Friday, 1 May 2015

Kalnciema market in Riga

The adorable wooden neighbourhood of Kalnciema is a pretty-as-a-picture sight located on the other side of Daugava river next to Riga Old Town.In recent years the area has gone through serious preservation and these days it is one active cultural oasis.

It acts as the venue for concerts, cinema screenings, exhibitions and a host of other cultural events - especially during national holidays. But don't get me wrong - it wasn't the hunger for culture that gots us here, it was Farmers' market they host on Saturdays.

During summer the market also takes place on Sundays. There's also a restaurant/ wine bar in the region and in the evening, once the lanterns hanging above the area are lit, it's difficult to find a cozier place.

If using public transportation the easiest ways are using the trolley bus lines 5, 9. 12 and 25 or tram line 2. Easiest way of course is using a taxi as that will always take you where you want it to!

In addition to arts and crafts there are all sorts of local artisanal produce available that the likes of me just can't get enough.

Both locally grown veggies...

...and meat. In all its glorious forms. 

And hey - every single culinary need has been taken into consideration - they also have cakes and things!

Kalnciema is a great opportunity to get to know local specialties. Such as  sklandrausis - a rye crust- pastry filled with sweet carrot and /or potato mash spiced with cumin.

Another things you could stock is another locally produced specialty: hemp seed butter.

( I do have an inkling this was not the only hemp-related product the vendor was familiar with, though...!)

Markets like Kalnciema are essential to small business holders providing a great venue to to showcase and sell their produce. 

This vendor was one we already knew after the lunch we had in February. Definitely one of the most interesting wineries in the countries. And every bit as definitely one of the craziest ones too: in addition to the traditional fruit and berry wines they fully intend to produce a proper, quality Latvian wine, too. Made out of grapes, mind. 

Not an easy feat in a country where traditional grapes won't even survive...!

So - what did you make of that one? Is your mouth feeling a bit dry? Should we make a pit stop and maybe head over to Latvian countryside? Or is it time for some history and culture?




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