Incredible India all over again – Street Food and Markets

11 Jun

Whenever I travel, I love going to street markets and supermarkets… I guess it’s a way to learn more about a country and culture.  Learning what and how they eat teaches you a lot about the country you’re visiting. 

 You can see how I have visited markets in Guadalajara, in Paris, even in NYC… but in India, surprisingly I have not visited any markets per se.  Why?  I think because in India, the markets come to you.  Street vendors are EVERYWHERE in India.  No matter the city, even in busy bustling Delhi, you see a food street vendor of some sort.   

In Old Delhi, you have the Chadni Chowk, and all over you see these carts selling lemon water.  They look super refreshing, especially in the April heat, but for us tourists from the Western world these are off-limits.  In India, it’s safer for us to stick to bottled water, even making sure it’s sealed from the manufacturer.  Something that I identify with a lot is the lemons available in India are criollo lemons – the same small ones we have here in Puerto Rico. 


 Actually, the produce available all around the streets is very, very similar to what you find here in Puerto Rico… I guess we’re close to the same latitude – you can see coconuts sold for coconut water, sugar cane to get sugar cane water or what we call here in PR, guarapo.  You can also see a lot of regular produce, like oranges, eggplants, melons, green beans, spices… 



 But something you see quite a lot, I mean they’re everywhere, are CUCUMBERS.  They sell them sometimes already peeled so you can eat them right there.  I wouldn’t eat them off the street peeled because the environment in India is filled with dust and dirt from the streets, but apparently people buy them because otherwise there wouldn’t be so many people selling them.  They’re a different variety than what we see here in the Americas.  They’re long and squiggly…


 Not food related per se, but once we even bought neem sticks off the streets of Varanasi .  Indians use neem sticks as a natural toothbrush.



Next time to travel abroad, or even to a different city from yours, make it a point to explore the markets and the street food typical of the place.  I am sure you’ll be able to appreciate a bit more the locals in your travels…

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