Maribor Market

13 Oct

My arrival at Maribor market told me one thing. Borlotti Bean season was in full swing. Seemingly every stall had bags and bags of the mottled legume, with its purple camo stripes.

In contrast to British markets, the selection among traders was somewhat uniform. Wandering through the market, it became obvious that this was because people were selling what the had grown themselves, rather than purchased wholesale. It was just the excess from their gardens. This was reinforced by the wizened old woman scraping dirt off her parsnips,a slight scowl on her face. A welcome addition to the market was the man who had set up shop on a bench and was selling bottles of spirits to passers by. We need more people like him in our local markets.

The thing that was most obvious about the veg being sold, and this was confirmed by my trips to supermarkets in both Maribor and Ptuj, was the ugliness of the veg relative to U.K produce. That and the fact it tasted much better. Slovenians seem to care more about whether the vegetables taste good rather than whether they would win a beauty pageant.

(edit; Having now visited both Ptuj and Ljubljana, I can confirm this was is a widespread phenomenon. What is also interesting is that all the towns I have visited have had thriving daily Markets in them. This is probably a result of the close proximity of the countryside to the city)


One Response to “Maribor Market”

  1. Rachel October 16, 2010 at 11:27 am #

    It was actually EU regulations that meant untill 2008 about 20% of fruit and veg was rejected by supermarkets for being too ‘ugly’. But I reckon we are still far too fussy about what they look like, such that some supermarkets like Waitrose were going to market misshapen fruit specifially as ‘ugly’ to be used in cooking jams, pickle etc. Also this is why loads of really good varieties of apples are dissapearing because there isn’t the market for something that doesnt necessarily look like plastic.

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