I like open markets. When I was a kid in Lima, I remember going with my mother to buy the groceries for the day. I loved watching her make her way among other housewives asking for a kilo of this, 300 grams of that, always with a smile. I liked how the stand owners greeted her cheerfully. I liked picking the fruit and vegetables, smelling them, tasting them freshly cut from the open hand of the farmer. I enjoyed carrying them home along her side. Somehow this ritual made food taste better.
Today, as a grownup in Zurich and without time to do this during the week, I find great joy and a bit of nostalgia visiting the Oerlikon market on Saturday mornings.
Fresh pasta, organic vegetables and fruits, meat, fish, fresh eggs, flowers, bread, pastries, and the most tempting variety of cheeses mingle together among other delicacies to tempt adults and children alike. It is an experience for food lovers and a nice break from the usual supermarket.
The stands are usually family businesses offering their produce, a tad more expensive than normal, but you can taste the rawness in flavour compared to what you get in any big chain. And if you manage to go often, you will see the greeting of the stand owners evolve into a personal welcome. No matter the season, when rain is falling and the sun is shining, the market remains loyal to its customers and their greeting is always a cheerful one.