A must see for every-one visiting Santiago de Compostela, the local market - Mercado de Abastos - at Praza de Abastos. This bustling market breathes local culture and customs. Same as for the starting point of the famous pilgrims trail - the GR65 - Santiago de Compostela has a remarkable local cheese as well - Titty Cheese!
The supplies market - Mercado de Abastos
Praza de Abastos is located at the east end within the medieval city walls of Santiago de Compostela. “Abastos” means supplies, which makes it the supply market of the area.
Mercado de Abastos is open 6 days a week with Saturday morning as the most interesting day to visit. Prices are more than reasonable, on an European scale it’s quite cheap.
|Praza de Abastos in Santiago de Compostela|
The market has many merchants of whom most are located permanently in one of the 10 hallways. Outside, locals sell local produce in smaller amounts.
|Vegetable corner at Praza de Abastos in Santiago de Compostela|
Fish market at Mercado de Abastos
The fish market without doubt dominates the Mercado de Abastos. Not surprisingly with the largest European fishing fleet in Vigo, located about 100 Km south of Santiago de Compostela. The abundance of fish is overwhelming – and it’s sold by the kilo’s. Apparently there are many mouths to feed in Spanish families.
|Fish market alley at Praza de Abastos in Santiago de Compostela|
The local cheese is without doubt Queso gallego de Tetilla, translated “Titty cheese”. At Mercado de Abastos the cheese catches the eye shaped like a breast. The cheese is about Queen Esther, one of the statues at the Portico de la Gloria at the Cathedral Santiago de Compostela. Supposedly, Queen Esther’s breasts were a bit too large and local leaders ordered them to be toned down. Townspeople responded by creating the cone-shaped cheese in Esther’s honor.
|Queso gallego de Tetilla, translated “Titty cheese”|
500 grams of Queso gallego de Tetilla in December 2009 costs about € 6,- at Mercado de Abastos. Queso Tetilla is a protected name in Spain. The local market at the starting point of the GR65 in Le Puy en Velay has a very remarkable cheese as well.
Mercado de Abastos – market for locals by locals
There’s a lot of trading outside the market halls of Mercado de Abastos also. Mainly by small time farmers offering their produce to anyone interested. It’s worth a stroll around the market to get a feel for local culture and customs.
|Negotiating the price of a chicken at Praza de Abastos in Santiago de Compostela|
Have a look at a remarkable handicraft Market not far from Portugal: The Ensamble Artisanal in Marrakech in Morocco.
Mercado de Abastos has a website - it lists the local merchants with a bit of information about the supplies market.
|Local farmer at Praza de Abastos in Santiago de Compostela|