Stary Kleparz, the old way of grocery shopping in Krakow

“Si si el queso aqui es todo local,” said the owner of the sausage store in Poland.

“Hablar español?” responded our spanish-speaking colleague in astonishment.

I was astonished too, it turned out that the owner spent many years as a tour guide in Spain and had recently returned home to start his own business.

We were in a Stary Kleparz, the historical market in Krakow.

The market was open in the 14th century and is the oldest continually operating market in Krakow. Many cities have a traditional market, there is the Naschmarkt in Vienna; the Great market in Budapest, Hales Market in Vilnius, Shuk Machane Yehuda in Jerusalem and the Central Market in Riga. These markets, especially if they continue to be patronised by locals, give a glimpse of the dietary habits and lifestyle of the people. All these markets are large and massive, so it was quite a surprise to me when we stepped into Stary Kleparz – it was a small, you could even say cozy, market.

Despite its small size, Stary Kleparz stores the highest quality of all sorts of traditional local produce – cheeses, meats, vegetables etc.

It also sells an eclectic mix of household items and clothes.

In a world of constant change, there is something rather comforting about the market that has remained the same over the centuries.

ON THE MAP

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