On our last trip to Malaga, we were delighted that we had the time to spend visiting the foodie delight that is Mercado Merced. The website offers the following information :
No visit to Malaga is complete without a visit to the Atarazanas market. The market is more commonly known to Malagueños as the ‘Mercado central.’ As with most landmarks in Malaga, it is richly steeped in history, dating back hundreds of years.
The name Atarazanas comes from Arabic and means shipyard. Under Moorish rule, the market was the site of an important shipbuilding yard, with the sea lapping right up to its door. Wandering around the market is a joy. The Arabic archways, the carefully forged iron works and the stained glass windows, all open up into a paradise of fresh food and spices. The market itself is a blaze of colours, sounds and smells. The people are pure exhibitionist and full of life. The natural warmth of the Malagueños, leaves visitors feeling completely energised and ready for more.
Located in central Malaga, near the port, it can be easy to miss as it’s housed inside a very old building, a 14th Century shipyard, one of the largest and most impressive buildings of its time – however, use your senses and they’ll guide you. The internal market is well laid out, with stalls being grouped together – so if you’re veggie, you can avoid the poultry and meats. The whole market is a riot of colour, smells and noises as the traders shout above each other, theatrically vying for shoppers’ and visitors’ attention. We don’t seem to have markets like this in UK. Markets which are an integral part of a community, a way of life, rather than a trendy place to eat or somewhere you pay a premium for olives and houmous. This market has the raw feel of the morning market in Ortigia, Sicily rather than the market/eateries in Copenhagen.
There were lots of tourists, snapping away at the stalls, groaning with produce – but there were also far more Malagueños, doing their daily shop. We long for a time when we can avoid supermarkets as much as possible, with their ridiculous amount of packaging and plastic, and everything having to be uniform, and largely imported. We want to be able to pop into a market like this and buy everything fresh and locally sourced. We want to understand everything for sale on the fish stalls, rather than just skirting around the edges because we’re not sure about the strange and exotic looking produce. I’m not sure we’ll ever become fully acquainted with the meat stalls, but the fruit and veg and olives and oils would definitely keep us occupied for quite some time…
The market is open from Monday to Saturday, from 8am to 2pm, and is situated in the centre of Malaga, almost midway between El Corte Inglés and Calle Larios on Calle Atarazanas, 10, 29005 Málaga