Sunday, 7 August 2011

Sampling Pike Place Market

With Jules’ passion for good food and produce, it was inevitable that we would end up spending some time at famous Pike Place Market during our stay in Seattle. Being the longest continually running farmers market in the United States (104 years), it remains somewhat of an institution that attracts visitors from around the world. Ideally positioned between the business district and the harbour docks, it has become a hub for those looking for the freshest in fruit, vegetables and seafood. Yet like all such places, it offers so much more as over the years it has become a magnet for a wide range of merchants, craftspeople and restaurateurs. Not surprisingly we found strong similarities between Pike Place and our own Central Market in Adelaide (although we still biasly think ours is better). There is certainly a unique atmosphere here with the famous fish mongers entertaining the tourists by throwing fish around as they yell catch-phrases in unison while fruit shop owners entice you with freshly cut samples of fruit as you walk by. It was here that we found the original Starbucks Coffee Shop, a surprisingly small establishment that went on to conquer the world. The place is a labyrinth of passages and laneways that have simply evolved over the market’s history, offering a unique shopping experience. I particularly liked ‘The Paper Company’ where you can find old original posters, advertisements and magazines from a bygone era, while Jules enjoyed ‘Piroshky Piroshky’ the Russian bakery where you could view freshly baked apple and cinnamon rolls coming straight out of the oven…she couldn’t resist a sample. Eventually we settled down to some ‘Pike Place Clam Chowder’, a highly recommended soup that has won numerous awards and comes to you in a variety of flavours, (most of which we sampled). As we sat in the summer sun, dipping bread into our chowder and enjoying the music from a nearby busker, we couldn’t ask for much more from a market experience. It’s not surprising that the Pike Place Market remains Seattle’s number one tourist attraction.

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