The Ribadesella weekly market is undoubtedly one of the most "prestous" (charming) of Asturias, especially in summer. The hustle and bustle of visitors during their vacations, the terraces everywhere and almost the hundred street vendors that decorate every corner of the urban area, make this "mercau" a must to spend a morning of the most lively.
Wednesday is not an ordinary day; at least not in Ribadesella. Curiosear and buy, walk and share, these are the actions that dominate a street market that is held every Wednesday of the year for centuries. This unique souk where you can get all the essentials and also give yourself some extraordinary whims, alternate stalls of local products with stalls of clothing, antiques, utensils, books, music, flowers, footwear, second hand ...
In terms of gastronomy, perhaps the dominant one, the small producers of the region offer to the public vegetables, vegetables of exclusive "organic production", seasonal fruits, house eggs, nuts, cheeses from the East of Asturias, selected sausages of the zone, flour, breads and sweets of artisan elaboration. The villa becomes polychromatic, with a thousand and one colors, but also with a wide spectrum of smells and flavors. The users of the market seek, in any case, quality products without additives or preservatives. Many of them are fixed clientele throughout the year.
Buyers use the technique of bargaining to achieve a good price on certain items and sellers, leaving the throat in the effort, voices at the top of their lungs to sing the prices of the day and avoid passing by passers by. In the Plaza Nueva, in the adjacent streets and in the Plaza de la Iglesia everything is ready for this persuasive buying and selling game.
It is precisely in front of the Parish, what they used to call Old Square, where the posts were formerly concentrated. It was a space enabled for neighborhood assemblies and for the outdoor market since the 13th century. Taking advantage of the enormous boom of the local port in the early twentieth century, the commercial activity is unleashed in Ribadesella mainly with the export of local production to squares in the United Kingdom (in 1910, in the port of Ribadesella were invoiced near 60.000 tons of mineral of iron, 5.000 of manganese, more than a thousand of hazelnuts, 116 of chestnuts, 43 of apples and a little more than 200.00 liters of cider). With this merchandise traffic it is not surprising that, during the first half of the 20th century, the commercial plaza of Ribadesella was one of the most important in northern Spain. To their weekly markets - Wednesdays and Sundays - people from different regions of Asturias and Palencia went to sell or buy goods of the branch of groceries and fabrics of various kinds.
Perhaps it is the weight of local history that makes walking through the Ribadesella market not be done by any type of market; rather by one especially attractive, lively and populous.Text: © Ramón Molleda for desdeasturias.com