More of Turku’s Open Air Continental Market

06 Aug

This is a continuation from a previous post about the open-air market along the river in Turku, Finland. The market made for a wonderful wander down the river as we headed from the gorgeous Turku Cathedral (first dedicated in 1300) towards the Tourist Information office, and then to a fantastic little spot for lunch (which I mentioned in an earlier post). The market had so much to look at and tempt our tastebuds; hopefully you’ll enjoy the photos almost as much as we enjoyed our experience!

Maybe it will even encourage you to consider a Finnish holiday of your own?

French bakery

Open-air 'continental market' in Turku

French bakery in the open-air ‘continental market’ in Turku

Samples of pepperoni from an Italian-style deli, samples of cheese from another… It would be hard to pick the best place! An ice cream shop was on location and had a short but steady line of customers, while a French bakery advertised just by the many people we passed, carrying loaves of French bread under their arms.

We ended up coming back at the end of our day to pick out a few things from the bakery – our Canadian French finally came in handy in the market full of Finns! (Luckily, most places we went, the people we spoke with did speak English, so we were lucky in that aspect!)

The smell of the bakery was wonderful, with all of the freshly-baked aromas on the slight breeze throughout the marketplace.

Sweet shop

One shop on the other end of the market had large, shallow pans of what I think was fudge. The signs had blown off, and the staff were matching signage with ingredients with the coloured treats.

Open-air 'continental market' in Turku

Sweet treats in the open-air ‘continental market’ in Turku

I would have loved to try some – but there were so many things to look at, and only so much time!

Open-air 'continental market' in Turku

Such colourful treats in the open-air ‘continental market’ in Turku

Unfortunately the signs were all written in Swedish and Finnish – no English translations, so the best I could do was read “salt”… so I can only imagine these little squares were fudge!

Open-air 'continental market' in Turku

I had no idea what these were – but they looked interesting!

These little treats were so pretty, but with no English signage, I had no idea what they were…

Open-air 'continental market' in Turku

Now to translate the sign to see what this is!

… so I took a photo to be able to come home and translate it! It turns out they are Moroccan sesame cookies, called ‘Halwa Chebakia’ – a cookie that is shaped into a flower, fried, and coated with honey and sprinkled with sesame seeds. It’s also known as ‘Mkharka’, and is usually served during Ramadan and for special occasions.

Open-air 'continental market' in Turku

More interesting sweets at the open-air ‘continental market’ in Turku

So.. if the cookies were Moroccan, perhaps the fudge-type treat was too?

Dried fruit & nuts

Next door to the sweet shop, a steady flow of customers bought dried fruit and nuts. A man and his wife stood next to me saying “more, more” as the clerk filled a smart pink and white striped paper bag with dried apricots.

Open-air 'continental market' in Turku

nut and fruits in the open-air ‘continental market’ in Turku

Once again, the problem of language got in the way – most of the treats were obvious.. Cashews, ginger slices, dried apricots; all familiar. However there were some interesting items I couldn’t identify by looking at them or by their pictures on the signs.

Open-air 'continental market' in Turku

Tasty nuts: Open-air ‘continental market’ in Turku

In some cases, like below, the pictures on the signs were very useful… the chopped up white cubes were shown with a photo of a whole and halved coconut. Easy! The dried fruit on the right hand of the photo below were show with photos of fresh figs. Easy! Other items weren’t so simple, but still intriguing!

Open-air 'continental market' in Turku

Dried fruit: Open-air ‘continental market’ in Turku

Spice shop

Open-air 'continental market' in Turku

Loads of spices for sale

Not to be outdone by the other scents and sights, the spice shop smelled delicious as all of the fragrances mixed together…

Italian deli

Open-air 'continental market' in Turku

An Italian deli.

There were two Italian delis, and one cheese seller as well, all of which were offering small samples of their products.

My companion and I both agreed- the market was the best example of a market we’d ever seen. While it didn’t compete with the grandness of Granville Island market in Vancouver, the outgoing, friendly, and engaged people, teamed with the tantalizing products and the amazing location along the river made this a wonderful experience all by itself… And that was even before we got to taste that nougat… But more on that later!

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Posted by on August 6, 2013 in Out of town - Europe, Treats


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