Reasons for Living in Spain: The Frutería

3 Nov

Why Spain?

A lot of people ask me what I like about living in Spain and if I prefer it to the US. It’s often difficult to answer. There is no specific reason I live here– not my job, not the city, not even my husband (he’d be perfectly happy to try living in the states). It just seems to be the place that fits at the moment. I could tell you some great things about life in Spain— the weather, food, beaches… but of course almost each of these things can also be found in the US. Yet every now and then I come across something I’ve never experienced back home. Today I’d like to talk about one of the reasons I love living in Spain:

The Frutería

The Frutería next to my house

The frutería is a glorious place, but not at all a Whole Foods kind of glorious. It’s produce may be just as good but that’s about the only resemblance. Contrary to its name it not only sells fruits, but also vegetables, nuts, and sometimes local honey and pastries. There are usually many fruterías in a neighborhood (I know of at least five within a two block radius) and one must diligently compare price, quality, and customer service before deciding which one to frequent.

A true frutería will never let you touch the fruit. There will probably be many signs warning you not to– but just in case there aren’t, don’t do it! A true frutería should also be very tiny— too small to ever be comfortable inside.  This will hopefully force you to make some quick decisions and get out of there quickly to make room for the next person.

There will never be a line. You should always ask who the last person waiting is “Perdona, quien es la última?” because failure to do so will result in many people cutting you. Even when you do ask, various old women will probably try to pull a fast one. If they look at all handicapped I usually let them go… but the 60 somethings that are in better shape than me? Not a chance!

You’ll have to have some idea of the metric system because you’ll be ordering things by the kilo (usually). A kilo of this, half kilo of that, etc. Make sure if you only want 2 tomatoes you say “dos unidades por favor” because if you don’t specify your “dos tomates” will surely be two kilos of tomatoes (I know from personal experience).

Try your best to keep your tab running in your head because a receipt is rarely given and, even if one is, it rarely specifies the products. More than once I’ve realized I was overcharged. But one of the most glorious things about Spanish fruterías is the price of the produce! It is super cheap. Just take a look at what I bought today for 8,20€. For $11.29 I bought:

– 1 kilo (2.2 lbs.) Raf Tomatoes

– 3/4 kilo Chestnuts

– 2 large Sweet Potatoes

– 2 large Pomegranates

– 2 kilo Clementines

– 4 Red Peppers

– 6 Rustic Apples

It was so glorious I had to practice taking some pictures! All of the produce pictured came from Eva’s Frutería on Calle Valderribas in Madrid.

Gotta get those servings of fruits and veggies!

I'll take a 1/2 kilo of chestnuts please!

Pretty Pomegranate

Yum-- mini tomatoes (Tomates Raf)

Hmm... could there be apple crisp in the near future?

A Cornucopia! And my favorite picture... am I improving?

Do you guys have fruterías where you live? Do you prefer to shop in small stores or in large supermarkets? And if you live in Spain, how many times have old ladies cut you in line?

Go check out some more Spanish  food photos on my Spanish Sabores Facebook Page. Just click “Like” on the sidebar! Gracias!

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8 Responses to “Reasons for Living in Spain: The Frutería”

  1. Holly November 3, 2011 at 1:10 pm #

    Your first picture is awesome! It would be a great picture to blow up and put up in your kitchen. The way the light is shining on the fruit is really nice. I’d say you are improving a lot and I know nothing about real photography!

    • Lauren November 3, 2011 at 3:37 pm #

      Thanks Hol! Gosh I miss you! Wish I could come home for Christmas or Thanksgiving but it’s not looking good 😦 Come visit already!

  2. cat November 3, 2011 at 4:20 pm #

    You are totally improving! I love the first shot, and this is def tempting me to get to one, as I’m so used to the alcampo.

    • Lauren November 3, 2011 at 4:28 pm #

      Thanks darling! You need to find a good frutería! They’re so fun– the one I used to go to in Seville had the cutest little old man shopkeeper who would give me free fruit to try! I miss you and Seville!!!

  3. hayleycomments November 4, 2011 at 11:34 am #

    I remember only buying my fruits and veggies from the SuperSol in El Puerto because I was so afraid of not knowing how to order things at the frutería down the street. Great post and great photography!

  4. roamingtheworld November 5, 2011 at 3:39 pm #

    Yes, what’s up with the old ladies cutting in line? I’ve noticed this in stores as well as getting on the bus and on the metro in Madrid. I haven’t found a fruteria near my house but they are in Roquetas. I’m loving the outdoor market every Thursday that’s right outside my house with at least 10-15 produce sellers. Most don’t have prices but I’m asking and figuring out who has the best prices. I’m shocked by how much produce I get for so little money (well, comparing to CA prices, that is). A bag of tomatoes for 1€? Really? I’ll take them! I love the opportunity to be creative in the kitchen.

    Loving all your recipes! And your photos are great!

  5. Kristen - Anywhere There's An Airport November 7, 2011 at 7:30 pm #

    I have a love / hate relationship with the futerias. I was once charges almost 7 euros for 2 items. YES – 2! It was the first week after I moved here and I think I was that “blonde American who won’t know any better.” Well, they’ve never seen me again 🙂

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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