the beach.

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After a therapeutic walk to the famous palm tree, we were lucky enough to run into friends at a secret look out on the south coast. A little table hidden away in the casual Surfers Cafe.

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On the island, you can often keep hydrated by the abundance of coconut products that are around every corner. My favorite are the venders that will also divi out the meat and jelly from inside as well. Follow me to the coconut boys!

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Wendy’s is a local joint that provides traditional Bajan food, a full bar and indoor/outdoor seating. If you’re lucky to land here on a Friday night, you’ll also get serenaded with good ol’ karaoke.

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Take a look at the edible (at least they say so) item below. I’ll give you one guess at what Ryan is unwrapping… Give up?

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Pork tail. Yes, that is a sauced up squiggly piece of meat from the tail of a pig. Umm, no please.

If the wagger of Wilbur doesn’t appeal to your appetite, there’s always a solid chance that you’d pass a Chefette on the way home. This would be the “McDonalds” of the island. I choose to avoid drive through restaurants, but this one had a salad bar, so Bree and I decided to dig in! My favorite part is the secret booths. “How dare you see what I’m eating!”

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This is where I see fit to put in the only picture we captured of our new friends Nick and Shana. We spent hours with toes in the sand and stomach aches from the natural comedy that took over our time together. On this day, they joined us for a Chefette experience and as you can see (by the cradling of their meal) they’re fans of the popular Roti!

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I’ll complete this post with a few random photos that may snag your eyes attention while gazing around the island. Enjoy!

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When your heart aches a bit flying away from this divine country, there’s always one last glimpse of the natural beauty that takes up this space of our beautiful planet.

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For more posts on the random fun facts, the people, food and sights of this marvelous place, please click here and snoop around! Until next time Barbados…

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The Folsom Farmers Market

If you’ve been following long enough, you’ll know it’s very likely to find me in a local market sampling any and every thing that’s offered. I love food.

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This round of staying in California placed me living a short distance from the local farmers market. For the first time I was a tourist in my home town as I chatted small talk with the venders every Saturday morning. Walk with me (or kidnap some friends and jog with me)!

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I apologize to the non vegetarians out there as I didn’t get close ups of any animal products. Take my word, there were definitely quality hunks of meat out there and I’m not talking about the guys who came to the market still dressed in their gym clothes.

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This stand sells goodies from under the sea. Fresh fish, smoked items and unique treats such as salmon bacon and fish jerky were a just a few of the options.

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All the way from The Netherlands (one of my favorite European countries) is Marga. With vegan treats and energy boosting snacks, she greeted me with a familiar accent. I replied with the only sentence I know in her language, “Klink ik nederlands?”, which translates “Do I sound Dutch?”. She responded with a giggle and said, “Not really. WellI I guess a little bit since I understood you!”.
Her website offers nutrient packed snacks and details of how it all started. Check her out at www.commonkettle.com

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A special thanks to Teresa. As if her tasty jam wasn’t enjoyable enough, the supportive conversation was something I looked forward to each week. Ps, apricot is amazing if you ever get the chance to order from her!

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Nita, side by side with her daughter, was always eager to divi out the samples (I’m sure because they were confident that you couldn’t resist another bite). From gooey caramel enhanced rice Krispy treats to peanut butter brownies, self discipline was a must when passing by this stand!

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Peel’d has a brilliant idea that is beng loved around the Sacramento area. Each day they juice a fresh new batch of smoothies and bring the amazing flavors out to the market. I know most of you savvy little health nuts out there have a juicer or Vitamix, but this little backpacker doesn’t have room to lug those appliances around. Instead, I choose over worn clothes, trail mix, and a half empty first aid kit.
With that said, this trip I’ve been spoiled with a fresh juice every Weekend. Glorious! If you’re jealous and would love these juicy deliveries to your doorstep, check out their website at www.getpeeld.com.
To Tim and my peel’d friends, your greetings every week spoke in volumes and have still left an imprint on my Saturday morning experiences, much gratitude to the dozens of samples (that you knew I had already tried) and the gifted bottles that I enjoyed to the last drop!

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I didn’t get to know this lovely lady as well as the others, but Nicole’s creativity and passion towards organic dog food stood out to me. Add animals to the list of things that I don’t backpack with, but if you have a healthy pup at home, feel free to look her up at www.inthedoghousetreats.com

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If I could remember the exact words these folks spoke to me I’d share them with the world to brighten the day. Their supportive compliments fueled my traveling fire and the mini bag of granola traveled with me well! Thanks again!

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Usually my market posts are crammed with fruit and veggies, but this round the vibrant people and homemade goodies took over. I don’t want to leave out the vendors that kept my counter piled high with rainbow colored edibles from the earth. Thank you for the abundance of plants grown in your backyard!

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Wait… Did you say bees and ant eggs?

I’m still gratefully accepting donations for this season of “With our powers combined”!

Over the time spent in Chiang Mai, Bree and I hit several different markets trying what seemed like any and every item that was either new and curious or familiar and tasty. Lets start off with some sugary delights, why? Because every human should have dessert first once in awhile… It does the inner-child some good!

This sign stopped me right my tracks as I love frozen yogurt (well, pretty much anything that’s sweet and frozen) and I had never seen this before. They take a flavored ice block and attach it to a machine that shaves it so thin that it resembles the texture of snow. Amazing, I know! With flavors ranging from the typical options to green tea, chai, banana and even a “yogurt” that we can’t tell if it was actual frozen yogurt or just flavored that way. Doesn’t matter because it was delicious!

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I’m not a soda drinker, but kudos to this simple idea. They would pour your favorite drink into the cylinder, drop a stick in it and gently rotate it until they froze. Homemade pop cycles!

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For those who like baked goods, your options seemed unlimited. Yes, that waffle was made with shredded pork and it sat amongst the other flavors of coconut, raisin, chocolate and corn!

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Donuts anyone?

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This was a soft but crispy shell with a marshmallow type cream and your choice of topping melted into it. The yellow shavings? Definitely not cheese, it’s actually egg yolk! (Also to be seen in large qualities below).

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Here are some other sweets that caught the attention of my camera.

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The glorious group of fruit is in a different category for me. It’s not dessert or a topping to a salad nor do I love it dried or fried. My favorite way to consume it is by itself, freshly cut and first thing in the morning. They do it a bit differently in Asia, as it seems to be served up primarily in the evenings and usually blended.

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Moving on to the meat, fish and questionable items that they claim are edible.

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Vegetables… I think. If it’s green, it has to be healthy, right?

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What do you like in your omelet? Cheese, onions, ham and peppers? We went for bee and ant eggs… Turns out there’s a first and last time for everything!

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A few more fun items that may or may not be tempting while wandering the streets of Chiang Mai, Thailand.

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I’ll close this scrumptious post with a beautiful plate of traditional Pad Thai that came from 29 Cafe. I highly suggests scouting out this hidden table if you’re in the area – thank you Zsuzsi and Vilmos!

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