Local food and markets

Hoi An, Vietnam market
I've always been interested in what kinds of vegetables and fruits are grown in places that we've visited, whether in home gardens, for local sale, or in agricultural food production.

I'm equally interested in how they're used in local dishes, too, but that's a different topic.

Tellingly, using "market" as a search term in my Natural Gardening blog picked up pages and pages of posts over the last 11 years.  I'd included photos of markets in Vietnam, Guatemala, Colombia, Italy, Germany, Canada, Dominica, and Tanzania, among other places.  When I remember favorite photos included in presentations, from pre-blogging days, and other places not blogged about -- the list gets even longer, including Laos, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Mexico and Ecuador.

The diversity of vegetables, fruits, and other items sold can be remarkable,  reflecting traditions, local foodways, and the nature of the markets and shoppers.  I'm suddenly remembering a market in Laos about 15 years ago -- perhaps my gardening companion has a digitized photo - where a metal bowl of fresh (fermenting) fish sauce for sale was near chunks of what appeared to be gelatinized blood.  Not sure what you did with that as part of a dish;  we had really delicious food there, but I certainly don't recall seeing anything similar on a menu.

I always come back home curious about things that I've seen:  wanting to learn more about how fish sauce is made or what that unusual vegetable was --green amaranth in Dominica was a good example of thatSometimes I've been interested, quite often not successfully, in trying to make local specialties at home - a steamed rice flour "pancake" seen in markets throughout Vietnam was impossible for me to recreate, without the special steamer apparentaly.  They were suppose to be the texture of a cooked noodle. It was more like a glob of steamed rice flour....

Greens for sale in Hoi An

 A diversity of sweet potatoes for sale in Dalat, Vietnam
An amazing vegetable growing area in the Western Highlands of Guatemala

The results of my search for "market" are linked here.  It was a nice thing to revisit these markets and growing areas and be reminded of so many more.  It was fun to just click through and take a quick look at the photos!  Cartagena, Columbia had a particularly colorful and authentic market, far from the UNESCO historic central city.


  1. This is most fascinating, Lisa. The photos from around the world are incredible. What a vista of vegetables!! I hope you will continue to attempt the rice pancake from Vietnam. However, the fermenting fish from Laos? Not so much!!

  2. Those flat rice noodles were really challenging: here’s one account of someone who finally figured it out! http://neckredrecipes.blogspot.com/2008/03/homemade-kway-teow-steamed-flat-rice.html


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