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In a city known for its meat, Buenos Aires Market is dedicated to healthy and organic vegetarian products. One weekend a month you will have the chance to eat a succulent vegetarian meal while you appreciate one of the city’s iconic parks. The idea behind this market is to bring healthy and organic foods into everyone’s life, which is why it moves from neighborhood to neighborhood each month.
As you pass by the different stands you perceive a mixture of smells coming from the tasty dishes being prepared there. The market offers you the chance to try some of the most representative recipes from the healthiest gastronomic trends: organic, macrobiotic, raw food, vegan, among others, prepared by excellent chefs.
One of the first characters you meet walking around the market is Madame Papin, as she likes to be called. This interesting woman specializes in Andean produce, especially roots and potatoes. Take a few minutes to let her tell you about the 34 species of potato seeds, how some are being recovered before extinction and how she likes to work with small cooperatives from the north. “I like the contact with the client, that’s why I like the market,” she says. You will leave this stand with not only with some agro toxic-free products, but also some of her recipes.
Just a few stands away you can find Hongos Porto and their famous parriportos, or stuffed mushrooms. Take a bite of one to be transported to an amazing world of taste sensations. Or maybe you want to try some of Kensho Organica’s delicious organic treats — perfect little snacks you can munch on while you continue shopping.
One of the most popular fresh produce stands is El Rincón Orgánico. Its owner, bio-chef María Calzada, has been in the organic business for 26 years, being one of the first organic produce sellers in Argentina. She and her husband have been part of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements for years and they take every chance they have to attend Congresses, world markets and other organic food-related events.
Calzada says she is a true believer in organic eating: “I want my family to eat organic, my friends to eat organic and my employees to eat organic.” She not only teaches her clients how to eat clean, but she also trains them and empowers them to be their own judge of food quality. Their quinoa-millet burger sells out fast, so be in line early to get yours. You won’t regret it.
Buenos Aires Market is filled with families. Some are regular shoppers who learn where the market is going to be each month in order to get their favorite produce, such as the energetic black garlic at “Ajo Negro, el original” or crunchy kale leaves at Tallo Verde.
Some people come the first time to spend a pleasant afternoon trying new dishes and exploring the market. The market is so colorful and so inviting that if you ask, most of them will tell you they will look for the market next month also. Try to get there early so that you can enjoy a quiet morning shopping and exploring.
The market has an excellent balance between fresh produce, prepared food and manufactured goods. Not only do you have over 600 products to choose from, but also during some months the market also offers a program of classes and talks about conscious eating, healthy cooking lessons, farming workshops, and more. It’s all about choosing a healthy life style.
Check out the Buenos Aires Market website to see where it will be located each month. The market is usually the first Saturday and Sunday of the month, open from 10 to 19 HS (that’s 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. for us yanks).
Photos by Virginia Cinquegrani.