Salamanca Central Market
To know the true spirit of a place there is no way to visit its market, its food market. That's when you really see how the people who inhabit it are. Tell me what you eat and I will know how you are. In the Salamanca market there is a lot of quality in its star products, that is, meat and fish.
If you look at the photos there are no fruits or vegetables. These are not relevant, at least for me I live in the south and here in the south the fruit and vegetable stands are spectacular. In Salamanca, however, it is the meat and fish that attract the attention and put the quality point of the place.
The fish, gleaming, silver, smooth sabers. Hakes 60-70 cm. Almost alive. Pearl monkfish, sea lobsters with a provocative look. Transparent roosters. The truth is that I have a terrible time in markets like this when, as this time I am there as a tourist and I don't have a kitchen to handle such delicious food.
All the fish comes daily, directly from Galicia. Those Galician seas are not the Mediterranean that I am used to, those seas have a different character and therefore their fish are different. They are bigger, more resounding. The people of the north are different from the people of the south, the same thing happens with their fish.
In the south we eat fried fish, in the north they eat a 3 or 4 kilo hake and they stay so wide. The star is that hake, here we combine prawns with anchovies, horse mackerel and squid. Way of living. There is no way to travel to understand the human spirit. We are so different and so the same. The real wealth is in the hodgepodge, this is more than obvious.
Another of the jewels of this Central Market of Salamanca are its meats. Veal, Iberian and tostón (suckling pig).When I saw the veal in the stalls I was hungrier than a small dog, by God, that was crying out to be cooked. Red, juicy, cuts that I have never seen before, like the males, which are a piece that is situated between the liver and the heart and that, from what the shopkeepers told me, are incredible grilled. I confess that I imagined that particular piece in a sauce with some sliced mushrooms, some spicy… too bad we didn't have a kitchen.
In Iberian all possible cuts and the highest quality, of course. You just have to walk through those fields plagued with holm oaks to guess the type of meat that is cooked there. Spectacular. My next trip instead of a hotel, I will look for an apartment with a kitchen because, in Salamanca, you eat very, very well, but cooking with that raw material must be a huge pleasure and, this time I have been left with the desire.
Another thing that if he had had an oven, he would have bought without hesitation in the Central Market of Salamanca, is a suckling pig or tostón, as they call it there. It was glorious to see them (as my grandmother would say) so little, so pink, so smooth. They almost look roasted just by looking at them, with the crispy skin, the meat with that characteristic aroma ... blessed tostones.
Another typical product of Salamanca is the Iberian hornazo, a kind of pie stuffed with chorizo, ham and marinated loin, "almost na". In my opinion, this hornazo is the result of that hodgepodge that I was talking about before, however I have not had time to know its origins so, I only have my first feeling. Meats and sausages from the north of Castile, the Galician empanada dough and the “big time” of Basque cuisine (author's cuisine aside, of course).
Most of the Iberian sausages and ham, mostly and as a star leg or leg, from Guijuelo, are the other emblematic sign of this Central Market of Salamanca. And this is where, once again, I miss a good trailer to load and go home to fill my pantry with all these delicious and appetizing products.
If you look at the photos you will see some prices. As a curiosity I will tell you that where I live (Granada) a veal of that quality at € 2.80 is unthinkable, here the cheapest does not go below € 6 per kilo and it is better not to buy it so cheap. A suckling pig or tostón at € 6, there was even € 5 (the largest ones) is a jpgt. The next time I take a chest and charge. Fish, however, are more expensive in Salamanca, much more expensive.
The shopkeepers of the Market are the most diverse people. A lady wanted to give me some fish by telling her that she couldn't buy them (after offering them to me), she thought she had no money. I explained to him that I was traveling and didn't have a kitchen and he quickly withdrew his offer. Another lady scolded me for taking pictures of her blood sausages. She told me that in the past she was fined for taking a picture of a donkey and had to pay a fortune (you can see that with me she saw the way to cope with that expensive experience). In short, ways of living.
Central Market Salamanca Market Square