The Markthalle

10 Aug

OK, so I was catching up on iChat today with my favorite foodie friend, Christina Orso (check out her awesome blog- for delicious healthy recipes and restaurant reviews!), and I’ve found myself inspired to talk food…So here goes!

I have found THE most awesome little- well, it’s actually big- place in Stuttgart!  The Markthalle- the Market Hall- is like all the other fresh markets you can find in any given German city…only BETTER!  Seriously, I find myself going here on most days, regardless of whether I’m buying a single thing, just to look and smell and sample!  OK, before I break out the pom-poms and slouch socks in full cheerleader mode, let me put on my professor horn-rimmed’s for a quick second to give the background.  (And in case you haven’t figured it out, I find things SO much more interesting if I know a little about them- otherwise it’s just pretty pictures!)

The Stuttgart Markthalle

Stuttgart’s Markthalle is known as one of the most beautiful in Germany, built in 1912 as a grocery exchange and warehouse. Behind the heavy wooden entrance doors of this grand art nouveau building right next to the dignified Old Castle, a plethora of delicious pleasures await…

Fruit and vegetables from around the world- from fresh dates to Spanish Kaki fruits to just picked strawberries to Greek peaches and tomatoes.  German potatoes and fresh Filder cabbage overflow from old barrels.

Fruits and Veggies...This is only 2 stands...There are at least 5 more of just produce...WOOHOO for Salad Girl! (ahem, me 🙂 )

There are 44 different stands in the Markthalle today. Considering that there used to be 430 sales stands in 1912, that seems like such a small number, but I promise, it sure doesn’t feel that way!   At any time of the year, in abundance, diverse and colorful native products harmoniously lie next to international and ecological-biological products.  With all this diversity, everything has one thing in common: everything is always fresh and top quality.  I guess you can tell I have a love affair with fresh food!!  Ha!

Next, you find cheeses- cheeses from any and everywhere around the world- from France, Italy and Switzerland, traditional Dutch cheeses, aromatic and mild mold cheeses…

A cheese stand...

And of course, you can’t have cheese without bread!  Fresh baked bread of all kinds- rye (German specialty), sourdough, honey wheat…- and shapes (loaves, rolls, baguettes…)  And if you don’t see the kind you’re looking for, they’ll bake it that night for you to pick up in the morning!

Bread Stand...I wish my mom was here and together we eat every single crumb in this whole case! So what, we're carb lovers. Don't judge. 🙂

So if that’s mine and my mom’s paradise, the next would be John’s and my dad’s!  Poultry, meat and sausages are plentiful, as are specialties like horse, lamb and bison meat.  Best part?  Just ask (and keep fingers crossed that stand owner speaks English!) and receive tips and recipes for cooking!

Meat Stand. If you're like John, you need to wipe the drool off your keyboard right about now! 🙂

And how about something to wash it down?  Mmmm…wine.  Every kind you can imagine…

Wine Stand

Then come the ‘international’ stands, each labeled by country or region.  It’s here you find Aceto Balsamico and the best oils, pumpkin seeds, honey mead and Turkish honey, delicious spreads for bread and exotic salads, Baklawa and Tiramisu, spices and herbs – it’s like a touch of the Mediterranean and the Orient in the middle of Germany!

A Mediterranean stand...lots of olives, grain salads, vinegars and cured meats...

Fresh ground spices from all over the world...Seriously, it's as if they were ground this morning and put in little plastic pouches- they taste that fresh!

And next, every day the fish from the North Sea and the Black Forest trout come fresh to the Markthalle and once a week, fish, shellfish and crustaceans from the Atlantic and the Mediterranean are brought in and prepared in all sorts of ways- smoked, dried, cured…

Up close and personal with the fish stand...

And finally, the pastries…Oh, the pastries.  Now you all know that cake is my world, so all of these stands really- and I mean REALLY- pull at my heart strings (ok, and my belly!)  Every sweet and sugary treat you could want- tortes, kuchens (cakes), fritters (yes, Dad, even better than the ones we used to get at Winn Dixie!), muffins…I’m so starving right now…And Christina, this would definitely warrant a cake baby!  Anyway…

Pastry Stand...Yes, mom and I would finish off our Bread lunch with the contents of this case. Don't judge.

And just so you know that not all of my Markthalle trips are futile, here’s the dinner I made 100% from items I picked up during today’s visit, inspired by the ‘international section’!  Chicken Tikka Masala, German ‘Festkochend’ (waxy) potatoes with Greek seasonings, broccoli with fresh cheese and a salad with fresh greens, spinach, herbs and carrots.  Oh, and it was DELISH!  Just ask John! 🙂

Straight from Erin's Kuchen 🙂

Apetit gut! 🙂

2 Responses to “The Markthalle”

  1. granmom August 11, 2010 at 1:00 AM #

    Erin, i would love to see more of the shoping. The bread looked sooo good. your dinner did also. love you!

  2. christina August 10, 2010 at 8:55 PM #

    that place looks awesome! i’d be in a foodie paradise for sure. thanks for the shoutout 🙂 i loved our chat today too! more to come i’m sure! 🙂

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