13 November 2010

Vilnius Markets

We're in Vilnius, which seems very much like an affluent, Western European city - until you stray out of the old-town center. We drove out to a laundromat yesterday (they are surprisingly hard to find in the center of town) and discovered the concrete, soviet-era outskirts. One of the nicer things about the district was the little market that was going on behind a large Eki supermarket.
One thing about European markets: they tend to be outdoors. It's strange, to me, that they haven't been covered in more cases. The stalls are semi-permanent, and they house the same purveyors regularly. This market had fruit and vegetable sellers on one side (at right in the photo above), and meat vendors on the other (at left). The vegetables were out in the open, the sausages and steaks were sold out of little windows.
Vans crowded around the market square - really a gap between buildings. It's difficult to tell if these potatoes have just been bought or are waiting to be sold.
Today we went into a cavernous, covered market near the train station. There were a large selection of smoked and otherwise-cured meats. Also fish, cheap clothing, cigarettes, alcohol, chinese paper parasols and even a few vegetables - though not many.
The Lithuanians definitely like their sides of pork. As you can see, there's a nice range of fattiness.
It was quite crowded, it smelled like salt and it was a little too warm. We left without buying anything - dinner plans - but wished that we had.
Outside, other booths were set up in a much more makeshift way. Here were the fruits and vegetables.
And mushrooms. They seem to like their mushrooms dried instead of fresh, but that may be a function of supply and not demand. We think that the basket on the ground was full of cranberries, but that's just a guess. We've seen similar berries all over. Does anyone know what they might be (if not cranberries, which are a popular addition to foods here)?


  1. This was lingonberry.. :)