OPINION: Food shopping at Sheffield market is a ‘dying habit’

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We may have an £18m market in Sheffield, but food shopping there seems to be a dying habit in our city, writes Sheffield student Estel Farell Roig.

Some say it is because the Moor market doesn’t have enough stalls, others argue it is not central enough.

However, it doesn’t have to be that way: markets can become such a popular place councils have to stop people entering. In Barcelona, groups of more than fifteen tourists have not been allowed in the city’s main market on Fridays and Saturdays until 3pm for a few months now.

La Boqueria, with over 300 stalls, lots of really exciting food and so many smells, is a must see in a trip to the Catalan city. In fact, it is estimated around 70 million people visit the market every year. Despite being featured in every single Barcelona tourist guide, local residents continue shopping in this market located in the city centre, les Rambles.

We take a quick glance at the colourful and expensive shops by the main entrance before exploring the less busy parts of La Boqueria, where not everyone is speaking in English and food is tastier and more affordable than in nearby supermarkets. For us, markets are a celebration of food of all kinds – from typical regional meats to the exotic fruit coming from South America.

Not only that, but markets are at the heart of our communities; they are a place where you meet up with friends for a cold beer and some cheap, yummy tapas on a hot and lazy summer afternoon; they are a place where you bump into too many people you know so there is no point in rushing.

Food shopping in a market, anywhere in the world, is a completely different experience to doing so in a big store. Therefore, our relationship with food is influenced by the places we shop. Huge supermarkets are boring and can make shopping and cooking become a dull experience, something you have to do.

Markets, however, are an explosion of colours and flavours.

They are an invitation to let life slow down and enjoy the small things, such as the new kind of bread being sold in the bakery. Food shopping at the Moor market doesn’t have to be a dying habit; we just need to learn to enjoy it again.

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