Local markets are real museums of gastronomy and in Murcia we've got enough to sink a ship.
Wander amongst the stalls, chat with the stall-keepers, ask questions, smell, touch and try... it's not every day that you see such fresh and tasty produce.
Food markets are veritable temples in beautiful buildings where you will find all manner of treasures to satiate your appetite. Enjoy the colour and smell of the fruit and vegetable stalls. Wend your way amongst the fishmongers or be tempted by the meat on the butchers' and delicatessen stalls.
A piece of advice: don't forget to buy some seafood and ask them to cook it for you at one of the market bars while you have a beer.
The perfect aperitif!
Take your wicker basket or shopping trolley and wait your turn. Pick up top quality produce while you enjoy the lively conversations between stall-holders and other customers. The latest news and good food; what more could you ask for?
WHAT CAN I BUY?
01 Olives. In our Region, green olives are prepared with fennel and quince, while black ones are prepared with orange and thyme. The colour is the least important, just as long as you know how to throw the stone as far as possible; in fact we even have an olive stone throwing competition.
02 Chato murciano. This variety of pig has a Murcian accent and a lively character that shows it's a local. The name "chato" comes from its snub nose. There's no excuse for not trying its meat!
03 Sausages and cold meats. In Murcia, every last bit of the pig is put to good use, excellent examples of which are the delicious fresh white, red or black sausages, cured "morcón" and dried sausages... take one bite and there'll be no stopping you.
04 Pickles. Pickles are typical of our Region and include caper stems, capers, peppers, aubergines... Their piquant taste leaves nobody indifferent. Can you eat a whole jar without batting an eyelid?
05 Dulce de tomate. This very traditional preserve came about as a way to enjoy tomatoes all year round, but nowadays it's a treat for the sweet-toothed.
06 Jínjoles. Date-like fruit that used to be eaten out of a paper cone at fairs. Small, reddish in colour with a seed rather like an olive stone. Start eating them and you won't be able to stop; in fact they say that even Alfonso X fell in love with them.
07 Prawns from the Mar Menor. Smaller than other prawns, with a more intense colour and flavour, they are highly regarded throughout Spain. Whether as a starter or part of a more elaborate dish, they are the jewel of the Mar Menor.
08 Peaches from Cieza. If you have every wondered what the sun would taste like, you only need take a bite of one of these peaches. Round, yellow and soft with an incomparable flavour. The best ambassadors of the sun on earth.
09 Melons from Torrepacheco. The four varieties ("Piel de Sapo", Yellow, Galia and Cantaloupe) have different shapes, colours and flavours, but they all have something in common: they are juicy, fresh and healthy.
10 Jams. As well as being highly practical, conserves are also delicious. If you don't agree, you can't have tried these fancies in a jar. Enjoy all-time favourites or try something more novel such as courgette, pepper or onion, etc.
11 Orange blossom honey. Bees have the sweetest job in the world and proof of it is our orange blossom honey. In spring, the bees get to work, going from flower to flower to make this prized, light yellow coloured delicacy with the fragrant essence of orange blossom.
12 Peros from Alcuza. Not a pear, but a sweet and juicy variety of apple of Arabic origin.
13 Fish from Murcia's coast. Our coast is a fish's paradise: the warm and tranquil waters mean that the underwater dwellers grow big and strong with plenty of flavour and character.
14 Bell peppers and "ñoras". A variety of pepper brought over from the Americas, but then "murcianised". When they are dried, they are called "ñoras". To give your dishes colour and flavour, add plenty of love and a bit of pepper.
15 Salted goods. In the Bronze Age, there weren't any freezers, plastic containers or vacuum packs... which is why they invented salting to preserve certain types of food. These days it's not necessary, but we still use the technique. Why? Because the taste is great.
16 Tomatoes from Águilas and Mazarrón. The basic ingredient in many dishes on our Region's menus, Murcian tomatoes are delicious. We're not going to waste ink trying to describe their flavour... the best way is for you to try them for yourself.