Sunday, April 19, 2015

Fresh: Farmers Market Day Tour

Find out what the locals eat, and discover a city from a unique perspective. A visit to a local market is still the best way to know the city and feel the local vibe. 

The rich culinary history and heritage, its traditional and modern cuisine, is lavishly showcased in each stall of the market allowing you to take a glimpse, and a taste, of the city. And you can do just that at the iconic Farmers Market in Araneta Center with its day tours.  

For over forty years, Farmers Market has established itself as the primary source of the country's very best produce, from bountiful harvests of farm-fresh fruits and vegetables, choice meats and poultry, rice and grains, and the freshest catch with seafood flown in daily from major fish ports. Think of it as a vital culinary hub, supplying not only the metro's best dining establishments, but countless households with satisfying and comforting meals. As part of the Department of Tourism's "Flavors of the Philippines" festival, one can join the Farmers Market Day Tour to experience and rediscover the richness of our culinary heritage, Araneta Center's contribution to the food-related events and activities of the festival. It's also one of many culinary activities leading to the much anticipated Madrid Fusion Manila where the world's best chefs come to Manila on April 24 to 26, 2015.

The comprehensive walking tour highlights various sections of Farmers Market, where one can find everything under one roof. Like fresh organic eggs, salted red duck eggs, even quail eggs. Each culinary specialty from the country's different regions are represented, reflecting the diversity of flavors.

Over at the meat section, one can find choice cuts of beef and pork. Simply select a cut and the butcher prepares the meat with precise and swift strokes. Despite the many modern amenities at Farmers Market, like convenient push carts for shoppers and automated meat slicers, you can still do some old-fashioned bargaining to get the best possible prices.

Perhaps one of the more popular areas at Farmers Market is the live Seafood section, with its wide assortment of the freshest seafood sourced from all over the country. Each water-filled tub is loaded with some of the largest tiger prawns and shrimps, and an equally extensive range of shellfish, mussels, Manila clams, oysters, and fish in all shapes and sizes.

Further down the live seafood section, an assortment of fresh squid, in a variety of sizes, are prominently displayed at the stalls. Engage in a friendly chat with the vendor, and you'll probably get a good deal if you charm her enough.

And there's more, like local crayfish, or Ulang, that's just perfect for grilling. Wash it down with a cold beer, and it just can't get any better than that.

One can also find Diwal, or "Angel Wings," a regional shellfish and delicacy from the country's south, freshly delivered that day.

As you walk outside Farmers Market, one can find a variety of specialty shops, including Asian groceries, dry goods stores and dining establishments for a quick bite. Cross the street and you'll find yourself in the middle of a garden oasis, the Farmers Garden, with fresh flowers and ornamental plants.

And just like Farmers Market, Farmers Garden offers an equally impressive range of ornamental plants for your home or garden. At Farmers Garden, one can enjoy a serene calm, surrounded by the vibrant colors of the different plants.

You can even find colorful Koi at Farmers Garden. There's just something for everyone, all in one place.

Our guides during the tour, Ms. Universe-Philippines 2015 Pia Wurtzbach (L) and Bb. Pilipinas 2015 1st Runner-Up Hannah Sison (R) just made my Farmers Market Day Tour even more special.

Farmers Market is also home to Dampa, food stalls that can prepare your fresh purchases from the market any way you want, to culminate the tour. And there's just no better way to cap an eye-opening market tour with a taste of the freshest produce and ingredients for some comforting dishes. Fresh, from market to table. For more on Araneta Center's Farmers Market, you can also check out my post on my other blog here at

You can go on your own tour of Farmers Market by simply downloading or picking up a copy of the market day tour map. Or join Farmers Market's Instagram promotion from April 17 to 30, 2015 to get a free Market Survival Kit. For more information and the latest at Araneta Center, visit or call 911-3101 for details.

Farmers Market is located at Araneta Center, Cubao.

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