Whenever I travel to a new place, I always want to check out their open air or fresh fruit markets. They’re usually colorful and vibrant and it’s a cheap way to get some local fruit and we might be able to find some new to us fruit or food. You know my belly dictates where we go.
I’ve been trying to find info on a farmer’s market here in David but couldn’t find anything. Boquete, which is an ex-pat community (Panama has an extremely large ex-pat community) 40 minutes away has a Tuesday market but I read the prices are high because they cater to the expats and not the locals. Worst comes to worst, I guess we can go there because there are some tropical fruits I want to find and couldn’t find them in the market.
I mentioned to Arran’s cousin while we were at dinner late last night (it’s too hot to eat early, we went out at 11pm) that I was surprised that David didn’t have a farmer’s market. Well turns out they do and she took us by there last night. It’s not called a farmer’s market which is why I couldn’t find any information on it, it’s called a cold chain market (that’s the translation). The market is air conditioned to keep the fruit in better condition. Usually, fruit is sold from the back of trucks. The problem for us is finding said trucks.
We did see a truck full of watermelons yesterday. I had The Brit ask about how much they run and it was about $6 for a watermelon! My cheap asian heart new I would pay it if I had to because I love watermelon but not that moment. A $6 watermelon could wait.
Back to the cold storage market. Even knowing the name of it, I really couldn’t find much information online it so it’s definitely something you need to hear about from a local. I’ll have to let you know what it’s like and talk more about it after we go.
Even tho the market was closed, The Brit’s cousin told us to drive into the parking lot. There were a lot of trucks loaded with fruit parked there and apparently, you can buy off of the truck. She says they set up because drivers come down from Panama City to stock up on fruit to sell there. Everything was packaged in bags since they sell more in bulk. I didn’t want 20 watermelon but said I would be willing to buy 3. I really do love watermelon and of course, would share with The Brit’s family.
We slowly drive (it’s about midnight) up and down the parking lot to look at the goods, lots of bananas and oranges. Since we didn’t get out of the car, the only thing that really caught my eye was the watermelons. We pull up next to some guys, roll down our window and ask how much it would cost for 3 watermelons. He walks away to talk to the watermelon guy and they come back and say $9.35. In my head I was telling myself anything below $10 is a steal. You know I was doing internal cartwheels when he gave us that price. So far, this has been my favorite moment in Panama.
On a funny note, his family said we couldn’t eat watermelon with fish (since we just got back from eating fish) because it would make us sick. They knew someone who ate the combo of watermelon and seafood and got really sick. I didn’t mention all the times I’ve hit a seafood buffet and attacked the watermelon at the end of the meal. I just nodded my head. Whereas The Brit looked it up and said, there’s literally a fish and watermelon recipe right here.