Category Archives: Produce

Watermelon Fruit Truck

Watermelon fruit truck in Marbel

Snake and Vegetables

Vegetables and snake at the market in Luang Prabang.

Luya

Luya (ginger) at 25, 30, or 40 pesos per kilo depending on the size and if it is ‘native’, are being sold at a roadside shop in Bayombong. This produce came from the upland barangays of Nueva Vizcaya province.

Flower Vegetable

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Bulaklak ng kalabasa (squash flower) is eaten as vegetable. Normally it goes with eggplant, ampalaya, and sitaw in the same dish such as pinakbet or vegetable soups (e.g. laswa, bulanglang, dinengdeng). Hence the complementary vegetables are placed beside each other on the table space at the market.

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Vegetable soup with squash flowers

Vertical Corn Arrangement

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Disarranged corn stack is good news. There had been a sale.

Corn stacked vertically and were held together by tying straw around it in multiple levels.

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Suwon Market

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Assortment of beans

These three images of produce that are regulars in the diet of Koreans are my keepsake from my ‘market walking’ in Suwon City.

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Ginseng

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Chilies

Most Picturesque Tropical Market

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The produce section of local traditional markets have something in common – full of colors. But there is one market in Southeast Asia that stood out when viewed in its entirety. Literally, in a bigger picture, the top view sight of Siti Khadijah Market is truly beautiful.

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The multitude of colors coming from the produce, bottle covers, traditional garbs of the sellers and customers, and the walls of the building make the entire scene picturesque. It’s full of life and its crudeness is its charm. Hoping the look will stay the same for long time.

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Gulay Bundles

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Gulay bundles at the talipapa or palengke are tied together nowadays by rubber band. Because of that, I’ve accumulated plenty of elastics from regular gulay buying. Bundles of gulay are often priced in multiples of five starting from five pesos and most belong in this cheapest set. Examples of gulay in five peso bundle are okra, sitaw, alugbati, saluyot, kangkong, malunggay, and pechay.

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Stack of Egg Stocks

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Stacked eggs at the evening wet market in Kota Kinabalu

Green Eggplant

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Nine months ago, I got couple of eggplant seedlings from a palengke vendor in Tagaytay. Turns out to be green eggplant which is even better.

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I’ve planted the seedling in one container only but so far it yielded 6 green eggplants already and still continues to flower.

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Tokyo Snapshots: Ameyoko Market

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Fish vendor in towel-wrapped head

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Another fish vendor

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Fruit and vegetable vendor

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Tako (octopus)

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Takoyaki (octopus balls)

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A temple (Tokudai-ji) within the market street

Sweet Potato Fans

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Sweet potato from a shop in Minowa covered street in Tokyo

Japanese are fond of sweet potato. I’ve seen somebody snacking on boiled sweet potato somewhere. Seems she prepared it at home, placed in her tote as an ‘on the go’ snack.  I’ve tried the cut caramelized sugar-coated chilled ones and a sample of boiled ones from Kawagoe City in Saitama Prefecture. I even saw a shop selling sweet potato ice cream in that place.

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A store selling salted sweet potato fries in Kitain Temple Grounds at Tsuchiura City, Ibaraki Prefecture

When I was at Tsuchiura City, I’ve blissfully snacked on the salted cut ones, in other words ‘sweet potato fries’ but thicker in pieces.

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Salted sweet potato, a delicious oxymoron

And so based from I had eaten so far, I think Japan’s sweet potato variety is superior than what I’ve had (so far since childhood) in the Philippines.

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A shopkeeper in Kawagoe selling sweet potato snacks. Sweet potato is a specialty of Kawagoe, so naturally the mascot of this place is a sweet potato

Bamboo Shoots

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Fresh bamboo shoots

Almost every ramen bowl I had in Tokyo has braised bamboo shoots on it. Seems like a very common ramen topping.

Weekend Farmer’s Market

What it is like to be in a Sunday farmer’s market in Tokyo…

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Not too crowded and a very pleasant day

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Colorful packaging/wrapper is so Japan

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Tomatoes in different colors

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Bicycle coffee

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Lovely carrots and a genuine smile

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Kimono lady

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Gives me an impression of sanitary food handling

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Their specialty is katsuobushi

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Shaving katsuobushi block

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Presence of several food trucks such as this

Pinakbet Packets

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Pinakbet packet members: bitter gourd, string beans, squash, okra, eggplant

Vegetables needed for a pinakbet dish are sliced and packed for the convenience of the cook and also for the seller to dispose of those imperfect whole ones (e.g. whole eggplant) by slicing the good sections from it of which these will then be sold as members of the pinakbet packet.

Patani

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Always plenty of patani in Lipa public market

Himbabao

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At Lipa City public market, several tables were selling this unfamiliar edible flower vegetable that the vegetable lady to whom I bought some educated me on its name, how they call it in Batangas, and what its Ilocano name, and on how to cook. One can’t get this kind of knowledge transfer from a supermarket staff.

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Boil tomatoes and salted dried fish, add himbabao and season with salt. The broth will become a little bit thick and deliciously slimy

It turns out that the himbabao or alocon ( in Ilocano) is even better in taste than sitaw (string beans). It turns out too that I like it very much.

Allium Braids

Braiding shallots and garlic in a bundle for selling per bundle

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It was nighttime when I passed this stall to buy shallots

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They've really put some effort by braiding the garlic and shallots

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A 50-peso braided bundle of shallots

Local Market in Jogja

While shopping arcades/malls will draw the life out of me, local markets give the opposite effect. In a larger picture, Southeast Asian local markets look and feel the same though it’s just a generality. There are detailed contrasts between regions from the atmosphere, to the quantity of certain ingredients also the variety, the tools, the merchants and patrons, the layout, the arrangement, and even the ornamentation.

I went to this food market in Yogyakarta near Prawirotaman street and took joy (as usual) in my stroll within.
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Floor level seating is the norm.
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I’ve noticed that there’s no market type of shouting, a contrast to the palengkera manner of calling out to shoppers (in a good way) in the Philippines where that kind of market chaos (one that I love) is eternally present. These merchants were relatively quiet in Jogja.
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See the mangoes in that handsome timbangan (weighing scale). Also chilies, petai and sprouts in those flat round baskets.
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The chicken lady of the market and her timbangan. I like this photo.
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Spice pack of galangal, bay leaves and lemongrass. So unlike in the Philippines where one can see Knorr Cubes and Magic Sarap junk in the palengke.
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Those are palm sugar inside the clear plastic bags.
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The Indonesian cook who was with me the second time I went here says these are macadamia nuts commonly used in Indonesian cooking (but I think she meant candlenuts).
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Benguet Coffee

One of the stalls selling coffee beans or ground coffee in Baguio public market.
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Heavy duty grinder (that reminds me of a fire hydrant) if you want freshly ground coffee by the kilo.
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