We arrived one morning in Pakokku, to find that the large market we were to visit was closed for a Full Moon celebration. Our guide told us we were unfortunately stuck with “just the vegetable market” and I was delighted!
The market was full of townspeople (mainly women) selling veggies, fruits, and fresh herbs — and they all seemed happy to have us poking through everything you’d need to make some great meals.
Baby green eggplants, okra, and bitter gourd:
Bitter gourd closeup (and yeah, it really does taste intensely bitter, even in a strongly-flavoured curry or salad preparation):
Baby green eggplant closeup:
Baby purple eggplants and big green okra:
Herbs (lots of fresh cilantro) and green chilies:
Spices and chilies:
Hot red chilies:
Taro root as a meat substitute:
Soy protein, which needs to be rehydrated to eat:
Sesame paste (like tahini) and bean sprouts:
And the ubiquitous traditional banana cake:
And of course, cute kids:
I wish I could have taken home an armful or two of veggies and cooked up a feast… But I’ll have to wait until I get home to visit my market!