05 Oct2011

The displays of fruit were STUNNING. Absolutely stunning! While there were lots of different things competing for attention (freshly baked bread, whole fish, artisanal chocolates, tomahawk steaks, etc.) the market was punctuated with brightly colored, beautifully arranged piles of fruit. I was just taking it all in and later on realized I didn’t take enough photos… The blackberries and raspberries were not only large, ripe and sweet, they screamed “eat me, eat me” all morning…

Green grapes, tight clusters of champagne grapes and these yellow berries (I asked, but I just can’t recall what they said they were…bettyq, help identifying please :) were carefully arranged in rows on wide flat wooden counters.

Some of the fruit wasn’t local and was a bit out of season, but the riot of colors and textures was enough to make any market fan swoon. Here some tangerines or other citrus, apricots and pears.

Most of the fruit stalls seemed to be staffed or owned by Vietnamese, Cambodians or Laotians. I mention this because the incredible patience they exhibit daily by arranging each and every container of fruit was simply impressive. Even in Seattle, I noticed kababayans (countrymen) in the flower section and other parts of the market, but none doing the really makuti or detailed and repetitive work like this. Come to think of it, few markets in the Philippines take this kind of effort to display their goods in such a visually arresting manner…

While this all looks pretty, the downside of such an arrangement is that you can’t see the fruit underneath the pile, and you would have to develop a good suki relationship with your purveyor to ensure you get good fruit through and through. We ended up buying some gorgeous blueberries by the pound, along with spectacular strawberries, figs, etc. and in all cases, we got to choose the produce and not just buy a pre-portioned amount. The fruit was amongst the best we have had in the past year or so…

All manner of desserts using this fruit kept flashing through my mind as we walked the aisles… but alas, we were headed to one more city and crossing a border, so we would have to be content with a taste of this and that, and the photos.

I didn’t focus much on tropical fruit, but they had a nice selection of that as well — papayas, pineapples, dragon fruit, etc. Overall, I thought the fruit took the prize for the most appealing displays in this market. Overall, the market was rather modest in size, but very much worth the visit. There are other shops and things to do on Granville island outside the market so this destination is definitely at least a half day kind of thing…

There were only two or three flower stalls, but the blooms on offer were wonderful. Hydrangeas in all hues, lots of hardy lilies, and a palette of colors that would make any shopper happy.

Orchids and succulents or exotics at another vendor.

Gorgeous roses, these ones a day old and already opening… After an hour or more browsing, Mrs. MM and I were having difficulty trying to decide what to have for our market brunch…



  1. sunflowii says:

    I think we bought our blackberries from the same stall you took a picture of. The blackberries tasted different to us because we’re used to the ones we get from Costco which is from Chile, I think. The ones we bought there tasted like peaches somehow. I’m not really sure what it was. We were eating blackberries that tasted like peaches. Maybe that was really how local blackberries tasted like and it was foreign to us. =)
    We didn’t buy blueberries as we’d already bought 2 pounds from a farm in Nanaimo, on our way from Tofino to Vancouver. it was SOOOO GOOOOOD!! the farmer/vendor said that it was close to the end of the season so we were eating sort of the last batch. he also said we could eat it without washing as they were not sprayed.
    did you get to try the Fig and Anise bread? it wasn’t as good as the whole wheat fig & anise bread available at the Wickaninnish Inn in Tofino but I haven’t seen them here in Toronto so we bought some more.
    your reaction to not being able to buy more because you’re crossing the border was the opposite to ours since we weren’t crossing borders. it was a relief to us that for a change, we can buy whatever we want, even beef jerky, and not have to worry about bringing it on the plane. =)
    those roses are gorgeous!

    Oct 5, 2011 | 7:23 am


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  3. betty q. says:

    They are Cape Gooseberries without the papery husk, MM. I grow them every year! 2 varieties…Aunt Molly’s fruits are small marbles and the Pineapple Cape Gooseberries …fruits are large marbles! My guess why they take the papery husk…so you can see the fruit inside…..which is a pity for the papery husk with the fruit inside…used as garnishes in high end restos.

    Hope that helps!

    Oct 5, 2011 | 7:35 am

  4. Marketman says:

    bettyq, yes, gooseberries! Thanks. sunflowii, I meant crossing the border to the U.S…. as for our U.S. to Philippines flight, wait till you see what we had in our luggage… :)

    Oct 5, 2011 | 7:46 am

  5. cwid says:

    Glorious photos! You could easily spend a day at the Granville Market. There are many artisan shops outside of the market building that are worth a visit.

    Betty q, we missed you at the dimsum. I hope we can have another get together before it gets busy for the Christmas season.

    Oct 5, 2011 | 8:07 am

  6. ami says:

    May cherries pa? We thought our brother brought us back the last batch of cherries when he came home last August.

    When I’m in Granville, I get drawn straight away to the pie/cake stall near the fruits section. They look so good. I also enjoy looking at the cold cuts/cheese stalls which makes we wish that I can buy and sample all of the items they have on offer.

    Oct 5, 2011 | 8:16 am

  7. betty q. says:

    cwid…my apologies for I did not want to pass on my flu bug to anyone…Yup, would love to join you guys for another get together. I told La Emperor I planned on making ensaymadas the night before to give to everyone but it will have to wait for another time. But it occurred to me to just teach you guys to make your own so my Christmas list will not get longer!

    Oct 5, 2011 | 8:23 am

  8. ami says:

    As cwid mentioned, the artisan shops outside are also worth a visit. My favorites is the store that sells stationary and paper products and the store across it that sells fornasetti plates.

    Oct 5, 2011 | 8:23 am

  9. betty q. says:

    I can see Seckel pears in one of your photos!…third photo, top left corner ….my absolute favorite pear!…not usually available in most grocery stores. I must make a field trip again to Granville Island!

    Oct 5, 2011 | 9:09 am

  10. passive says:

    great pictures! i am now awaiting for your Seattle pics. i’m sure you had a grand time at Pike’s

    Oct 5, 2011 | 10:51 am

  11. Betchay says:

    Cherries!!! I miss them :( Cherries are too expensive here.
    Unlike Madonna, I love hydrangeas! :)

    Oct 5, 2011 | 11:07 am

  12. chreylle says:

    i really love the 7th photo MM! i iwsh i could go there to see it for myself

    Oct 5, 2011 | 12:02 pm

  13. Westy says:

    MM, you sure hit it right for blackberry season! They were outstanding this year.

    The summer was very cool here this year in Oregon, and they ripened late. We have thatches of blackberry vines literally 50 steps from my front door, so I picked a full quart early every morning for two weeks starting around late August. Figuring $2.50 per half pint for local supermarket prices, that was about $10 worth every day!

    Too bad it got so hot all of a sudden. Combined with the lack of rain, within a few days the berries suddenly turned into blackberry raisins in the 90-95°F (32-34°C) weather.

    Glad you enjoyed your stopover in Vancouver!

    Oct 5, 2011 | 2:30 pm

  14. friedneurons says:

    What do gooseberries taste like? I’ve heard about them but haven’t had a chance to taste yet.

    Did you see mangosteens by any chance? It used to be that the only place I could get my dirty little hands on unfrozen mangosteen was in Vancouver. Now they’re intermittently available in California, thank goodness.

    Oct 5, 2011 | 3:09 pm

  15. MP says:

    Oh what I would give to have access to fruits as fresh as those! I was thinking of sister’s jams while looking at the pictures haha. vancouver is definitely now in my 2012 places to visit/revisit list!

    Oct 5, 2011 | 9:01 pm

  16. betty q. says:

    Fried neuron…those little golden morsels tastes wonderful!…a hint of kiwi and strawberry. Aunt Molly’s variety ….very sweet when ripe. Pineapple variety…there is a touch of tartness. 1 plant of either variety yields hundreds and hundreds of fruits. They are generally ripe when the fruits fall to the ground.

    Oct 5, 2011 | 9:11 pm

  17. millet says:


    Oct 5, 2011 | 9:13 pm

  18. la emperor says:

    MM – you certainly have raised the profile of our city to your readers. The pictures are wonderful and are bursting in colors. Many thanks once again.

    Betty Q – too bad we missed you last Saturday. I was already thinking of taking the enseymada you mentioned with my coffee, that afternoon along Commercial drive..Sayang!

    Cwid – thanks for joining us at the dimsum. We certainly enjoyed you and your hubby’s company. He’s quite a chatter. :-) . We definitely need to do a follow up gig, and am thinking sometime in November, right after the US Thanksgiving.

    BTW, Hi to all the readers, lurkers and followers of MM, where ever you are!

    Oct 5, 2011 | 9:34 pm

  19. sunflowii says:

    MM, i know what you meant. =)

    Oct 5, 2011 | 9:41 pm

  20. betty q. says:

    La Emperor…hubby will be out of town on “business” in Maui….my chance to stay up making fresh ensaymadas for your breakfast for the whole tropa! ….e-mail got hacked again!!!!!… so drop me a phone call so I can give them to you to distribute!

    Oct 5, 2011 | 11:17 pm

  21. la emperor says:

    Yes! What an early thanksgiving treat…Salamat Betty Q.

    On another note, maybe we can look at how to prevent your email account from being compromised in the future…:-)

    Oct 6, 2011 | 12:05 am

  22. Wisdom tooth says:

    Hi Ms Betty q! So how can I communicate with you now?? Darn those hackers talaga!! Plus, the health center I work for also blocked a lot of websites and my marketmania is one of them. Boohoo:-(

    Oct 6, 2011 | 12:27 am

  23. dhayL says:

    Excellent photos, the fruits are just so lovely to look at and I’m sure they taste twice as good! I love hydrangeas, nice assortsment of flowers they’ve got there. Btw MM or bettyQ, second to the last photo, I noticed quiet a few “green fruit” (?), some looks like hanging from the ceiling inside a glass container or so, what is that if I may ask? Are those for sale or just for display? :)

    Oct 6, 2011 | 12:58 am

  24. dhayL says:

    ms.bettyq, btw did u reveal your identity as yet, any plans? we all wanted to see who is this amazing lady that is so unselfish in sharing her cooking/baking tips and recipes to all of us! :) How I wish if ever we move to Vancouver, maging kapit-bahay sana kita! :)
    Thank u again, and hopefully you wont get tired of sharing them and answering any queries we may have, bless you and MM!

    Oct 6, 2011 | 1:17 am

  25. jack says:

    I love all the photos on this post–very colorful!

    Oct 6, 2011 | 1:17 am

  26. Eileen says:

    Gorgeous pics MM!

    Oct 6, 2011 | 7:58 am

  27. Laura says:

    I regret not having enough time in Vancouver to visit Granville Island…we were there just a couple of days ahead of you. It was hard to choose where to go & what to do in a city that has so much to offer. We rented bikes & explored Stanley Park then walked around Gastown instead but couldn’t take Granville Island market off my mind…I appreciate your photos & write-up!

    Oct 6, 2011 | 9:22 am

  28. Hog Heaven says:

    Lovely lovely pictures!

    Oct 6, 2011 | 1:05 pm

  29. PITS, MANILA says:


    Oct 6, 2011 | 2:34 pm

  30. Lava Bien says:

    Market like this is one of the many reasons I love living here in N. America, especially the Bay Area. We have so many choices of berries, fruits, veggies, ah food period. When my sons came back from having stayed in PI for a couple of years to learn Tagalog, they say it’s the food market, groceries that they’re glad to see again.
    We can go places for some fresh blueberries (organic or not) or whatever is in season. Gotta love California, gotta love the Yay Area, the best weather, good food, good looking people everywhere.
    I feel so blessed that I come from beautiful places like here and of course the beautiful part of Quezon Province (Lucban – good food too and can’t wait to go visit again)

    Oct 7, 2011 | 1:15 am

  31. farida says:

    Top of the morning, MM. Love the pictures. Glad you enjoyed the market.

    @bettyq…I am willing to get the recipe na lang for the ensaymada since I won;t get a share of the loot. I could make some with my recipe and you could critique it and tell me what I did wrong. Hope I can join the next getogether in Vancouver. I will be in Vancouver this Halloween, are you free?

    Oct 8, 2011 | 12:48 am

  32. ykmd says:

    Love those pics! I hope you were able to savor golden raspberries MM! They are so much sweeter (but also much more delicate) compared to the red ones. I look forward to seeing them in late summer, but then also feel sad as they portend the end of raspberry season.

    Oct 8, 2011 | 11:24 am


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