When we moved to rural Mallorca in 2004, one of the quickest lifestyle adjustments we made was the way we bought our fresh produce. In the UK, we mostly bought fruit, vegetables, meat, and fish in Sainsbury’s – our nearest supermarket – because there simply wasn’t enough non-working time to schlep around individual food shops or street markets.
We had plenty of time on our hands when we first moved here, so began to shop like the locals: going to the marketplace in Manacor to buy fruit and vegetables, the adjacent fishmonger’s shop, and a butcher’s shop where we used to buy the small amount of meat that we eat.
Our Saturday morning shopping trips to the busy market usually meant a few encounters between our ankles and the bulging Rolser shopping trolleys that everyone seemed to use for their market shopping. It was atmospheric and fun…if sometimes a little bruising!
Supermarkets on the rise
Since those days, the town’s original supermarkets have been modernized and new ones have opened, including Lidl and Aldi. More people are now doing all their shopping in supermarkets. The couple that owned the butcher’s shop retired and sold up. The fishmonger’s closed long ago and the premises stand forlorn and empty.
We still shop in the fruit and veg market but have seen a decline in the number of people who buy – and sell – there. It’s sad, because the area around Manacor is mainly agricultural.
So we applaud the Vermutejant vermouth-and-tapas initiative, intended to attract people back to the marketplace – where it’s hoped they’ll start shopping again.
Tapas and vermouth, anyone?
The Vermutejant currently takes place every Saturday from 11am until 1pm: between one and three good restaurants/cafés each take a vacant stall in the market, from which they offer tapas and vermut for sale at surprisingly low prices. Live music of some kind adds to what is a great ambience.
We’re keen to support the local market, so we have treated ourselves to a tapa and small vermouth every week since the initiative began; it adds some fun to the weekly shop. If you’re going to be in Manacor on a Saturday morning, try the Vermutejant – and maybe buy some of the appealing fresh produce offered, to help keep Manacor’s market in business.
The Vermutejant takes a break with the official arrival of summer. The last one for this run of the tapas-and-vermouth event will be on Saturday, June 24th, 2017.
Here’s a look at some of the highlights of this Vermutejant season:
Jan Edwards ©2017