Horizon at Sandy Point

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Tobago Market

One of the features of small island/ community living is the presence of livestock - chickens, goats, even cows - wandering through the public spaces. Don't be tempted to think they are free or unowned!

All over the West Indies, we've grown accustomed to spontaneous outdoor markets. Yes, there might be a paved, covered, fenced space with stalls assigned. But inevitably at the height of any season, the market spills over. Onto the sidewalks and side streets, a tarpaulin thrown on the ground or a few cardboard boxes might constitute the temporary selling point for anything - mangoes, herbs and spices, eggs. Little wonder that it seems so easy to fill the pick up with whatever - watermelons, pineapples, bundles of mixed seasoning, portugals, plantain, sorrel - is coming in fast and must get to market soon. Find a spot on a main road - sometimes an empty lot, or extended carpark or layby or broad shoulder - and hope it all sells out before the sun gets too hot, or the day ends.

Looking across one diameter of the Scarborough Market: the space was tidy, relatively empty on the morning of our visit. High ceiling and windows allow natural light and ventilation.

This neat stall featured sweets and preserves

Mangoes and figs here 

You'll also find permanent marketplaces everywhere. This designed space is the heart of Tobago's capital Scarborough in walking distance from the port. It is fashioned after a large circular tent - high ceilings, entry doors and walkways that bisect the circle. Fruit, vegetables and foodstuffs occupy the stalls in the centre. An outer ring accommodates the butchers with their raw meats. Outside, you'll find all manner of dry goods - kitchen tools, clothing and craft. There's a large carpark and a play park attached to this market.

We entered the market looking for - of all things - a bottle opener. Got a pocket sized tool for $5 and a vegetable parer for $15! Inside the market, we were "just looking" and ended up with a bottle of fresh made coconut oil from Maisie Prince of Friendsfield Road. She extracts coconut oil every week and is usually in the market.

Baked goods: fruit cake, sponge, coconut tarts and rollovers!

Maisie Prince makes and sells coconut oil and seasonings. Her labels give an address in Friendsfield Road, 639-3914

People like the friendly market conversation, so don't go there looking grim!
If you are in Tobago, check out the Scarborough Market. You may find parking just next door, or on the seafront. Bring a basket and before long, you'll fill it up!

On the outside perimeter: more stalls

Craft: calabash change purses and bamboo windchimes

Stalls on the outside perimeter of the market
Pretty Dominican rooster wandering the Tobago market.

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