An Outsider’s Guide to Stuttgart #1 The Markets

Germany has a very short growing season. Arriving at the tail end of winter, we’ve been living on tired looking broccoli, impenetrable tomatoes and bananas which, although fair trade and organic, have traveled from places like Brazil and Columbia (gasp). How I miss my beloved markets in Wollongong, which at this time of year are burgeoning with new season apples, the first of the citrus and the last of the delicious figs. So you can imagine what a relief it was to find the produce market in Stuttgart, awash with the promise of Spring. My first glimpse of that buzzing mass of colour and movement brought a wave of familiarity and relief. But this is isn’t just an ordinary market. Stuttgart’s producers have been trading in the very same place since the 14th century. In 1944, the Marketplatz itself was completely destroyed by Anglo-American air raids, along with ninety percent of the city. But rebuilding had begun by the 1950s, and today it houses the produce market twice a week, as well as the Christmas market from November.

For Tony and I, the experience brings moments of both exhilaration and despair. Boxes and tables of gleaming apples, surly potatoes and soldierly asparagus, bring the former. The awkwardness of not knowing where to stand or how to approach, grappling with yet unfamiliar coins, and the ever-frightening language barrier, bring the latter. Nevertheless we came home laden with a bushel of delicious local bounty. Apparently, the market still abides by its centuries old mandate that only produce grown in Württemberg may be sold. This may well be true, though I’m sure I glimpsed a couple of pineapples…







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4 Responses to “An Outsider’s Guide to Stuttgart #1 The Markets”


  1. 1 kerentravels April 11, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    “Awash with the promise of spring” – what a triumph. Your writing is improving with each post. I miss the apple man in Wollongong!

  2. 2 Ulli April 13, 2010 at 6:18 pm

    Have you been to the Markthalle yet? Don’t miss it, you’ll love it.
    http://www.stuttgart-tourist.de/ENG/leisure/markthalle.htm

  3. 4 Jill April 17, 2010 at 3:17 am

    Just found you again, Ali. Love the energy and action of your market pictures…gaining a special glow from the flowers.Love your shared experiences and your steps to finding a place in the here and now. Connects at heart level. Thinking of you daily. Love to you, Tony and Rose, jill


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A girl with a camera, a toddler and a sewing machine. Making sense of Germany... and life in general.

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