Consumers in the United States want to know where and how their food is grown. They have an intense desire to eat from local markets. Many grow food in their backyards. Farmer’s markets have grown, resulting in annual sales of five billion dollars, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists.
“We are going to the Farmer’s Market today,” said Pitsa Gerou Macarouni, retired philologist/educator in early June. “Tripoli in Greece has a market that is unforgettable.” Organic products, fresh from local gardens, are the attraction. The markets resemble those shown in movies. They are also cheaper than the local markets.
Dr. John Siolas was amazed by the oranges, apples and fruits being sold. Geraniums, plants, red tomatoes were a major attraction. Ripe cherries were offered at 3 euros a kilo (2.2 pounds). Red, delicious looking strawberries were 1.50 euros per carton, along with bananas and kiwi. The freshly slaughtered chickens and roosters “as is” is a sight rarely seen in the U.S.
The booklet “Arcadian Earth,” published by the City of Tripoli, describes the region’s agricultural products. “Tripoli’s delicious apples are becoming popular,” it states. “Delicious apples from Tripoli are a unique Greek variety. Just the Arcadian earth produces this variety that has a protective status. Garlic has been produced from antiquity. It grows abundantly, with a unique aroma that is still coveted in our current time. They are sold in farmer’s markets and establishments across Greece.
Crystal pears from Tripoli, grown on the planes of the Mainalos Mountains, are cultivated with dedication and attention. Tsakonika pears are from the same variety. The Mantinea Crystal pear stands out because of its unique flavor and sweetness that comes from the Mantinea soil. Garden vegetables, such as lettuce, cabbage, cucumbers, tomatoes, sweet watermelons, string beans and other vegetables are in demand in Greek cities. The vegetables are harvested and shipped early in the morning to major urban centers in Greece. The mountainous soil gives vegetables an aromatic flavor.”
Shop like the Greeks, who are saving during the Eurozone crisis. Go to your Farmer’s Market near you.