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Published: January 27th 2011
The Mercado Central is somewhat like the Lexington Market in Baltimore or the Reading Market in Philadelphia only larger and more lovely. We visited early in the morning, just after it opened. Fruits, vegetables, meats and sea food ... almost any kind of food you might like can be found in the market. It became pretty obvious that the Spanish really like ham, see the photo of the hams hanging. I noticed many were from Prague. I did not know that Prague or Czech ham is so well known. There are vendor stalls at each end of the building, along each side and along the three or four aisles that run the length of the building.
We had really enjoyed the open air markets in Figueres when we first arrived in Spain. Our first morning we stopped and bought some wonderful oranges to eat as we walked around town. Then we bought some cheese for sandwiches for lunch. Since that was the day before Christmas, the woman who sold me the cheese told me to wait a minute. She walked over to a box and took out a ceramic salt shaker and gave it to me as a thank you
for my business and a small Christmas gift. This market was really fun for us. We also saw another market just like it as we walked toward the museums. They were actually just as wonderful as this large in-door urban market. We had been very impressed to see that immediately after those markets closed for the day the town had medium sized street washing vehicles that washed the open air market floors and removed all bits of things that had been spilled on the pavement. There was no lingering smell of food be it fruits, vegetables or meat products. This large urban market was also clean and very tidy. The Spanish people impressed us with their desire for cleanliness in all areas of towns, cities and countryside.
You can bet that if we lived in Valencia, we would shop at the market often.
The Mercado Central should be on every tourist list. The market is near the cathedral and other interesting sites. This makes it a convenient for the tourist to visit.
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