Surprise: winter is cold
It is cold, it is grey on this winter day in Zagreb, but suddenly there are bright summer colours popping up. Piles of oranges, mandarines, apples, kiwis and the abundant red umbrellas pop up when approaching the Kvatric market (or Kvaternikov Trg). A friendly touch to this day.
Located next to a larger street (Ulica Pavla Šubića), the iron fence around the market gives a feeling of being a protected school yard. And it is busy indeed, despite being smaller than the more famous Dolac market.
Structure & order are everything
The city of Zagreb has a very clear idea on how a market has to be like: it has to look very, very organized and structured. All stalls in the centre have the same tables of the same size of the same shape. Against sun, rain and maybe bad luck the stalls are all protected by the same umbrellas, the ones beach cafés might use as well. There is a section with open stalls which need refrigeration and a glass protected display. Also here the same size, shape and style. The open space is surrounded by permanent structures which look also similar to one another.
The vendors, mainly ladies, gave this rigid structure and organization a nice charm. To my relief some of them spoke English. The cheese stands operated by old ladies throughout, my lack of Croatian by big smiles and body language for great conversations.
I don’t know how they made it throughout the day in this cold weather as not everyone had an outdoor heater to get at least some warmth. And the cafés at the market helped as well. The weather did not stop people from leaving the market with their hands full of large bags with merchandise.
The offering – quite local
The offering was seasonal for sure. Oranges, apples everywhere. Cabbage, beets, potatoes, carrots, dried beans of all kinds were the common vegetables. Pickles, open sauerkraut, and whole fermented cabbages were unique and interesting to discover.
Strange to me was the set of egg shops, maybe half a dozen all in permanent structures. So many eggs on one single market. No idea why.
The old ladies of the cheese stalls offered only local ones, no Camembert or so.
The butcher had a shop on the side of the market with classic cuts of beef and pork and some dried sausages. As he allowed me to take some pictures, he took away the tray of sweetbreads as he deemed it as not esthetic enough. What a pity.
One my way out I was surprised to discover the small fish market hall: beautiful selection of Mediterranean fishes like sea devil, calamari and live shrimps. It is almost as living at the sea. Not too many customers were on a shopping spree, an easy time to take some pictures. One fish monger even posed some seafood to get better pictures.
All in all: a typical Zagreb market, a little bit hidden, worth a visit for market lovers who want to experience charming vendors
A little link list:
- A blog post on the market from tatjanapasalic.com
- The official/administrative site for all Zagreb markets from Zagrebački Holding – trznice-zg.hr with the listing of all the vendors