The market in Pula was lovely. Very colourful with lots of local fresh fruit, flowers and vegetables on sale.
Unlike British markets, there was not a lot of choice with every stall selling the same variety of locally produced goods.
What to buy: Exceptionally fresh local fruit and vegetables.
What to pay: very cheap
Actually this supermarket was fine but at first sight, I did not found anything more than in any other of the usual small markets or small shops in the country and the prices were almost the same. I will check more closely next time !
In Croatia as everywhere else, supermarkets are sprouting. This one, photographed in late July 2004 seemed to have opened very recently, may be a few weeks earlier. The access was still not easy to find and the parking lot not completely finished.
What to buy: Everything.
White truffle (Tuber magnatum Pico) are hunted in Istria, especially around the Mirna river, in the region of Motovun, Livade and Buzet.
Carlo Zigante sells truffles and truffle products in his shops, in Livade, Pula, Motovun, Buzet, Buje, Umag and Groznjan. On the left of the picture, Zigante's Pula shop.
For 3 years now, a truffle festival is organized in Livade, every week-end of october.
More on : Zigante tartuffi
During the whole morning, this fountain, which is at one of the extremities of the market, was assaulted by those who wanted to refresh. To take this picture, I had to wait until the market ended and that for a few minutes, there were nearly no body in the frame.
Watermelons are a big crop in Croatia and BTW everywhere in the Balkans. That reminds me of a traffic jam, in 1975, at the border between Greece and Yugoslavia with hundreds of small Zastava 500, each with several watermelons stowed on top of the car.
Now Croatia seems to be completely self-sufficient regarding watermelons !
Towards the end of the market, late morning, the smallest producers have not much left for sale. This is not a problem as they grow these vegetables not far away from here and will be here to sell what they have cropped in their garden.
Local producers gather under the plane-trees. They sell tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, potatoes, egg-plants, paprikas, salads, etc.. You should find here everything you need. The onions are sweet and can be eaten raw. We always bring back 10-15 kilograms home !
Of course the banananas and pomelos are not produced locally, but it is amazing to look at the origin of the fruits that are sold. Many are local, but some come from Greece, from Italy, from Spain or even from France !
On this picture, you will find on the right the same fruits already shown on the previous picture and on the left, various spices and seasonings, either grounded or as dried leaves, packed in small plastic bags. Tasty and inexpensive !
Here, you will find locally produced fruits such as peaches, apricots, grapes, apples or figs but there are also bananas and other imported fruits such as pine-apples, oranges (though they grow in southern Croatia, but not enough or trade), grape-fruits.
The various regions of Croatia produce a fair variety of cheese. Though cow, goat and ewe cheese are all produced, ewe cheese is apparently what is the most produced. The famous Paski sir (cheese from the isle of Pag) is one of them and the best. It is very tasty. There are plenty of other Croatian cheese. I will try to make a travelogue on these cheeses.
This booth is specialized in brancin (sea perch) of medium size. I seems that a large part of the fish that are sold here are not from fishing wild fishes but from fish nurseries. There are for example many fish nurseries in the Limski Kanal (the Fjord of Lim).
Here, you will also find all of these fishes. Istria (Pula) is most probably, one of the places where I have found the greatest variety of fishes and crustaceans, with some species, for example the famous fangtooth murray that the Roman emperors used to feed with enemies. I had never tasted one and would have liked to try !
What to buy: fish and sea food
Here, you will find Brancin (sea perch), Barbun (red mullet), List (sole), Tunj (thunny), gamba (shrimp). On the next booth, there were Musule (Noah's arches) which are not often found on markets, but not very tasty. Everything comes directly from the neighboring sea and is therefore of the most absolute freshness !