Food markets are an integral part of the travel experience, whether you’re sampling Parma ham at a farmstall in Italy, the olives at a makeshift market on a tiny Greek island or the fresh coconut in the bustling Port Louis’ fruit and veg market, there’s something illuminating about food markets. They provide a mirror into local culture; a place where you can interact with the tastes and smells of fresh produce that form part and parcel of everyday life.
The good news for food foraging types is that there’s a delicious book called Market Food South Africa (published by Bookstorm) by Dianne Stewart, Jessica Cairns and Lisa Stewart. Not only have this dynamic mother and two daughters team sussed out the finest markets across the country (and included them in the book with easy references), they’ve also published glorious recipes from foodie entrepreneurs from the markets all over the country. There’s Sababa’s falafel pitas from the Neighbourgoods Market in Cape Town; Eat Greek’s rosemary melba toast from The Food Market in Durban North; Litchi Living’s butternut and biltong salad from the Hazel Food Market in Pretoria; and the supremely delicious Mama Mexicana’s breakfast burrito from Market on Main in Johannesburg, and that’s just for starters…
“Market Food is about more than just food. It’s about the experience,” say the authors in the introduction. “Having visited markets all over the world, we’re constantly inspired by the culinary skills and extraordinary creativity we find at food markets here in South Africa.” And this creativity is spread across 164 delicious pages.
In addition to seriously delicious recipes and mouth-watering photography, the book includes a handy checklist of all the markets in South Africa – and this information is continuously being updated on their very useful website: www.marketscoop.co.za
It’s the perfect Christmas gift for those who love eating, cooking, travelling, or all three. Look out for Market Food South Africa at all good bookstores (and at markets too, of course).