By: J. Marquis, University of California - Berkeley
With my classmate Hannah, we visited the biggest Madrid market, Mercado de Maravillas. This “Market
of Marvels” is considered by many madrileños as a local favorite among the rest
of the markets. During our walk through this market you could see the mixture
of colors, smells, tastes and people. The busiest is during all the activities
in the morning.
Market of Marvels is the biggest of the Madrid's old-style covered markets.
Part of its success must be its location: it is in a densely populated
neighborhoods of Estrecho and Tetuan. But its dynamic nature can be largely be
attributed to an economy of scale: it's enormous!
almost a mile around, to be precise, with over 250 different stalls. The market
is a public building where the stalls are still small family businesses. We
were just dazzled by all the different offerings. One of the specialties they have this time of year is dessert called "buñuelos" - a fried dough ball filled with cream.
Some of the shopkeepers
specialize in products from their home regions: there are different stalls for
beef from Asturias and beef from Extremadura, suckling lamb from Ávila or pigs from
are also stalls entirely devoted to vegetables of
every color and shape. You can find quails, feasants, partridges, and ducks, as
well as their respective eggs. Some of
my friends might freak out by the fish with their heads on.
run from yellow to dark and from family-made queso to mass-produced products of
milk, yoghurt and sandwhich cheese.
our visit we also learned that there's an old Madrileño saying, "Si buscas
algo, vete a Maravillas. Si no lo encuentras, es que no hay." (If you're
looking for something, go to Maravillas. If you don't find it, it's because it
doesn't exist.). I am
going back to the market of marvels to look for pumpkins and pecans and
hopefully get to make some treats for Halloween and Thanksgiving.