Hello Readers! Allow me to re-introduce myself; my name is Sawyer and I will be taking over the Dirt Road Dossier for my mother Jeanne Scott once again while I am home from college this summer! I’ve given you all of the gory details about myself before, so bear with me for one more summer and hopefully enjoy reading the posts as much as I enjoy writing them.
‘Tis finally the season; farmers market season that is! June has arrived, and with it some of the warm and sunny weather we’ve all been waiting for. At long last summer is gracing us with her presence, and one of the many hallmarks of the season are the produce stands, snocone stops and farmer’s markets that begin to sprout up all around. In honor of this time, I’m having flashbacks to my time studying abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark in the fall semester, and all of the beautiful and interesting markets I visited there.
Despite the fact that I attended University in the city of Copenhagen, the apartment that I lived in for the duration of my stay was actually in a quaint town called Kongens Lyngby that was about a 25-minute train ride north of the city. Lyngby was a beautiful place to call home for four months, and one of my favorite parts was the flower market that was right down the street. Every day there would be a huge variety of vibrant flowers lining the street by the shop, and it brightened up the walk to the coffee shop (we all have our addictions!). As the weather got colder, the flower market didn’t give up! Elegant red berries and other evergreen decorations as well as flowers of greater endurance could still be found adding cheer to the overcast weather.
Almost every day I would take the train into Copenhagen for class, and a block away from the station was a very popular attraction called The Glass Market, which features two completely glass buildings that hosted many stalls of different foods, spices, drinks and delicious (and adorable) pastries. This was one of my mom’s favorite stops when she came to visit me, and I had to point out the exotic fish stall that I’d spent so much time marveling at throughout the semester!
Perhaps my favorite and most frequented market in Copenhagen was called the Paper Island. The Paper Island was an abandoned warehouse that was temporarily rented out to a large group of food vendors, and sadly ended only 12 days after I left Denmark. The name is derived from the art exhibit outside in which anybody who passes by was invited to write a wish down on a paper strip and hang it from the small trees placed there. Inside, the cargo containers, disco cow hanging from the roof, colorful lights and DJ set a fun atmosphere that made Paper Island a very popular market. From duck fries, falafel, sushi, barbecue, Greek food and everything in between, Paper Island definitely had something for anybody’s taste. Several vendors served different cocktails and beers, and the mojitos were to die for (hey, it was legal there!). One of my favorite culinary experiences throughout the semester was a crème Brulee doughnut from Paper Island, which was covered in sugar, torched right in front of me, and then topped with vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup. It was a perfect treat to enjoy on the canal!
As December rolled around, I came to realize that there are few places on this planet as enthusiastic about Christmas as Denmark. All throughout the city “Julmarked”, or Christmas Markets could be found every few blocks. Decorated to the nines, these markets served bratwursts, Christmas ornaments, sweets and a traditional Danish drink called Gløgg, which is hot wine with raisins, almonds and a mixture of spices. Walking through these intricately designed markets was a gift in itself, but the vast variety of products ensured that no one would ever be bored. There were handmade scarves, hats and soaps, and the air was always a mixture of multiple lovely aromas. Mom even got to try the traditional Viking mead from the local vendor I had befriended over the semester!
It would be horribly amiss if I failed to mention some of the marketplaces in the other countries I visited. One very similar to the Glass Market was the Mercado de San Miguel in Madrid. When visiting my friend Madison in Spain, this market was on her must-see list. We walked around and guffawed at the huge fish and octopus there, as well as spent some time poking and trying to name the unique fruits we had never seen before. Before we left we made sure to try some of the refreshing sangria; when in Spain!
Another marketplace that was very unique was one I stumbled upon when visiting the small Balkan country of Kosovo. When walking through the city of Pristina with a friend, we found ourselves meandering through a street marketplace that had everything from fresh produce, spices and nuts to antique teapots, shoes and cassette players. This was more of a makeshift market, but it was full of colors and a very charismatic energy. The people called out to us upon guessing that we were American, all very excited to show us what they had or even just to talk to us. The humble market captured my heart and was one of my favorite discoveries.
While I will never forget how much fun I had exploring all of these different markets abroad, I know there are wonderful things to see and try right here at home! Nothing beats the fresh produce and homemade goods of our own neighbors, and enjoying the fruits of their labors. Mill Stream Farm will be joining in with this local community at the farmer’s market at the Denton Culinary Institute every Wednesday, so come and visit us and everyone else and try something new or just come to get one of your age-old favorites!