The colours in Mauritius seem to be brighter and richer – and this is certainly the case when it comes to the fruit that has been ripened by the warm sun. We were spending the day in Port Louis when we came across this hawker selling a brightly coloured fruit that instantly attracted my eye.
“That looks delicious,” I told my husband. I had to stop and look closer.
The vendor was very gracious as he allowed us to snap pictures of his wares.
After taking the pictures, my husband searched in his pockets for some rupees so that we could taste the richly-coloured fruit.
I did not take any of the sugar the vendor offered to sprinkle on top of the fruit. Instead I savoured the tangy taste of sun-ripened fruit. Eating the fruit on the side of the road was definitely a treat.
Are you tempted to buy fruit from sidewalk vendors?
When visiting Port Louis in Mauritius, one of the “must-see” places to go to is the market. In a previous post, I shared with you our experience when we visited the meat market. Our visit to the building opposite the meat market was a lot more colourful. And, as my daughter remarked, it smelled a lot better!
One of the first colours we noticed when we entered the fruit and vegetable market was the red of the tomato display. They looked ripe and appealing as we passed, and would surely tempt us if we were planning to buy any vegetables that day.
The fruit was certainly tempting, the sweet scent tempting us to buy some to snack on.
Even the green vegetables looked bright and fresh. The vegetables were not refrigerated and must have been picked early that morning. The leafy greens were not wilted, however, as the building was cool and a sharp contrast to the warm weather outside.
When weighing the produce, the seller used these old fashioned scales – scales that are not seen in the stores I normally frequent.
We had to, of course, stop and buy some bananas. A quick, sweet snack which was enjoyed by us all.
Patty Pans were a vegetable I had not eaten in a while (I do not see them on sale in the Northern Hemisphere). What amazed me was the size of them as they lay in the basket.
They looked delicious and firm lying there, and I knew I had to have a taste before I headed back to the north.
The array of green produce available was astounding, each leaf fresh-looking. By the number of people milling in the market, I am sure many of these leaves were cooked in the evening.
Amongst the fruit, a seller was offering small cakes to eat. I did not find these as tempting as the fruit lying in front.
As we exited the market, I looked back and knew I had enjoyed this walk through more than I had the one at the meat market.
Do you visit fruit and vegetable markets?
(This post was inspired by the folks at WordPress.com. The prompt this week is colour)
In developed countries we are used to going to the supermarket to buy animal produce: chicken, fish, beef and pork. We enter an area that has been cooled and the product we are buying has been cleaned and wrapped in clear plastic. The air smells clean and fresh. Our hands do not touch the animal flesh. We have been distanced from the sight and smells of the raw meat.
When vacationing in Mauritius, I took the opportunity to take my children to an open meat market. I wanted them to experience how others buy their meat produce; and to realise that not everyone selects their meat from the freezers and fridges in the supermarket. The first section we walked into was where they sell the chicken. The building is cool, made with brick, but it is not refrigerated. Chickens are on display for customers to choose.
Fresh fish is also on sale – fish that one hopes was taken out of the sea waters that morning by fishermen. They are arranged for display on the cold metal slabs, tempting buyers who are searching for fresh seafood for their dinner.
We left the building which housed the fresh fish stock and walked into the one that houses the beef, pork and other red meats. The first thing the children commented on was the pungent smell. And the number of flies that were buzzing around! The displays are not as hygienic as found in the supermarkets we are used to frequenting.
But even though the meat market had an antiquated feel about it, much variety was on display. The rack of sausages showed that the butchers had a large variety to offer their customers:
The butchers laid out many cuts of meat to tempt the shoppers and those passing by.
What was interesting to see was the old-fashioned scale that is still in use by the butchers when weighing any product that is sold: an old-fashioned piece of equipment that is still seen to be a part of everyday shopping in this part of the world.
After the gloom and intense smells of the meat market, we walked outside to smell the cleaner air and take in the colours of the road outside. (You can take a look at what we saw outside the meat market by visiting a previous post).
Would you buy any animal products at an open meat market like this one?
We went to Port Louis in Mauritius during our vacation to visit the renowned market. We were not the only ones walking the street that day: some were doing their shopping for food or for goods; while others were tourists like us enjoying the ambience of this Indian Ocean island.
When you first come out of the market, you do not see too many faces. There are people out and about, but you are not jostled by crowds of people.
This is not surprising as the entrances and exits of the meat market and the fresh fruit & vegetable market are not filled with people. But walk further down to where the most human traffic can be found, and you see a swarm of people.
People are out shopping and going about their business, used to the crowds and bustle of the streets. Voices are heard, and colourful sights are seen.
Brightly coloured umbrellas shade vendors selling their wares in the hope that a passer-by may stop to buy an item.
At times they are lucky and a customer stops by to exchange goods for a few rupees.
We enjoyed our day walking the streets of Port Louis. We took in everything: the colour, the sounds, and the smells. A different experience to what we see when we walk among the people of Toronto.
Do you enjoy visiting local markets?
(Join Jake every week for a theme for creative inspiration. This week’s prompt is: People)