Funchal Market 2

Monsieur and I had enjoyed our time in the Funchal fish market, watching the workers carving, stripping and gutting fish of all sizes. We were now curious to see what Madeiran fruit and vegetables were like.

This image may look familiar:

My current header was taken from the above image. Look at the produce – the bright green avocadoes, the perfect artichokes, the rosy apples, fat grapes, stumpy bananas, happy orange mandarins.

Some of these things I’m not sure I can identify – like the squashy-looking green balls next to the courgettes at the bottom of the stall or that prickly green vegetable?/fruit? between the cabbages and the beans. Can you help me, anyone?

On the right hand side, the long green fruit are Banana-Ananaz, or Banana Pineapple. Also known as the Monstera Deliciosa, it has the tropical flavour of banana, pineapple and mango, and grows happily in Madeira’s sub-tropical climate.

This shot’s a bit blurry but the baskets. Oh, the baskets. I do so love wicker baskets. If I lived in Funchal I’d buy one of these and fill it up frequently with fat, red tomatoes, snow-white onions and some of those banana ananaz things. (Apparently they’re good in smoothies.)

The florist stands were dazzling – loaded up with anthuriums, birds of paradise and orchids. I swear I’d never before seen such massive anthuriums, not even in Hawaii – some flowers were the size of dinner plates!

I could have wandered about the market for a long, long time, but it was lunch time and the vendors looked hungry. The stall shutters started coming down, so Monsieur and I took this as a sign to leave in search of our own lunch. That’s the downside of being addicted to markets: they make you hungry.

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13 Comments Add yours

  1. annmucc says:

    Hey Epicurienne,

    I think what you are calling ‘squashy green balls’ are what we call ‘qara centinarja’ in Maltese (if you are referring to the light green ones in the bottom middle, at 0,50). The “all-knowing” wikipedia said they are a type of gourd. We had a tree(?) of them at home – and nothing seemed to kill it! Which meant when it was its season my mum added it to most of the food to use it up. As you might expect, we kids hated it 🙂

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    1. epicurienne says:

      Hi Ann, thanks for your help with identifying those green things. It makes me laugh to think of your mother not wanting to let them go to waste. I know people with vege gardens etc who do exactly the same every time there’s a surfeit of something: too many tomatoes? Let’s turn mealtimes into tomatoes with everything – salad, soup, grilled, fried, parmigiana or marinara with everything…

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      1. annmucc says:

        It makes you laugh cos it wasn’t you who was made to eat them :P. To her credit she did give away as many as she could…but it was never enough I thought!

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      2. annmucc says:

        Just got to Malta…guess what was included in the first meal? Yeps! the squashy green balls! Actually they don’t taste bad at all…hmm…maybe I should amend my memory of them 🙂

        Was nice meeting you yesterday.

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      3. epicurienne says:

        Ann – hysterical! You’ve really made me giggle. Thanks for letting me know.

        Yes, lovely to catch up with you, too. See you at another LBM soon, I hope!

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    2. annmucc says:

      Back again to these vegetables (I must sound obsessed huh?). Have just been watching ‘Come Dine with me’ (yeay to Sat tv while trying to work), and one of the participants is using the vegetable, and called it cho-cho. Looked on wikipedia (as any PhD student should ALWAYS do when faced with a question) and voila!: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chayote. As much info as you probably ever want to know about the squashy green balls :).

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      1. epicurienne says:

        Ann – it would seem that with strange vegetable identification, you’re the one to call. Thanks for the link!

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  2. Bee says:

    Looks fantastic. Thanks for sharing

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    1. epicurienne says:

      Hi Bee, thanks for visiting. I have to say that your site makes me hungry.

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      1. Bee says:

        Thank you! I don’t think you could give a food blogger a bigger complement!

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  3. planetross says:

    Going to a fruit and veggie market in a different country makes me feel uneducated.
    I’m not sure if I feel stupid because I don’t know what a certain fruit is … or because I don’t know how to eat it.
    Probably both.

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  4. Pingback: Funchal, Madeira
  5. Bill says:

    The “prickly green vegetable?/fruit? between the cabbages and the beans” is Romanesco: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romanesco_broccoli

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