Friday, November 2, 2007

Hunting and Gathering

The perfect fall day, and I have the day off from work! What better conditions to get out of the house. I clicked through the website until I found the link to the "Munich weekly market calendar" I picked out two market's I'd never been to, and set off, taking the subway to Marienplatz and then switching lines to the Sbahn westwards.

When I reached Laim I had to trek through an ugly train track underpass and walk about ten minutes along a heavily trafficked street: the market was tucked cozily in a corner behind some shops slightly off the main road. It was pretty small but I browsed the wares happily, weighing new potatoes in my hand, staring at giant heads of cabbage and huge "muscat" pumpkins and trying to decode names of at least 5 different kinds of turnips.

The cheese stand was fragrant and the pumpkin seed goat cheese beckoned, but I decided to leave the cheese buying to my boyfriend, a true feinschmecker. I tasted at least 5 kinds of apples fresh from Lake Constance and bought three kinds, mixed together in a clear plastic bag. Into my orange backpack came tiny heads of cauliflower and broccoli, and five small ruby red onions.

I set off for Laimer Platz, the subways station, stopping on the way at a bakery for a fresh "Leberkässemmel", a Munich specialty. I munched a cold apple while waiting for the subway. Next stop: Neuperlach, for what I hoped would be an even bigger market.

When I arrived I still had 45 minutes to wait until the market opened, so I wandered towards the shopping center on the other side of the road, and into a starbucks there. I'm always amazed when I walk into american franchises in europe... it may sound sad, but it feels like home. Jazz musik was playing in the background and I could have been on the Waterfront in Pittsburgh reading the postgazette. A nice feeling, actually, as I took my latte sat down on a comfy overstuffed chair to read my book.

This market had even more to offer. I bought a nice chunk of ryebread with oats, a jar of local honey, and a few handfuls of brussell sprouts. At the next stand I chose 4 gleaming mandarines and a bunch of fresh carrots. My last purchase was two sturdy sweet potatoes, and I was on my way back home, with quite a heavy backpack.

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