I recently visited the open market in Paleo Psychico, near Athens. It is one of the best – albeit small – open markets in the metropolitan area and I have a good friend there. I have noticed her many years ago as her stall had “real” vegetables and herbs, not the ones I call “Barbie” stuff. She is always ready to discuss a recipe, the latest developments in the country, or her daughters’ trip to Edinburgh.
I have been going to this market for years, although not regularly, as my job does not give this luxury.
I hope these photographs of carrots and aubergines express what I mean by “real” as opposed to “Barbie” vegetables.
My friend uses only natural fertilizers in her fields. The Vlita are tender and juicy, but most of all, tasty!
These babies are really hot! I was told that the best way to eat them is to preserve them. Here is how: bake them, take the skin off, and then can them in olive oil. I will try it this weekend, to see what comes out.
But before I try the preservation of hot peppers, I will try the preservation of tomatoes! I announced it to my friend that I will try to preserve her tomatoes, and that she will need to try the result. She accepted the challenge, so the clock has started clicking. There will be a separate post on the preservation of tomatoes!
As I was talking to my friend, a customer came about, grabbed one tomato and smelled it. He then put it back and left. I was surprised, because I know that the only way to smell a tomato is to cut her in half and then smell the flesh.
One of the most attractive features of the open market is that it attracts various sellers, and here comes one of them. He comes from Livadia, 100kms nortwest of Athens, and makes the baskets himself. I could not resist the temptation, and I bought the one with the handle for 10 EUROS.
A few stalls down the road is a lemon seller from the area of Corinth. I caught the moment when the nearby snack bar’s delivery girl was delivering an omelette. As you can see although it is early for lemons, they are quite big and juicy! Nothing compared to the plastic things they import from Argentina and sell as lemons!
This lady also comes from the area of Corinth and sells grapes and olive oil.
This baby comes from Pakistan. My friend got the seeds from her Pakistani friends. It is sweet and tastes like a white pumpkin. Apparently it is delicious with chicken, due to its light taste. Unfortunately I am not clear about its name. It is something like “opo”.
This is the famous “stamnagathi”, a weed that grows on the island of Crete, and has therapeutic properties. It costs 14 EUROS per kilo.