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Market Magic

Becky Vernachio
March 31, 2019

Close your eyes. Imagine standing outside with warm sun on your face. All around you hear people talking and laughing, children playing, and birds calling. Maybe the clock strikes the hour and the air around you is also filled with pealing bells from the nearby church. You can smell fresh bread, sausage, and flowers. Can you picture it? That’s a market here in Freiburg. This week I am going to share some information about one of my favorite things about living in Freiburg—the markets!

In Germany most stores are closed on Sundays, so Saturday becomes a huge default shopping day. And the biggest attraction? The local markets! In Freiburg there are many markets that also happen during the week, but Saturday is when they are in their full glory. The biggest market here is located near the Münster and is held Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Markets tend to be held where there is a lot of space, so around the Münster or in the park near my apartment are great for fitting all of the vendors and shoppers. At the market you can buy so many amazing things that are usually cheaper and fresher than in the grocery store. There are countless stalls with all sorts of local vegetables and fruits as well as some more exotic selections. You can also get bread, eggs, cheese, sausage, and even olives and nuts. There are also flower and plant vendors at the market that bring a lovely splash of color and spring even on days when it is a little rainy or cloudy. Some markets also have vendors selling Handwerke or crafts. You might see handmade decorations, wood carvings, or candles for sale. If you happen to go around lunch time you can also grab something for lunch such as the popular Freiburger lange Rote—a long sausage or Wurst that is special to Freiburg. Or if you are a vegetarian like me, there’s even a tofu stand where you can get veggie options of the classic German Wurst!

For me, having these markets every day is like a dream come true. I absolutely love cooking with fresh veggies, and there is definitely no shortage of that at the markets. I have had a lot of fun buying and trying new things. The markets are also a really great way to practice German and expand vocabulary. Listening to other people ordering has given me insight into what vocabulary native speakers use to ask for things and I have started using some of the abbreviations to sound more native. The produce itself is also very helpful for people looking to learn firsthand. There are signs with the names and prices of everything so I am able to see a vegetable familiar to me and learn its German name. For example, I love kale and just learned last week that in German it is called Grünkohl.

Markets aren’t just a chance to get your grocery shopping done. They also tie in a culture of social interaction and relaxation at the end of the work week. Markets in parks like the one near my apartment are also full of people sitting in the sun and enjoying each other’s company and maybe even having a picnic or coffee. Yesterday I saw a mini café that was set up outside of a van where people had actual mugs and glasses for their beverages, right in the middle of a park! I have very happily jumped on board of the Freiburg market culture and it is definitely paying off. I plan my meals around which veggies I want to buy and as a result I have been eating so much fresh produce which is always a good thing! Having Saturday be market day has also helped me in creating a little more of a schedule and routine. And going to the market simply makes me really happy. I love seeing all of the different people just going about their lives, I love the fresh flowers (I bought some daffodils for my room yesterday!), and I love that the weather is getting warmer and I can be in the sun as I look for my next delicious selection. I think having this connection to food and where it comes from is so important and definitely makes even the seemingly ordinary and necessary tasks of grocery shopping and cooking shine with a magic I didn’t know was possible.

German Word of the Day: Der Markt (Die Märkte plural) means the market!

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Becky Vernachio

<p>I am a sophomore German and Secondary Education major at Susquehanna University. Some of my favorite activities include reading, hiking and being outside, running, and yoga. I am actually a certified yoga teacher! I want to be a German teacher after I graduate. My favorite word in German is Glühbirne which means light bulb, but translates literally to "glowing pear"!</p>

2019 Spring
Home University:
Susquehanna University
Beachwood, NJ
German Language
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