Thursday, September 24, 2009

CENTRAL MARKET

Just love the buzz. It’s how food shopping should be. It’s so real…..no artifice. First the noise…..chaotic, uptempo, makes your heart beat quicker as soon as you walk in, then the smell…..fresh sea smells, cheese, jamones,…. Then the violence. The beheading, de-scaling, gutting, boning. The urgency to sell…to bargain…to get the best. My eyes are everywhere. I suddenly realize I’m smiling for no reason. Is that weird? Who cares! I walk around anonymous, watching, taking in everything, the prices….what could I sell a portion of squid for…the cuts…..is that ribeye? looks different….that must be tripe…’callos’…seen that on menus…now I know…. Chickens with head still on like in France…..que buscas carino? (what are you after, love?)....nada….solo mirar gracias!!! (nothing, only looking thx). I stand next to people straining my ears to try to understand. This is full speed, no-holds-barred real language...some Catalan, some Castellano. The best language lesson you can have and it's free!
Outside it’s like I’ve been to a rock concert, my ears are ringing. I head to basque tapas bar. Small beer in strange flat tumbler. Chistora sausage still warm, mushroom croqueta, tuna with padron pepper, fried cheese, pincho moruno. Would this work in UK? Keep thinking!
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