Cabo de Palos market: fruit and veg from the Orchard of Europe

After the fabulous fish I simply had to show you some of the amazing fruit and veg that you can get in Murcia. It’s a huge agricultural area which has earned it the nickname “the orchard of Europe” and you can see why every time you go into a shop or visit a market.

The Sunday market at the port of Cabo de Palos is a favourite. Fortified with a cafe con leche and pan con tomate enjoyed sitting overlooking the sea, we head to stock up for the week…and try not to get too carried away.

Start the day with coffee overlooking the harbour

Start the day with coffee overlooking the harbour

Everything gleams in the sunshine and is such great value. Stallholders tempt you in by getting you to taste a sliver of orange or a handful of cherries – one taste and you’re gone! I have to be strong-willed and remember to only buy at the end of the market day as carrying around kilograms of fruit and veg is more exercise than I want when shopping.

Huge red peppers glisten in the sunshine

Huge red peppers glisten in the sunshine

The cheapest, freshest garlic ever? Impossible to resist. As a result of buying such large quantities of ajos I’ve been cooking with it every day. I swear I feel healthier…

Juicy, pungent garlic is sold for 1 euro for 10 bulbs!

Juicy, pungent garlic is sold for 1 euro for 10 bulbs!

Lovely lettuces (cosollos – what a sweet-sounding word).

Or how about 7 lettuces for 1 euro?

Or how about 7 lettuces for 1 euro?

Jumbo asparagus and gnarly tomatoes

Jumbo asparagus and gnarly tomatoes

The juiciest of oranges for just 5 euros for 4kg.

Buy oranges in bulk..fresh juice to start the day

Buy oranges in bulk..fresh juice to start the day

Tomatoes, figs and cherries all in a row. Delicious sweetness.

Figs, cherries and tomatoes

Figs, cherries and tomatoes

Peaches you can smell from about a hundred metres away. They draw you in like a magnet.

Plump peaches piled up  high

Plump peaches piled up high

I truly feel like I’m in fruit and veg heaven when I’m in Murcia. It’s so easy to eat healthily and the variety means you never get bored with your five a day! Oh and the market offers plenty of other shopping opportunities. Clothes, shoes, kitchenware, spices, bags…all at great prices.

And then there’s the final purchase that has to be made – from the chicken rotisserie man. By the time you get there you’re salivating as the aroma of roasting chicken wafts through the market stalls. What’s the last thing we do before we leave the market? Buy a chicken! Yum…

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