To the Market we will go!

Not so long ago, a market is primarily known to be a place where one can get the freshest meat, veggies and seafood. Furthermore it is also a place that is synonymous to wet floors, yellow incandecent bulbs and yes, that distinctive aroma of raw meat. It is a place where moms, cooks and yayas would go to on an early Sunday morning. Growing up, my mom would occassionally mention that my sister and I have to learn to go to the market for us to be a lil bit domestic in the future. That and learning how to cook a couple of basic dishes.

We took her advice on the cooking part but to this day haven't had the chance to visit a wet market. Thank God for the brilliant minds of neighborhood associations who got together and created, what I'd call, the cleanest markets in town! If all markets were like these then everyday would probably be Market Day!

However, unlike your regular wet market, weekend markets have more cooked meals and specialty stalls that features unique dishes. Some even have an area for artists to proudly present their works of art.

Noting our facination with weekend markets as seen here and here, my sister and I woke up rather early on a Sunday to drive all the way to Makati to join a fun walking tour around another popular weekend maket, this time at the heart of Legazpi Village!

Thanks to Spanx, Anton, Ivan ManDy and Ivan Henares, I, together with my sister, two friends and other bloggers were treated to a fun tour around this market that has a more relaxed ambiance when compared to the other weekend market located at the opposite side of Ayala Avenue.

What I like most about the Legazpi Weekend Market is its ability to take you on a food trip around the world. In just three hours, we've been to India, China, Spain, Singapore, Italy, France and yes even around the Philippines from Pampanga down to the Negros province!

To give you a better idea on what to watch out for in the Legazpi Weekend Market, allow me to list off our rainy, sunday Legazpi Market favorites:

1) Mushroom Cannelloni by Contempo

While Contempo is a fast rising high-end restaurant in A.Venue that majorly caters to the A-list crowd, it makes sure that everyone else can still enjoy its delicious and mouthwatering dishes through their stalls at the Legazpi and Corinthian Hills market. Consistent with it's high class quality, market goers may indulge on Contempo's Curry Paella that gives a very Asian twist to this well-loved Spanish dish as well as the Mushroom Cannelloni (Php. 250) that Pan and I enjoyed so much!

2) Shaahi Paneer at the Indian stall

Not being a fan of spicy dishes, I've always played safe when dining at any Indian restaurant. Normally, I would just stick to the Samosas and the Roti Canai with curry dip. Little did I know that there's more to Indian cuisine than these two restaurant staples. Thanks to the wonderful Indian couple at the Legazpi Market, I had a chance to try a new yummy dish that I will definitely look for on my next visit. The name is Shaahi Paneer, also a vegetarian-friendly dish of Cottage Cheese mixed in Tomato and Cashew Nut paste. After chatting with the kind couple, we found out that Roti Chanai is best eaten using your hands and you may use this dish as a sauce or accompaniment for your roti.

3) Malunggay Pesto by Pinoy or Durvz

A trip to the weekend market will not be complete without being able to bring home a couple of yummy goodies for the entire family to enjoy. While searching for a new pasta sauce to bring home, Pan and I chanced upon a stall that has this tall display of bottled spread and sauces. As I've been a big fan of pesto since Dad has introduced this to us more than 10 years ago, my attention immediately focused on the top row with a signage that says Malunggay Pesto (Php. 190). Interesting. After trying this with crackers, I fell in love with its subtle yet powerful flavor. In my opinion, it's the Filipino version of the classic pesto. We bought a bottle and are excited to try this soon.

photo by Anton Diaz

4) Citrocello Lemon Liqueur

It was Anton's birthday and we celebrated by taking a shot each of Citrocello. This lemon liqueur is made from the peels of organic lemons and is mixed with vodka and simple syrup. It's very smooth which might prompt you to take more shots however, after a while you'll feel the alchoholc kicking in. Do enjoy but remember never to drink and drive Ü Cheers! *hic*

5) Plantanilla by Imang Salud

Market goers and pastry lovers must have heard of Imang Salud. Most probably, you've heard of her melt-in-your-mouth giant Ensaymada that traces back to its roots in Pampanga. What you might not know yet is that there's more great finds at Imang Salud's food stall at the Legazpi Market. Presenting the Plantanilla. A sweet coconut dessert that looks like a mini eggroll. It's a true delight for your taste buds and can be very addicting too!

It reminds me of Yema minus the sweetness that can make you cringe. I love taking the crunch of the latik inside the soft crepe-like wrapper. It's your authentic Kapampangan dessert that can be a wonderful gift for balikbayans or for your own personal consumption.

Rain or shine, the Legazpi Weekend Market didn't fail to impress. Whie Pan and I still have to schedule that trip to the wet market for our domestic shopping 101, we will always have these three weekend markets to satisfy our cravings for authentic international dishes.

Till the next trip to the market!

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