With a pocketful of dinars in Marche Central, Tunis — a story told in pictures

This is where Tunisia’s Mediterranean heart meets its African spirit. Mini tartelette cases next to bowlfuls of harissa. Ravioli aux fromage and couscous. Tiny vol-au-vents and a semolina bread that looks like a half-inch thick tart and is the diameter of a large mug with a delicate crimped edge.

Bags of mini tartelette cases
Baskets of pasta
Ravioli with many different fillings

I’ve been to traditional markets around the world — there is always a predictable level of colour, plenty, noise, smells, cats and rushing barrowboys within an inch of running you over. But Marche Central, which was originally built in 1891 and renovated in 2007, is pretty spectacular.

There’s colour and plenty:

and carrots:

and aesthetic touches:

We buy garlic from Hamza Lee (below) who tells us he’s an art photographer and urges us to look him up on Facebook. We do. Click here to see his offerings.

And we visit the best bread stall ever:

The bread was still warm when you bought it
Freshly cut French Fries made from real potatoes
The Tunisian cucumber, which to my Indian eyes is a thicker version of our kakri
They call it butter but it’s really ghee, a clarified butter that’s used to anoint traditional Tunisian dishes

On Twitter: @rashmeerl

Originally published at www.rashmee.com on August 16, 2015.

PhD. Journalism by trade & inclination. Sign up for free email updates on https://www.rashmee.com email me at rashmee@rashmee.com http://muckrack.com/rashmeerl

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