Monday, July 15, 2013

How California farmers markets differ from Brazil feiras - Chico, California

As you know, I've been on vacation in California. One of the days we went to a farmer's market in Chico which was well-organized, full of wonderful food items and friendly vendors. It wasn't very busy at 11 am but there was a steady stream of shoppers. Favorite purchases: crunchy lettuce, amazing blackberries the size of ping-pong balls, strawberries, and flowers. Also an 8 year old boy and his 12 year old brother sold me on some Indian nan bread and spinach spread. Delicious.

At my closest farmers market (or feira) in São Paulo, the scene is a bit different. First of all, you can bring your dog, cat, bird or reptile. Though the latter seems unlikely. Also, the noise level is generally much higher as vendors yell out their wares or call out to you "Oi loira, vem provar a manga!" (hey blondie, come taste the mango). At the end of the farmer's market, it gets even higher volume and crazed as the vendors drop prices so they don't have to cart the stuff onwards, or throw it out. There is also a butcher and fishmonger (I did not see these at this particular Chico market) but there are few "processed food" vendors--certainly no Indian food. Generally it is much more crowded, but the vendors are equally as friendly. Deals can always be had.

Which one do I prefer? It's a tie. Each is unique and fun, and a great way to spend a morning.

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