Culinary ramblings of a mischievous cook. Recipes,pictures,diary entries and all things foodie.Follow a journey of life in the east Algarve, Portugal...
Devoutly to be wished........perchance to dream.. Aye, there's the rub
Saturday 18th June 2016The first ever flea market in Castro Marim.
“As I stare at them, I can feel little invisible strings,silently tugging me towards them. I stop the car and jump out, I have to touch them. I have to play with them. They are one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen.” If you don't buy them now, you may never see them again, I say to myself .Its 10 o´clock in the morning, a brusque German dealersteps forward from a camaraderie of beer drinking males, himself clutching a bottle of beer, announces the price he is asking, and says he accepts multibanco and credit cards. Shylock in Shakespeare´s Merchant of Venice comes to mind.I start to lose interest rapidly. I have encountered his sort before. Its not even worth bartering I thought.I walk despondently back to the car thinking shall I, should I, is it worth it?It was a beautiful object in working order but incomplete (the weights were missing),bargaining power or not? These scales are a piece of Portuguese culinary history and if I could give them a loving home where they could return to being used again, adorning our kitchen with its thick old walls, then who knows, I am sure they can share their own history of transactions involving a Portuguese grocer or market trader and their customers. Even though they would not match in any way, I could put them to practical use with the weights from my grandmothers scales.I come home and venture down again with the thespian 4 hours later but "sans eyes,sans teeth,sans everything" the scales have gone, the dealer has gone and the remainder of traders are packing up to leave two hours before the scheduled finishing time.Alas I will perchance to dream that these very same scales will return to the Castro Marim flea market next month on Saturday 16th July, when I learn from experience and take a buyers stand and strike a deal.I have since Googled Balança de merçearia, marca Medines de António Nunes and found the same model of these scales but in white enamel last selling at auction for €69 considerably less than half of the price the dealer was asking.
This happened to me once before in The Mercado de Ribeira in Lisboa.In reality, on this particular occasion my eye was drawn to a trader adorning a chain mail butchers apron, slivering presunto on the Maserati of meat slicers,the Rolls Royce of butchery equipment.The piece of equipment in question was The famous Berkel Antique floor standing Italian meat slicer.They are still produced today but the gentleman behind me assured me this was an original,and that i would be looking at parting with at least €5,000 to acquire one.It stood therelike a vintage car, immaculate in polished burgundy and chrome.It had clearly been cared for and maintained since its incarnation.
An Alfa romeo gigolo gourmand on a fast track to paradise,in my dreams.I could never afford to own one of these,but maybe the apron, always on my wish list, might be affordable.I settled for a bottle of Prova Regio and a more than delicious Mercado lunch with good friends.