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Spain: Calpe Market and Art & Craft in Gata de Gorgos

September 23, 2012

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Calpe isn’t the prettiest of villages in this part of Spain but there’s a good market there on Saturday morning and it’s where Linda regularly goes to buy the weekly fruit and vegetables. Most importantly for this orange loving blogger, it’s where she buys oranges to juice for breakfast. She doesn’t drink it herself, but George can be found juicing oranges by hand each morning and he says that these oranges are the best he’s found in their nine years living in Spain. Valencia is, of course, famous for its oranges. George told me the oranges vary according to the time of the year; now the taste/quality is starting to go a bit downhill (though they still tasted pretty good to me!) but come January and February, they will be at their best.

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The owner of the stall is part of a husband and wife team; the wife was at their stall in Benissa. They sell their own wonderful organic produce, just a few things, including the oranges, but also, depending on season, things like tomatoes.

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They may not look beautiful, but unlike the uniform-sized, blemish-free but tasteless tomatoes found in supermarkets at home, these tomatoes are The Real Thing. They are full of taste. Here in Spain, just as in France and Italy, you buy fresh fruit and vegetables ripe and ready to eat and full of flavour.

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It’s easy to get carried away as there are so many wonderful things to buy. We found honey from nearby Callosa and the stallholder wrote down her address and phone number after we told her we’d been planning to go there.

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It was lovely just wandering down through the market in the sun, stopping to look at stalls like the one where churros were being made or seeing locals sitting on benches in small squares talking.

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Once all the shopping was done and put in the car, it was midday and we headed to a cafe for coffee and tostadas.

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Then it was back home for an afternoon by the pool to enjoy the gloriously sunny day; the sun high in an azure blue sky and the view from the pool especially stunning.

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Linda had been told about the opening of a new craft shop in nearby Gata de Gorgos that evening. Gata is well known for its crafts, particularly baskets. These were once woven locally but now sadly are mainly imports from China or India. However, Francois Seguin’s shop was selling exceptional and lovely local crafts ware.

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We were given wine or cava and Francois told us the rugs we were admiring came from Almeira, a little way south towards Alicante, and were made from cloth offcuts; the edges that are cut from a piece of cloth and are usually thrown away were used and transformed into beautiful rugs and cushions and bags.

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And I couldn’t resist buying a small (about 2ft x 4ft) one to bring home. It’s beautiful and at only €12 quite a bargain too being a unique piece of local craft.

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Upstairs there were paintings and also live music. A guitarist and singer entertained the slowly growing crowd as more and more people arrived. There was a bit of a flamenco feel to the sound of the acoustic guitar and the woman’s voice although it wasn’t really flamenco music. However, gradually people couldn’t resist dancing.

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It seemed very much a local affair as people greeted friends and neighbours and other artists. It was all an unexpected joy to have this lively little party to end our day.

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