You’ll discover a lot of things when you visit different organic, outdoors in Manila. From homegrown vegetables to grass-fed meat and a selection of food kiosks for the health conscious, you’ll find that it’s not difficult to stay healthy. All you need is to find a place to shop.
Some people find it a challenge to shop in other places besides the grocery store. Unfortunately, supermarkets don’t have the things you can see at a weekend market Manila. For instance, some groceries don’t have fresh fruits and vegetables. Most of their stock is outsourced from other regions and states. Supermarkets also have limited options of fresh produce. Some groceries only offer a specific type of meat or fish. Lastly, shoppers won’t get to experience the art of bargaining.
With all of these in mind, it might be better for you to take advantage of what farmers markets offer. If it’s your first time to visit one, here’s how you can make the most of your experience.
1. Get the vegetables as they are
Some produce especially root vegetables come with their greens or some roots. If you have the option to pick what to get, always those that are in their natural form. For one, they last longer when they’re not trimmed. Next, you get to have free food. You can use the greens to make pesto or cook the radish and beets the same way you prepare chard or kale.
2. Consider what’s in season
Most weekend markets only offer fruits and vegetables that are in season. Once you decide on a date to visit a market, you should first research what farmers grow during that time of the year. That way, you can avoid apples that lack texture or bland oranges. It’ll also help you look for substitutes and avoid having your expectation thrown out of the window.
3. Think of the market’s location
Besides what’s in season, the market’s location can also influence what’s on the stores. Some weekend markets only have fresh produce while others have food stalls or sellers that feature locally sourced clothing, accessories, and other items. Markets that are near plantations and backyard farms are likely to have fresh fruits, vegetables, and meat while those near the seaside have a greater chance of selling seafood.
4. Be an early bird
Since weekend markets are sparse in Manila, the stock quickly runs out. Most people want to get their hands on the best products, so they get their early. If you don’t want to get the scraps, then you should be an early bird. You have a chance to pick the best items in the stalls when you make time for your shopping. If you’re after perishables such as meat and seafood, then you should visit the market in the morning.
5. Know how to pick your produce
Fruits and vegetables can look odd or feature a different shape, but that doesn’t mean they won’t taste great. Before you shop for greens and colorful crops, you must first know how to pick the best tasting ones from those that aren’t. You can always ask the farmer or the seller to pick them for you, but it’s much better to know you got the things you need by yourself.
6. Pick your purchases
An organic market is not always the best place to get your goods. You can get bread at a local bakery or jams and sauces at the grocery store near your home. Of course, you’ll be helping farmers when you choose their stuff over commercially produced ones. If you are already a patron of a brand or a store, then you shouldn’t trade your favorite over what you saw at the market. Pick your purchases and only choose those that interest you and those you need.
7. Look around
Don’t stick to the same store to get everything off your shopping list. Remember, several stalls are selling the same item. However, their goods can have different quality and prices. You should look around before getting your stuff. Try their samples, look at the prices and talk with the farmers. Learn how they grow their produce or what are the ingredients they use for their creations. You’ll end up with more options than when you first came to the market in choosing your goods.
8. Try the unusual
An organic market is a great place to find items that aren’t on the shelves of grocery stores. You can find irregular shapes vegetables, exotic fruits, and other homemade creations. Don’t be afraid to try all of them. If you’re not sure how to use them for your recipes, you can ask the farmer or seller for ideas. You can also search the Internet on how to prepare them or come up with unique meals for your family.
Each market has a specific structure. Knowing how the market works and its different characteristics can help you prepare accordingly. But, you don’t have to worry so much. These tips can back you up and help you have a great time shopping. With these tips, you won’t have a problem navigating a weekend market.