Saturday food market in Swiss capital starts early in the morning under the cathedral. We wake up a bit late, at 10 am and after a quick breakfast, immerse ourselves in the noise, food scents and crowd of people.
Silly logo found on the Saturday Market in Bern
First in our sight are cheeses, everything around smells like the fermented milk and mould, Tomek and Desi are happily trying all sorts of them. A few steps later we see the cold meals with the logo showing two happy cows having sex.
- Something went wrong here - we're laughing. We're walking with Desi, we lose and find each other at different stands. Finally, we meet at the coffee station where a handsome seller with blue eyes asks about our coffee preferences. I don't like coffee; I enjoy the scent but not the taste. I tell him that I'd prefer something mild and gentle. Chocolate flavour with a nutty note? Sounds perfect. He warns us that the brewing process will last long as he's making the coffee in the Aeropress. At the time when he's doing the infusion, I'm gossiping with Desi about times when we were working in the cafe together. There is the other guy, tall as a tower, black-haired, with the wrinkled face and gives us the freshly ground coffee to smell. I loved the scent that remains myself days when I used to come back from work with my hands dry and slightly burned, smelling like fresh coffee beans.
I get the shot of brew that looks like a tea and has a strong aftertaste of freshly grounded coffee. I'm not sure if I like it, but it's interesting.
Desi and the seller say that they wouldn't add milk to this beverage as it would spoil it, so I keep my thoughts.
I'd love such a milkshake.
We walk a tiny bit, and we find ourselves at the Syrian stand where we get a hot, sweet tea, just like that, without any expectations. I look at the cakes with delight as they are all made with almond flour, so they're safe for my weak stomach. There are almond "macaroons" that are in fact huge balls of crumbly dough, covered with a rich layer of marzipan, date cake that looks and tastes like a thick date syrup, another one that tastes just like a sponge cake that my grandma used to make. I reluctantly leave the place because this is just the beginning of our culinary journey.
Next stop is the stand with Italian nut butters made of almonds, pistachios, chestnuts. Unfortunately, either the jars are not the travel size or the butter have too much sugar. After ten minutes of heavy dispute, we leave disappointed sellers and move on to the man with tahini.
I'm a tahini psycho fan; I can eat it by a spoonful - mixed with honey as an halva, with aubergine in baba ghanoush, or as a sauce for everything.
I'm surprised to see the black tahini. The man at the stand says that he doesn't know why no one makes it. It's made of black sesame and is milder in taste than the regular.
I want to get one, but before we agree with Tomek, the seller is already gone.
...and the lack of it
At the end of the market, we see an Arabic stand with some fancy fruits, the man there gives me a prickly pear to taste. I had them on Lanzarote, and they had much better taste. Desi tries them too, and as soon as we politely say that they are ok, the pushy seller puts on the glove and asks if we want one box or two. We don't want it at all; he's quite angry aggressive. We leave the stand quickly.
Pumpkins, pumpkins everywhere
We move to the vegetable part of the market - there are pumpkins everywhere. Large, small, yellow, orange, butternut squashes with slightly female-like shapes, white summer squashes that look like a cross of a flower and a UFO, bulgy aubergines, courgettes nonchalantly hooked on the outside edge of the box.
Autumn wreaths on the Saturday Market in Bern.
We stroll through the colours of autumn to get to the permanent exhibition where we meet Desi's mum.
- Do you know that my grandmother was from Poland? She was German, but she was from Poland.
But that's the story for another post. ;)
Tomek admiring Saturday Market stalls in Bern.
Photo by Desi
Happy couple in awe of the stall.
Autumn decorations on the Saturday Market in Bern.