Monday, March 31, 2008

Feria de Maldonado


Punta del Este, with its endless beaches, chic cafés and stores such as Louis Vuitton and Fendi, where only wealthy foreign tourists can shop, is Uruguay's pride. However, I much prefer nearby Maldonado, a quiet town with age-old landmarks - I will make sure to feature some this week on this blog.


Every Sunday, Maldonado is the stage of a feria (outdoor market) where the country's bounty is displayed.
Families walk around buying superb seasonal produce, as they munch on tortas fritas (fried cakes) and panchos (hot dogs), with their mate handy. Very much Uruguay's national beverage, caffeine-packed, super bitter mate is made with the leaves of a shrub and boiling water, and drunk in spherical, leather 'cups' with a silver straw.

Local cheese, dried herbs for infusions and seasoning as well as honey are also sold.
With the vegetables, people will make pascualina, a delicious spinach-and-egg pie, or empanadas, pastry pouches with yummy filling. As in Argentina, a significant portion of the population is of Italian descent (including my own late great-grandmother, Nonna Chinita), so at the feria you'll find everything you need to make potato-based gnocchi, fresh pasta and sauces...

15 comments:

A World in a PAN said...

The scale in your picture is seen only in brocantes in Paris, isn't it? And all the fruit! The coarse skins, without any sense of "shelf display", promise delicious and tasty insides.

Jill said...

Great market pictures! All those fresh fruits and veggies look amazing. Markets (food or flea) are my favorite place to go on a trip. Enjoy!

Jill said...

Great market pictures! All those fresh fruits and veggies look amazing. Markets (food or flea) are my favorite place to go on a trip. Enjoy!

the traverler's soul said...

In those fruits one can see
the color of the sea
the burning heat of the sun

Bitterbetty said...

this looks fantastic!

Kwana said...

What lovely photos! I feel like I'm traveling with you.

design for mankind. said...

LOVELY photos, dearie!!! :)

andrea tachezy said...

It is so nice to see the photos and read what you wrote.Thanks!

tangobaby said...

I did not realize how much Italy is tied with Argentina and Uruguay until I went to Buenos Aires, and sat nex to a very nice man from Uruguay on my flight.

Your photos are lovely and I'll look forward to learning more.

Jen (MahaloFashion) said...

You need to make banana bread out of those!

marie said...

ooh im hungry now! merci for the beautiful pictures and sharing all your experiences..you seem at home ;)

Line said...

so exciting to take part of these glimpses of Paraguay, a country I don't know too much about ... Keep enjoying your stay!

Uruguaya said...

Dile a Line que aqui, es el Uruguay y no el Paraguay!

Mary-Laure said...

TangoBaby, yes Italy is very much connected to Uruguay and Argentina; whenever I go to Italy I see so many things in cafés and other places that I thought were typically Uruguayan but are actually Italian!

Jen, I love the banana bread suggestion, yum! Here they also use bananas to make caramelized 'panqueques de banana', or banana pancakes... So GOOD!

four leaves said...

I love these images - magnificant! I love market shopping and wandering.