Riga Central Market
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Discovering Latvian Food Culture
Jet lag had us in bed early and up early. With most of Riga just getting ready for the start of the work day, my travel partner and I headed out to explore Riga's Central Market, Europe's largest market and bazaar. By the time we arrived at the market, the fresh produce and flower vendors were already set up outdoors and doing business. Drawn in by the amazingly fresh bounty of fruits and vegetables here and how incredibly beautiful everything is presented for sale, we made a few puchases. Around the corner, vendors selling everything from clothes to housewares to electronic goods were just beginning to get going. The main part of the market is housed inside five former Zeppelin hangars. Each of the hangars or pavilions, as they are called,, is dedicated to a specific food category - Meat, Dairy, Grocery, Green Grocery, and Fish. The pavilions are interconnected making it very easy to go from one to the other. The variety of food here is mind boggling - just the different types of sausages and smoked meat and fish that is available will have every meat lover salivating and the array of cheeses had me wishing I could just move into the Dairy Pavilion! Oh...and the bread, that hearty dark rye that is so hard for me to resist - perfect for a smoked ham and cheese sandwich. Before we left the market, we had added a few more items to our picnic lunch basket! Anyone coming to Riga must put a trip to the Central Market on their travel itinerary!
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