Saturday, July 16, 2011
I am fortunate to live near one of the largest farmer's markets in Berlin. Since 1990 the square has hosted a market every Wednesday and Saturday, where you can buy fresh-local-bio fruits and veggies, artisinal meats and cheeses, roast bratwursts, fishes, linens, silver polish, jewelry, antiques, espressos, flowers, breads--in short, anything your little heart could possibly desire.
The market takes place in Winterfeldtplatz, which is in northern Shöneberg. The square was named in 1893 after Prussian General Hans Karl von Winterfeldtplatz, and it's been named such ever since.
The market is so resplendent with goods, you are likely to forget what you came for in the first place. This is the certainly the case for me. Not only must I constantly be forming the correct sentences in German for what I want to order (but they never to come out right anyway) and thinking about the quantity in terms of grams and kilos, I also must contend with the din and aroma of the espresso machine, which works on me like some Pavlovian trigger--so now I have an espresso, but I have no idea what I was going to buy, or even what I've bought. Nevertheless, I make my way through the 250 stalls, where I am stopped by the redolent "fragrance" of some kind of German cheese that has been sitting in the sun for a few hours. I pass on this cheese, but I do buy a locally made cream cheese mixed with garlic, onions, chives, dill, and parsley. It is the best cream cheese you'll probably never have. Anyway, I've been slathering it on baguettes with cured salmon that I also picked up at the market, and topping that off with cucumbers and capers. Or, as one would say in German, "Lecker!"