Sunday, February 13, 2011

Naschmarkt in Vienna...

Dear friends,

Today was an incredible busy yet fulfilling day. Basically the day went like so:

1) Wake up early and bring our friend, Numer, to the airport at 7:30ish.

2) Headed to the 6th district for the Naschmarkt

3) Did a little more shopping somewhere else

4) A Valentines party

But let's focus on the Naschmarkt.

I was reading in my most trusted resource, Wikipedia, that the Naschmarkt is an open market in Vienna that "has existed since the 16th century when mainly milk bottles were sold there." Apparently milk bottles used to be made from ash wood, and hence the market was called the "Aschenmarkt." Somewhere along the way from the 17th century to 2011 the named evolved into Naschmarkt. If any of you Vienna history buffs has any insight please enlighten us in the comments section.

Nowadays the popular market has fruits and vegetables from all over the world. It also boasts freshly baked breads, spices, teas, coffees, confections, even clothes from exotic places in Asia and the Middle East. There are even small restaurants that serve up some of the freshest seafood in town.

Cay and I arrived at Naschmarkt at around 10am on Saturday and it was alive with mix of Viennese, tourists, merchants and people who are recovering from festivities from the night before. We luckily found parking right away and quickly headed towards the produce.

We grabbed some greens for a salad that we planned on having later that evening, which turned out to be enough greens for 4 evenings. We also picked up some incredibly sweet cherry and vine tomatoes (as pictured) and then headed to the cheese shops.

I must recommend one cheese shop in Naschmarkt (there are many). The name of the shop is Käsehütte, and it is outstanding. It boasts a large collection of both local and imported cheeses from France and Italy. We opted for a creamy French type cheese, which we sadly forgot the name. The texture was smooth, mild, buttery with smokey hints. We also got a very delightfully sharp Pecorino that I will use later to make a cacio e pepe pasta. The service is outstanding at Käsehütte and the people are very knowledgeable about cheese.

Out next stop was to buy flowers. If you ever purchase flowers here be expected to get rude service; it's just part of the culture :-)

After the flowers we did a quick run-through of the rest of the Naschmarkt, and I must say that after I did that I realized we could easily spend the day just looking at the exotic things there. One of my favorite things to see were the different spices:

I also liked the "flea market" which extended past the food booths. And let me tell you, it is an antique junky's dream. I especially love how they sold old theatre seats!

It was a great time, but the only thing I suggest is that you go to the Naschmarkt with a fixed budget and somewhat of an idea of what you want to get. You can easily get lost in all the foods and products that it has, and for sure you wallet will take a hit if don't go in there with a sound mind. Thanks for reading as always... And have a great Sunday!

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