Palafrugell is famous for it’s market. It is the social event of the week when everyone, locals, people from Barcelona and foreign tourists, put on their best outfits and go out to be seen, to chat, to socialise. And perhaps to get their weekly shop.
Palafrugell Daily Market
The fish market, the meat market and a fruit and vegetable market is open every morning of the week, expect Monday. In the summer months, you will find a few fruit and vegetable stand open on Monday.
Palafrugell Sunday Market
The Big Market Day is Sunday. There are more fruit and vegetable stands plus clothes, shoes, nik naks. CDs blaring latino music. Your normal market fair.
Explore the Fish Market. Check out the bright pink lobsters, their claws taped together, their beady eyes watching. Or how about the ugliest fish on the slab? The monk fish, looking like a swollen fishy balloon. You’ll find cheap mackerel (‘barat’), muscles, anchovies and sardines. So freshly caught they’re still wriggling.
Most of the fish is locally caught, but you can check with the stall holder. Tuna is not local, it has probably been shipped from America. Muscles are probably from Spain but not “local”.
Catalans will happily pay a fortune on fish for a special occasion. Which is just as well as Palamos prawns weigh in at €80 a kilo.
Wander around the Meat Market.
The meat market is the building next door to the fish market. You can buy cooked or raw meat, plus a good selection of cheeses and dairy products. Check out the little cafe at the back, they do a great breakfast.
Fruit and Vegetables.
The Fruit and Vegetable Market is the main reason to go to market. I love seeing the rows and rows of different tomatoes. The aubergines with their shiny purple skin. The apples neatly packed in their boxes.
In the summer, you’ll find exquisite ripe peaches, pink and fuzzy. You bite into them and the juice runs down your face. Have a look out for the little “flatties”, little squashed peaches that taste like they’re made of honey.
Chat to a Stall Holder.
Pluck up your courage and talk to a stall holder. Some of the older ones have been going to that market every day for decades. They stand their all year around, wrapped up in shawls with finger-less gloves in the winter. Their skin wrinkled like the olives they sell. What amazing stories from history they have to tell.
Find the Most Expensive Vegetable you can.
It never ceases to amaze me how the prices of fruit and vegetables vary at market. I play a game. I want to buy the best produce for the best price. Sometimes the cheapest isn’t so great. Sometimes the most expensive is ridiculous. My friends once paid €5 a kilo for some tomatoes. I refuse to pay more than €1.50 (and normally pay less than €1.) Beware of tourist prices!
Jostle your way through the clothes stalls.
You’ll find new clothes and old. In the winter, coats, scarves, slippers and hats. In the summer, dresses, t-shirts and bikinis. Toys for the children. CDs, kitchen ware, watches. Other random things you don’t need.
Chocolate and Churros.
If you manage to make it all the way to the top, you’ll be rewarded with the hot chocolate and churros van. Definitely a Catalan treat to enjoy but you probably won’t get much change from €10.
Beer in the Plaza.
It’s never too early to drink alcohol in Spain. Wine for breakfast? No problem. Their typical working man’s coffee is called a “carojel” (pronounced “caro-heel”) a black coffee with a shot of brandy. If that’s too much for you, you can enjoy a Sunday brunch beer in the Plaza and watch the crowds go by. If you want to read an english newspaper, they sell them in the book shop on the corner.
Make it Home with your Purchases.
Easier said than done! You’ll see all the locals with trolleys or baskets. It’s not unusual to see a big burly man, beard, leather jacket, sporting tattoos, carrying a cute little wicker basket. Personally, I normally leave 2 large bags at a stand, stagger home with my trolley and send my husband back for the bags. (He refuses to carry a basket.)
Palafrugell Sunday market is the social event of the week. If you want to see what life is like here, what the locals really do, be sure not to miss it.