It’s been a very hot summer, my friends. Last Saturday, we saw that the high for our town of El Puerto de Santa Maria was going to be 99ºF, so we decided that we needed to get down to Cadiz, where it’s always cooler, especially in the summer time. This was also a great excuse to grab lunch at the Cadiz Market– one of my favorite things to do!
I didn’t bring my camera, but I snapped a few shots with my phone, and thought I’d resist my perfectionist’s impulses and share our market lunch with you in this quick little post. But hold on a minute– first, if you haven’t seen my other post about the market, please check it out! It’s full of much better pictures and will give you a sense of the scene there.
Saturday is the busiest day at Cadiz Market, and it’s a tradition for many families to head over there for some food buying and then to eat lunch. Lunchtime (2-3 p.m.) is super busy where the restaurant stalls are. So that’s when we went! It gets a little crazy, but I love being there with everyone else, in the midst of it all.
Something Spaniards do very is well is eating standing up, with or without a table. There are bar tables and stools in there, but not nearly enough for the amount of people that show up. So people stand around, find little ledges to set things down on, grab a spot on a bench, or… use a trash can.We were lucky enough to find a free trash can, and so I guarded it while Jeff rounded up some food for us. (And yes, I did have some hopeful people coming by to see if they could use it!)
The first thing Jeff grabbed is the super popular tortilla wedges from La Sarten (The Skillet). At busy times, there is a very long line for this stall, and for good reason. Their tortillas are my favorite that I’ve had so far in Spain– we got three flavors: plain, spinach with raisins, and ham and cheese (my top choice). These cost under €2 each.
Different vendors have varied drink options, and even though almost everyone is drinking Cruz Campo beers, you might have to look around for who is selling them. Jeff grabbed ours and an octopus salad at a Galician food place. It was really good and fresh tasting, similar to ceviche!One more note on these beers– they are in very small bottles, and I think it’s so that you don’t end up with warm beer as you are eating, talking, and drinking in this heat. Instead of getting one, you can go back for more, each of them nice and cold when you need it.
I always like to pick something up from the Ecological food shop, Sierra de Cadiz. They have organic cheeses, wines, and other gourmet foods. And they make great chicharrones (marinated pork belly chunks, not the same as the pork scratchings you would find in the US and Latin America) that you buy in a paper cone, as well as a great tuna salad with lots of roasted peppers and onions. Here’s a good recipe for it. This was so good on a hot afternoon!
Almost everything was served with little bags of picos (basically tiny hard breadsticks) or slices of bread. We don’t usually eat them, but I imagine the meal would go further if we did. But still, the three of us ate well for for under €15 euros total! If I could give you one piece of advice: if you don’t want to eat standing or use a trash bin as your table, go at about 1:30 p.m. Some stalls may not be open quite yet, but you can find a table (with stools!) and grab a drink and a snack as you wait for the lunch rush. For those of you who are local, you should absolutely head down there next Saturday! And if you plan a trip to Cadiz, before sure to hit the market for a fun meal, any day besides Sunday. Most non-lunch vendors start closing up at 2 p.m., so get there before then to buy your groceries, then eat lunch.
It was a lot of fun to be there, and a great way to get out of the heat in our city. Afterwards, we walked over to a hotel that faces the sea and has a really nice lounge area with big couches. We ordered sparkling water, and just relaxed. Jeff took a nap, Amelia pulled out her ipod to listen to Harry Potter, and I just enjoyed intense pleasantness of a lazy Spanish summer afternoon in Cadiz.