changes.typepad.com > Market Day

A_offtomarket

A_offtomarket

As we were walking to the market ourselves these two folks were on their way there as well.


B_marketentrance

B_marketentrance

In years past we're told the market had multiple entrances as there was no wall dividing it from the street as there is now. The new wall has but one entrance and everyone and his personal conveyance pass through the same gate into an alley about 20 feet wide that passes between sales stalls on both sides. At times it is virtually impassable.


C_marketinstreet

C_marketinstreet

There is a pretty brisk competition for sales space right at the market's gate. As folks set up their stalls, more recent arrivals just park adjacent to the last arrival before them whether or not they are in the highway. This particular avenue is six lanes wide and you can see that 2 1/2 lanes on the northbound side of the highway are blocked by vendors. This causes much irritation to and, as a result, much horn honking by the drivers of passing vehicles. The vendors, buyers and local police seem not to care much about it.


D_marketoverview

D_marketoverview

The market covered at least a city block this day. There is no way to count either the number of individual vendors nor the number of shoppers within that confined space.


E_stovepipeveggies

E_stovepipeveggies

There was virtually nothing I could think of that wasn't somewhere in the market and there were numerous articles I never would have thought would be there that were there. It's not everyday you can buy chives and stove pipe in the same market.


F_marketveggies

F_marketveggies

Probably the most well represented category of goods available in the market is fruit and vegetables. They were there in abundance in both varitety and quantity that day. Most of the winter vegetables were locally grown. There are numerous (thousands) greenhouses in the area and they provide summer crops such as strawberries and tomatoes year round.


G_weighapples

G_weighapples

Most stuff is priced in 500 gram quantities. 500 grams is a bit more than a pound. Nearly every friut or veggie was priced around 3 yuan (or quai as they call them here) per half kilo and this translates into roughly $.40 per pound for fresh tomatoes or apples. The apples were a little rough but the tomatoes would have passed muster at a market anywhere.


H_meatandveggies

H_meatandveggies

As you pass the produce area of the market you enter the meat department. The root crop in the lower right of the photo is a locally grown radish for which Weifang is well known.


I_meatmarket

I_meatmarket

This is a fairly tame representation of the available meat products. We saw no living stock being butchered but there were entire animal quarters hanging for inspection and further processing. Nearly all cutting of meat is done with meat cleavers here. Long knives are not at all common kitchen tools. Local chefs use meat cleavers to cut just about anything they plan to cook.


J_offal

J_offal

Just in case you had a taste for internal organs, those were there too. Lower intestines, anyone?


K_fishmarket

K_fishmarket

Fish are also a big seller here. In the local fish markets you point to the one you want while it's still swimming in the tank. You or the fishmonger dips the unfortunate apple of your eye our of the tank with a net and it's quickly wrapped up for you to take home.


L_mussels

L_mussels

My personal favorite, mussels. Tiny clams of some variety are in the lower right of the photo. They are sold everywhere around here.


M_seaweed

M_seaweed

Seaweed is a common side dish here. There are many varieties and most aren't bad, even if they are a little salty. Naturally.


N_egglady

N_egglady

Eggs are also sold by the half kilo here. You pick the eggs you want from large trays and put them into a plastic bag. The bag is weighed and you just carry them home. Eggs also go for about 3 quai per half kilo which is about 8 eggs. That translates into about $.60/dozen.


O_redtubtable

O_redtubtable

You can also purchase ready to eat foods of all varieties. For the most part this woman was selling cooked vegetables of one kind or another.


P_vianbing

P_vianbing

This is a truly local product. It is a wafer thin bread called vianbing and is made of corn meal and lard or peanut oil, we think. It has the texture and roughly the same flavor as a communion wafer. The individual "breads" are about 3 foot in diameter and when folded several times end up about the size of a hardback book and roughly 1" thick. You just twist off a section and munch away. It's sort of flaky when it's fresh.


Q_bowza

Q_bowza

Bowza made to order.


R_largeplasticmarket

R_largeplasticmarket

Plastic ware of all sizes and configurations was available. Except of course, resealable food containers. Apparently they aren't very popular around here as we can find them nowhere. But we did find Ziplock bags.


S_kitchenware

S_kitchenware

Kitchen utensils here are somewhat different than I'm used to. I've already mentioned the meat cleaver, of which you can see a variety in this photo. But a simple flat spatula to flip pancakes (we found a way to make pancakes but still have no local source of maple syrup) can't be found. All spatulas have turned up sides and a rounded end which makes them the perfct tool to use with a wok. Of course you can't find a flat bottom frying pan around here either. We have learned to make pancakes in a wok and flip them with the available tools. Those long sticks in the middle left of the photo are rolling pins.


T_mattiemarketfriend

T_mattiemarketfriend

As usual Mattie found someone to say "hi" to. She wasn't so sure about this little guy for some reason but his nei nei (grandmother) was really friendly, as most folks here are.


U_kidinwagon

U_kidinwagon

Heading home with the days purchases. If we did this with Marit or Mattie we'd get home with a kid sitting in an empty wagon.