Daily markets are a thing to behold. Colourful, unpretentious, local affairs that are there simply because the demand exists. I took this picture in a small town called Trebinje in Herzegovina. Every day I’d find local producers selling the season’s fruit and vegetables, local cheeses – especially kaymak and ‘cheese in a sack‘ – olives, olive oil, rakija and dried herbs. Their “apple” tomatoes are still the best, sweetest tomatoes I’ve ever tasted! And it blows my mind that these sellers come everyday and people really use them. A tradition that we have sadly lost in the UK.
This I saw everywhere as I passed through Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Hungary – daily markets where people still shop everyday, where people still want the season’s produce and where they’d rather buy it from a face they recognise.
The markets in Budapest are really quite something too. Housed in beautiful old buildings that from the outside look more like grand train stations. I was told that eight of these covered markets are more than 100 years old, and they still open everyday except Sunday. Hunyadi market place was one of them and fairly near our flat. It’s old and decrepit but in a beautiful crumbling kind of way. I bought a sack of fresh veg, cheese and bread for under €5. The cheese man told me that there used to be a slaughterhouse in the large basement, where farmers from all over Budapest’s surroundings would bring their livestock to be slaughtered and sold in the market. I’d urge you, if you’re ever in Budapest, to come here rather than the city’s more famous Great Market Hall. This is the biggest and oldest, but if you’re looking for something that is really true to daily life, the markets on the periphery are where it’s all happening.