It is my 3rd day in Japan, I slept through the night for the first time and I am glad my jet lag is being fixed at a fast rate. There is a big food market called Omicho Market in the center of Kanazawa, we call it “Kanazawa’s kitchen” and I agree. I grew up not so far from this market and some of my childhood friends are running shops in this market. You may have already read that this market is a special place for me in this blog post and I always come here when I am in Kanazawa. Even if I don’t need to buy anything, I walk around and immerse myself in the market’s air. Childhood memories come back and if I am lucky I can chat with my old friends. It is a livery place, an old place (it is about 280 years old!), a colorful place and an educational place. It is a crowded place, today I noticed that the new Shinkansen is really bringing people to Kanazawa, so many tourists were shopping today and I felt the market has changed a bit.
I took my father there before I went to the hospital to see my mom, he likes this market and for my mom it is like her garden. Fruits were on his shopping list today and we walked around and checked some shops. My father said “Maybe I should get some Iyokan (It is Japanese citrus fruits like mandarines or oranges) and that one looks good!” He was pointing at 3 large orange fruits in a basket, the price was 350 yen. What is so wonderful about shopping in this market is that there is communication between the seller and the buyer. It is started with “welcome! What would you like today?” by the seller and we respond to them “Well, I like some oranges. Which one do you recommend?”. Even if they are all Iyokan, they all look different. I always ask them “What is the difference between this and that?” See, I told you, Omicho Market is a very educational place. Indeed by having been coming here since I was a child I am so confident to say my food knowledge and interests have been raised in this wonderful place.
There are a number of fish stores selling fresh seafood but there are also vegetable stores, fruit stores, restaurants, drug stores, meat shops and many more. I saw fresh bamboo shoots today and they made me feel Spring.
After my father bought Iyokan we continued on cruising in the market and I bought some vegetables and thin sliced pork meat. Cooked them as Shabu Shabu together in a pot of Japanese broth and dipped in Ponzu sauce. Ummm… simple, healthy and yummy!
I love Omicho Market, and I am sure you will.