I’m back to Italy from about a week and a half and, as it’s happening often in last times, I’m behind with the schedule of my articles here: this one you are reading had to be published right after the weekend of 23-24 May, but finally I made it 😉
During that weekend (precisely between Friday 22th and Monday 25th May) in Belfast was held the Continental Market, a market in the very centre of the city (in the City Hall yards) composed by food stalls (but not just those) coming from different countries in the world.
Stevie often talked me about this market, that seems to be a special event for Belfast; unluckily my movings between the countries didn’t make possible for me to be in Northern Ireland every time it was there, and this was the first occasion in almost four years to finally visit it.
The Continental Market takes place two times a year: one for the Spring Edition, the one we visited, four days long, and the other, longer, during the Christmas period.
How you could guess, after years I was hearing Stevie talking about this market, I couldn’t wait to visit it; so, Nikon at my neck, we went through the stalls for some hour.
Most of the stands of this market are food or drink ones; many of them offer meat and hamburgers, plates that are particularly loved in Ireland, but there are also stalls with different kinds of food, coming from other countries, like the french or the turkish ones. Some stalls offer tastings, so you can be sure of what you take home but, if you want to eat at the place, almost every stand has organised spaces to have dinner there.
Of course there was also a stall of italian products: on the table there were pasta, biscuits and cheese from all over Italy. Incredible: Stevie knew almost them all! 😉
A good number of stalls were selling sweets, both coming from different countries or local; I’m not a sweets lover, especially thinking of the rich ones, but I have to admit that I was surprised of the quantity and the quality of the ones I saw around. Marshmallows kebabs?!? At this market you could find them, together with an infinity of biscuits and the unmissable fudge in any taste and quality.
Other delights for sweet lovers were the spanish churros and “the best Macaroons in the world”, made by a fun cook right in front of our eyes:
Not just food: some countries decided to take to the Continental Market their best products, not necessarily edible: e.g. the Dutch stand, that seemed more a garden. Of course, there was also the “indian” handicraft stall: it’s not a market without at least one of those 😛
Northern Ireland, as all Anglo-Saxon countries, loves tea: it’s not a big surprise, so, to find stands dedicated to this drink and also – why not? – to the different kinds of coffee:
There’s a thing I know you are waiting for me to talk about and that is still missing: where’s the beer? Of course there was beer too, don’t worry 😉
Around the market there were some big tents equipped with tables and benches to sit and have a drink. The choice was between typical local beers and the foreing ones, in particular Polish or German.
We chose to drink something to the Oktoberfest-style german tent and we tried the strawberry beer:
I liked this edition and I can only guess that the Christmas one, longer and with festive lights, is even better: I hope, therefore, to be back in some months to the next Belfast Continental Market. see you there?