Like the rest of town, it lacks the extremes of drama and beauty that conventionally attract tourists. We went there on Wikipedia’s recommendation and I’m glad, since I got that you’re-a-long-way-away-from-home shiver too rarely enjoyed by over-frequent travelers, but always by those who find their photographs rather than planning them.

Boy, was it ever packed on a Friday afternoon.

Central market at Porto Alegre

It’s mostly about raw materials for food and drink. This being Brazil, “drink” includes mate, and here are some of your options for making it; I enjoyed the polished hand-lettering. I have so far failed to appreciate mate, but I think I’m in a majority; most people (not just Brazilians) seem to like it.

Tea leaves for  maté at Porto Alegre central market

This isn’t the only picture where I had to squeeze between strangers to get any sort of view of the goods on offer.

There was bric-a-brac as well as food.

Bric-a-brac for sale at Porto Alegre central market

Over at Google+ I ran a picture of an antique-camera stand, worth a glance if you care about such things.

But really, it was mostly food. This gentleman had enough English to tell me that the cod on offer was Norwegian. The best in the world! he claimed.

Cod for sale at Porto Alegre central market

Elsewhere in the market was a smallish low-roofed L-shaped alley where all the stalls sold fish; the fishmongers thumped their countertops and cried their wares with cheery intensity. But the pictures didn’t come out.

Some of the food was appetizing in essence and presentation.

Butcher stand at Porto Alegre central market

Then there was this.

Pigs’ heads for sale at Porto Alegre central market

I tweeted about this one, remarking “The birds are no longer angry.” Some wag tweeted back: “No, they’re around the corner in the poultry section.”

If you’re in town, it’s worth a visit.


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July 08, 2011
· The World (126 fragments)
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