Thursday 11 October 2007

Vienna's Naschmarkt

4th District

I haven't counted them, but there must
be more than a hundred stalls,
offering fresh vegetables,
fresh fruits and dried fruits,
nuts, seeds,
teasanes and teas,
bakery goods, meat, fish,
spices from all over the world,
pickles galore at one stand
and so many varieties of vinegars at another,
you may end up with such a bad case
of indecisiveness,
you'll spend the rest of the day
right there.
Gasping for air.

No problem,
parallel to the market
runs a miles long row
of food joints,
offering breakfast to night cap,
sushi to pizza
and anything in between
you could ever imagine
wanting to eat,
with Turkish coffee or cappuccino
to top it all off,
while pondering your vinegar choices
or your next move.

Go there early in the morning,
unless you want to seriously fleamarket
at the Kettenbrücke (Chain Bridge) end
of this Viennese bazaar happening
on Saturday mornings,
all the while
the river Wien
flowing right there
under your tired feet.

Autumn Bounty
"No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace
as I have seen in one autumnal face
John Donne

"The proper way to eat a fig, in society,
Is to split it in four, holding it by the stump,
And open it, so that it is a glittering,
rosy, moist, honied,
heavy-petalled four-petalled flower.
D.H. Lawrence,

Parmiggiano Reggiano!
36 mesi di stagionatura!
Prodotto col latte della mungitura
della sera “affiorato e maturato”!

Chili! Peppers! Artichokes!
The artichoke
With a tender heart
Dressed up like a warrior
Pablo Neruda,
"Ode to the Artichoke"

"the tomato
the kitchen,
it enters at lunchtime,
its ease
on countertops,
among glasses,
butter dishes,
blue saltcellars

Pablo Neruda,
"Ode To Tomatoes"

"Olive oil would simply be lost without you."
Persis M. Karim,
"Ode to the eggplant"

"Bring me wine, but wine which never grew
In the belly of the grape,
Or grew on vine whose tap-roots, reaching through
Under the Andes to the Cape,
Suffer no savor of the earth to scape
Ralph Waldo Emerson,

"We were so young. The persimmons
hung just out of reach.
Jennifer Mackenzie,


To visit other Viennese markets
with Merisi,
click here,



  1. Oh my you are eating well there! It's all so very beautiful!!! I wish I could come for a visit. Sigh.

  2. Wow!
    O.k. wait.
    WOW!!!!! Look at those pickles! Look at the grapes, the tomatoes, the PERSIMMONS!!!! THE CHEEEEEEEESE!! I probably could spend the whole day here :)

  3. Maryam:
    Yes, the Viennese have all the basics it takes to cook up a good meal. :-)
    Vienna is not that far from Morocco!

    Yes, it would be easy to spend a whole day roaming that market.
    Come to think of it, maybe I should plan a vacation there? ;-)

  4. Oooh, I love fresh figs (so too does James Bond, I believe) but you can keep the egg plants. I'd rather just have the eggs.

  5. I was totally pretending what I'd buy if I were there. let's see a pound of parmesaan cheese, 2 pounds of figs for jam, 8 pickles, and a few new bottles of aged balsamic!!

  6. Maalie:
    I love them in Italy, ripe and still warm from the sun, with Prosciutto di Parma.
    I also love eggplants, very much so.

    sara, the wine makers:
    I love figs in red wine. Maybe we should buy a pound more? :-)

  7. What a fabulous market. There is nothing like seeing such exuberant displays of edible delights all in one place...

    But the best part for me about this post were your incredibly applicable accompanying quotes! Odes to food! My favorites. :-)

  8. Wow...all those fresh fruits and vegetables look so good. The grapes are huge! The peppers look good too!

    Great photos!

  9. I think the fruits and veggies should be arranged chromatically from red to purple like a rainbow.

    What's up with those tomatoes, though? They're kinda ugly, no? Of course, I don't like tomatoes...but, even if I didn't like something else from the cart, those all at least look good enough to try :)

  10. Beautiful produce, photos and words.
    I really miss fresh figs right off the tree with milk dripping from the stem. Green, black or purple!

  11. Yum.


    PS: the text under the pickle barrel pic: are you being metaphorical or is there a real river Wien (we have lots of rivers in London as well as the Thames, but they're hidden underground now).

    I ask lots of questions: sorry.

  12. Gorgeous! This market rivals Paris markets.

  13. tlc illustrations:
    I was there looking for Indian spices and almost forgot about it in the midst of all this bounty.
    Pablo Neruda's odes to food are among my favorite lyrics.

    Thank you! :-)

    Debbie Egizio:
    Figs are some of the best and prettiest fruits on earth, aren't they?

  14. brian in oxford:
    I am imagining you being the new Christo: Travelling from one large fruit and vegetable market to the next, re-arranging all these foods chromatically. Come to think of it, seriously, should we give it a try? ;-)

  15. Cream:
    Why hasn't anybody yet thought of offering trips to indulge in this heavenly delight? ;-)

    Sally Crawford from London:
    Yes, Sally, there really is a Wien river and the market is held on its banks and on top of the "roof" that was built over it in the 19th Century! Contrary to what some guides say, it's open every day Monday through Friday, while the flea market on its Kettenbrücke end is held only on Saturday mornings. :-)


Thank you for taking the time to leave a note.