Ever feel like you’re paying an arm and a leg for produce when you shop at the supermarkets? I feel like when I buy fruit or vegetables at E-mart, Home Plus, or any of the neighborhood markets in my area, I pay a premium for stuff that doesn’t seem overly special. Sometimes, I feel like I’m throwing money away and I can’t even find everything that I’m looking for!
★Find more information about traditional markets in Daegu
-Introducing Daegu’s Traditional Markets (1): http://globaldaegu.blogspot.kr/2012/04/lifeshopping-introducing-daegus.html
-Introducing Daegu’s Traditional Markets (2): http://globaldaegu.blogspot.kr/2012/05/lifeshopping-introducing-daegus.html
-Introducing Daegu’s Traditional Markets (3): http://globaldaegu.blogspot.kr/2012/05/lifeshopping-introducing-daegus_13.html
-Introducing Daegu’s Traditional Markets (4): http://globaldaegu.blogspot.kr/2012/05/lifeshopping-introducing-daegus_20.html
-Chilseong Market and Furniture Shopping: http://globaldaegu.blogspot.kr/2012/08/chilseong-market-and-furniture-shopping.html
Well, I wised up not long after arriving in Korea when I learned about the cheaper prices from local farmers in various markets around town, like Chilseong and Seomun. I also noticed vendors who sold things I bought regularly, like bell peppers and bananas, for sale along the streets I walked every day. The local farmers sell their produce for less and often times you get more “bang” for your buck on the streets!
And then, something magical happened. Someone told me about the weekly market in my neighborhood. I love a good farmers market, so this was right up my alley.
While there’s a back alleyway that always has some vendors selling some produce and other goods, I was completely unaware of it because it was, well, a back alleyway and hidden. Every week on Thursday, local farmers flood a street in Siji and sell everything from apples, to broccoli, to peaches, to carrots, to onions, to bushels of garlic, and everything in between! If it’s in season and grown in Korea, you can probably find it at the Siji Thursday market. If you’re looking to see more traditional items at an Asian market, you’ll also find buckets of various grains and dried fish. And let’s not forget, crunchy and colorful snacks!
It’s fun to meet the same vendors every week and buy the same items from them. Once they get to know you or recognize you, sometimes they may throw in an extra item as an added “service” to say “thank you” for your patronage. It pays to visit the same smiling vendors every week!
Just a few weeks ago, a trailer complete with cold-cases for meat and chopping blocks turned up in Siji… It’s a butcher on wheels! I haven’t bought meat from them yet, but I plan to give it a try!
Even on rainy Thursdays, the local farmers still come out and brave the weather to sell their fares. It’s also fun to hear vendors selling the same produce try to compete with one another on the street, calling out their prices. I’m not usually sure what they’re saying, but I imagine they’re also trying to pass on other selling points.
So, the lesson of this post? Ask around in your neighborhood. Is there a weekly market you didn’t know about right in your proverbial backyard? If yes, then have the courage to check it out! Man yourself with some cash and go look for the items you are always getting anyway. Embrace the culture and get more acquainted with your neighborhood.
-Address: 578, Shinmae-dong, Suseong-gu, Daegu (대구광역시 수성구 신매동 578)