Madrid, Spain: Exploring the tapas market!

There are several interesting markets located throughout the city in Madrid. One of these is the market, Mercado de San Miguel, which seems dedicated to tapas. Chris and I were keen on making this market part of our agenda to visit.
Upon entering, one gets the feeling of an up scale "foodie" market. Tourists mixed with locals were walking around, having lunch and some wine as one could buy a nice bottle of wine or a glass of it to enjoy whilst trying different tapas from the various stations. Almost every kind of food imaginable was featured in that market, with tall gas heaters located in different places for clients to keep warm whilst sitting together with some wine and their tapas. A few people pushing around huge carts would go around and collect the waste and plates, cups and clean up the areas after clients had finished, so the market had a clean feel to it.

We wandered around the market first, to get an idea of what every place had to offer, and later we chose some interesting ones made from "bacalao" fish, another spicy ,another was savoury, another was sweet, and after successfully finding a free table where it was more quiet, we tried a paella. There was some venison mixed in the saffron rice and vegetables which was wonderful especially with the wine we had with it!
All the tapas sampling as well as the sight of other foods around us, and it being lunch time, we stayed at our table which was quiet, and we took out our own lunch items which included some local cheese, bread, Spanish (black pig) jambon slices and  a nice quality Spanish wine, which we carried with us in a traditional wine goat skin flask which we knew we would enjoy as we had already tasted it and chose to take it with us on a picnic. This tapas market would be our combined picnic lunch as well as tapas experience.
Various people would wander around the market, being a market, they were selling things like having your caricature drawn, as well as a wandering man from Gambia who looked like he just came from Africa. Smiling as he approached our table, he offered us some African bracelets for free ," because we looked like nice guys". After telling our stories and hearing his story about living in Gambia and in Spain now, he managed to get a donation from us, which I felt good we gave. It is more blessed to give than to receive, although we did receive some good moments with him as well as two souvenir bracelets!

Having finished our tapas experience as well as our lunch, and having a gentle and happy buzz from the wine, we left the market and wandered some more around beautiful  Madrid.


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