I love being in a new country and discovering their food. Yesterday, we finally made it to a semi open-air market I have been wanting to go to ever since we moved here. On these islands, they grow watermelons, pineapple, figs, citrus fruit, olives, grapes, bananas, and all kinds of veggies. The market is a colorfull feast for the eyes. The watermelons that grow here are small, perfectly round and very dark green. They are brilliant red inside and deliciously sweet and juicy.
We randomly chose a shop from which to buy a watermelon- just a watermelon. Well, the man who ran this particular shop was incredibly friendly and helpful. We practiced our Portuguese (my husband is learning it so fast.... I'm still stuck on "thank you" and stuff like that) and he told us about some of the local food here. He had two huge wheels of cheese in his shop. He cut us a piece and gave it to us with a small banana, and told us that they are very good eaten together. The semi-hard, salty cheese was indeed very good with the sweet banana. He then let us sample some local olives, and cut open a few fresh figs for us to try. I had never had a fresh fig in my life! It is beautiful; ruby-red inside. The texture is different; almost stringy. Here is the shop-owner and myself; we wanted just a picture of him, but he insisted I get in the picture as well.
So, at the market, we had only intended to buy one watermelon, but this man was so friendly, and such a good salseman, that we ended up buying that watermelon, but also a dozen brown eggs (their yolks are a deep orange), about 8 fresh figs, a slab of cheese, some olives, a bunch of bananas and some local juices. The cheese is made on a neighboring island, but everything else comes from this island. The olives are tiny and dark; some are green, some are dark brown.
We later had lunch at a very nice Pastaleria/Cafe; I'll write more about that later.