Today, for the first time, I visited an organic farmer’s market in Seoul. I had heard about the Marche@ Market in previous years, but never checked it out. I really wish I had gone sooner, because it is such a great event. It offers fresh, organic produce, baked goods, tea, spices, sauces, ferments, kitchen products, and other handmade goods. You can also enjoy a healthy lunch from some of the vendors.
Here is the lunch I enjoyed. It was a bean dahl topped with cilantro and rice and a side of fresh salad and eggplant salad. It was super delicious. It cost 8,000
Below are pictures taken of various vendors. As you can see, there’s a lot of variety and everything is neatly presented. It was such a lovely shopping experience.
At the bottom left of the photo above you can see the giant bunches of basil. It’s very fragrant so I could smell it before I saw it. Each bunch is only 1,000 won. The root is attached so you could try to plant it if you want.
These jars contain what the woman described as “peanut jam”. It’s really more like a coarsely blended peanut butter mixed with honey. It was absolutely delicious. The price was a bit steep at 10,000 won for the small jar, otherwise I would have bought it. It seems like something I can make at home. The peanuts used come from Udo (우도), an island off the coast of Jeju. I absolutely love these kabocha squash, also knows as simply a pumpkin in Korea. These tiny ones are a perfect serving size for one person. The great thing about the organic pumpkins is that you can eat the skin! I don’t recommend eating the skin of the inorganic ones because of the chemicals sprayed.
I found the produce prices to be very reasonable. Compared to purchasing organic vegetables at a grocery store, it is cheaper. Plus, there is the benefit of directly supporting the farmers. Also, when purchasing produce at a Farmer’s Market, it is generally fresher than in the store. I didn’t buy too much because I’m expecting my first Gachi CSA delivery on Wednesday. The Thai Basil was 1,000 for a giant bunch, a beet with the greens attached was also 1,000 won. The three small pumpkins were 5,000 won and the pear was 1,500.
The market takes place 2 Sundays a month, and rotates between a few locations in Seoul. Today, it was at Hyehwa Station, on the light blue line. The hours are 11:00 – 4:00. I recommend going earlier to get the best selection. Marche@ does have a website, but for some reason it isn’t working today. It is http://marcheat.net/ or their FaceBook page.