Saturday, August 30, 2014

Market Day

SALCEDO COMMUNITY MARKET is probably one of the oldest weekend open markets in Manila. Located in the bustling business district of Makati, where the weekends are blessedly free of the dronelike suits and the traffic that descend on the work week, the market becomes the center of all the action on Saturdays. We were there today, after many years, and the weather was perfect.

Right at the entrance a vendor was selling homemade ginger ale. He was young, with hair to his shoulders, and had a manner that reminded me of an elegant samurai with a dose of hipster. And his chilled ginger ale, sweetened with cane sugar, was bright and heady, and so refreshing. I got one of his amber bottles and will probably put in some vodka sometime, because he said so.

Here's Jamon who had some cotton candy and strawberry juice ten minutes into the market (I know).

There's so much too try here, and the food is practically global. Everything from lusty curries, paellas, shawarmas, fabada, French stews, roast chicken, German sausages, Japanese pancakes, Cantonese-style dimsum, Cebu lechon (roast pig), as well as fresh tropical juices and organic milks and yogurts.

There's also of course the fresh produce. You'll find veggies, herbs, native eggs, fresh fish and meat. Flowers and succulents if you feel like it. There was this gorgeous Greek lunch of salad, hummus, melitzanosalata and pita, that beckoned from a stall with large bowls bursting with moussakas.

The local vendors are particularly proud of their Filipino fare. And they should be. Some of them run restaurants nearby, are chefs or bakers, talented home cooks and passionate foodies. From one corner of the market, thick smoke wafts from a line of grills where energetic cooks baste juicy barbecues and what looked like whole tilapias on sticks. We had the Mango ice cream from a vendor who had parked his cart-on-wheels about fifteen meters from the grills.

I'm sorry I don't have any of the vendor's names to give here. But it would probably be best anyway that you explore the market yourself and find favorites of your own. And as with every large open market, watch your belongings, dress in light clothing and sensible shoes, and keep your kids close if you're taking them. I was in charge of Caroline and since my hands were full (plus camera), I usually just have her put her hand in my back pocket, and we did that today, up to the point where she yelled, "Mommy you have a squishy butt!" Luckily the market gets a bit chaotic around lunch and nobody heard that. It would be wise to do just as the neighborhood locals do and go early. Bring your market bag, do your shopping, and take your goodies home and have your feast.
Apart from the ginger ale, we brought home some tamales, garlicky longanisa (local handmade sausages), and a bottle of organic peppermint and cinnamon essential oil from a vendor that had a live beehive encased in glass that the kids totally flipped over.

I just wish I listened to that little voice that told me to get a hunk of that gloriously flaky baklava near the exit.

And thanks for reading!

* Salcedo Market is located in Jaime Velasquez Park in Makati. Between Tordesillas and Leviste streets in Salcedo Village. The market is open from 7am to 2 in the afternoon. Plus, check out these lovely market bags here and here. And this funny one.

1 comment:

  1. LOL at caroline!!! hehehe sorry :D

    as for that baklava, think of it as a reason why you should return to salcedo next sat. try the legaspi sunday market too :)


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