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#47434 - 02/11/05 07:05 PM Madrid or local markets?
DJC Offline

Registered: 09/21/04
Posts: 76
Loc: Texas
Among suggestions of things to bring back to the US as gifts are almonds, olive oils, and saffron. Are the prices better in the local areas where they are produced or in the large markets in Madrid or the Boqueria in Barcelona?
Thank you.

#47435 - 02/12/05 03:01 AM Re: Madrid or local markets?
Booklady Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 08/19/01
Posts: 1664
Loc: U.S.A.
That is a good question. All I can add is that you can be sure that if you buy it at the Corte Inglés, it is sure to be more expensive. I bought my little cases of saffron at a local little mom and pop shop across the street from the laundry called Onda Blu in Madrid, very reasonably priced. I bought 10 boxes for less than $3.00. It may be more now that the dollar is so low.
The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.
--St. Augustine (354-430)

#47436 - 02/12/05 07:59 AM Re: Madrid or local markets?
sdavidr Offline

Registered: 02/08/05
Posts: 49
Loc: Barcelona
If you are going by car, try to buy anything at the "cooperativas". It's the best place to taste all the products of a specific region. And yes, the prices are better than large cities. Also the " cooperativas" are a good place to talk about the
product, how are they made, ...

I buy some products from cooperativas, like wine in "cooperativa de capçanes" and olive oil in "Cooperativa agricola Sant Jaume Apòstol" ( web page )

Try also to read this link to see what i'm talking about ( web page )

#47437 - 02/12/05 11:32 AM Re: Madrid or local markets?
DJC Offline

Registered: 09/21/04
Posts: 76
Loc: Texas
Thank you both for the information. The web sites were interesting. We are going by car and
have been able to schedule our days to include market days in some small, rural towns. Now we also know to llok for cooperatives.

#47438 - 02/15/05 09:06 AM Re: Madrid or local markets?
Puna Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 07/07/00
Posts: 1437
Loc: Charlotte, NC. U.S.A.
Saffron is one of the best buys you make - I do the same thing Booklady mentioned - always buy a bunch of the small hard plastic containers of saffron. It stays 'fresh' due to the packaging and, if used for gifts - is much appreciated due to the price when imported.

Another thought would be if you can find a small place selling only herbs, teas, (infusions) and such - it's a treasure trove of goodies. The first one I ever found that carried exclusively this sort of thing was in the residential back area of Ronda - and the propritress gave me a fantastic lesson in what different herbs did ...

The cooperativas and the Mom 'n Pop stores are absolutley the way to go - not only is the price better for you - but your business helps them stay in business!
emotionally & mentally in Spain - physically in Charlotte

#47439 - 02/15/05 02:53 PM Re: Madrid or local markets?
madridmadridmadrid Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 06/03/04
Posts: 321
Loc: madrid
Those herb stores are called "herbolarios" and they are great for all sorts of things--spices, herbal remedies, organic grains, dried flowers, raw honey, teas, health food, etc.

The people who run them are often skilled herbalists who can "prescribe" herbal remedies as well.

There are loads of herbolarios in Madrid (and I'm sure in the rest of Spain). My favorite is at Duque de Alba, 15--right around the corner from the La Latina Metro stop and near Plaza Mayor.


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