There has been much written about the Mediterranean diet extolling the health and longevity of residents of the region. I began to think about this as I began my trek down to the Gruz harbor green market for my weekly “u spenzu” (shopping). Our fruits and vegetables are not much different to those in other countries; the main exception is our farmers do not use pesticides or additives. Perhaps this is the reason the Mediterranean diet is so healthy.
Our choice of fruits and vegetables are seasonal and each week new arrivals pop up, with the strawberries the first to arrive last week – spring is finally here again. During the month of March, wild asparagus was available and very different from what I used to find in California. Much thinner in size, it had the taste of the woods and earth. Many locals prepare the cooked asparagus as a salad with vinegar and oil, but my personal preference is a wild asparagus omelet. By the end of the month, the season was over and we will wait in anticipation for next year for this lovely delicacy.
Our main green market is located at the Gruz harbor adjacent to the fish stalls. I find it to be the best place for buying fruits, vegetables and of course very fresh fish. I always arrive no later than 0730 to be able to select the freshest looking produce, prowling the smaller tables belonging to locally farms. The larger stalls with a greater selection of fruits and vegetables are not necessarily local, arriving in Croatia by trucks from neighboring countries. Prices are fair and reasonable but I prefer to support my neighbors from our Konavle farm area. Local food is fresher and it is better to help the local economy!
The spring flowers are here in abundance and I so enjoy spending time gazing upon the buds and blooms. There are so many extraordinary flowers arrangements made by the loving hands of our creative locals that I always have difficulty choosing. Something beautiful will soon be gracing my small terrace.
My two bags filled to the brim with fresh fish, several varieties of green vegetables and strawberries for shortcake. Of course, it is now time for my obligatory coffee with friends, spending time discussing how to prepare shortcakes from scratch. Time is 0855 and I casually stroll across the road to catch the #10 bus back to Cavtat with my bags of fresh and natural goodies. I love living here!!