I first learned of Mercato Central from the tweets of RJ Ledesma and Anton Diaz. I honestly, did not know what it was about. When I read a tweet about it, that it was a weekend market that was open from 7am until 4pm, I was curious! I immediately told my Panget about it, and he said that he wanted to drop by and see what it was.
Later that night, I saw in the news that Mercato Centrale was air-conditioned! Waaaaay cool!! I mean, I’ve been to a couple of weekend markets and when I start walking through the stalls, I’d be perspiring like crazy! I knew to always bring a fan with me, but it wasn’t enough.
Last Saturday night, my Panget told me that he’ll think about going to Mercato Centrale the next day. But before he could tell me, I fell asleep already. I actually woke up early the next day, but since I didn’t get any signal from my Panget that he wanted to visit Mercato – I thought to myself ‘you can go back to sleep’. But after a while, I heard an alarm – I immediately dismissed it, and then suddenly – something jumped on the bed, with a matching poke in the arm and a whispher ‘Let’s go! Let’s go!’ Greaaaaaat – now I have to wake up. It was actually odd – that my Panget gets up ahead of me on a Sunday. Sunday is usually his ‘catch up on sleep day’ where he wakes up at 12noon. So it was quite refreshing to see him up and about.
When we got there, everything was in full swing already. People were everywhere but it wasn’t as crowded. The lay-out of the booths were nicely done – it was very organized, the paths for walking were wide enough so as to avoid crowding in certain areas. Concessionaires were very generous in offering their goodies to passers-by. This I have to admit is really nice, I mean it was like the UTT (Ultimate Taste Test) all over again! They were offering food and drinks left and right, I was actually a bit hesitant to take in samples because I knew I wouldn’t be buying them.
My first try that morning was bagoong. It was actually shoved in front of me with a line ‘Try this different kind of bagoong‘ so I took it – and my gosh was it fan-tastic! The bagoong was really smooth, no lumps – nothing, but it tasted so heavenly! In a matter of seconds, I bought a small jar. Hahaha!! I remember during one of Anton’s Ultimate Taste Test, I fell in love with a homemade bagoong called Patrick’s Bagoong. And now this! I think I may have a fascination with bagoongs. Maybe because I’m pregnant? Maybe, right?
I’ve posted it in my blog – that my Panget and I have this love affair with hotdogs and sausages, and so when my Panget saw a booth selling chorizos and longanisa, he was immediately taken by the selection and started trying the varieties! We ended up buying a pack of the Chorizo Bilbao! The lady selling them was really nice and accommodating – she was the one suggesting what we should be getting, and mind you – I think we took about 15 minutes in deciding which to get! Yesterday during lunch, he couldn’t resist to ask for a piece to be cooked. And it was really good.
Next up was the Beef Tapa. Anton actually told us to try the snails that they were serving, but my Panget gathered that it was too early for snails! Hahaha.. So we ended up just sampling the beef tapa. And since I had a grocey list on my bag that included ‘tapa’ – I immediately told Panget that we could purchase one, for his breakfast. And we did. He just had it this morning and says that it was good.
I had so much fun walking in and out of the tents. The fact that the tents were air-conditioned made the walk and trip less tiring. I was finally able to meet and introduce myself to twitter friend RJ Ledesma! 🙂 Oh! He was telling us to try this mochi from Tagaytay, and we did – we bought one (Green Tea mochi) when we were on our way out. And it was soooooo refreshing! It was actually the perfect ending to visiting Mercato Centrale!
I will surely go back next week and the weeks after that too! I’d be going earlier, as there were stalls that were already empty when we got there by 10:00am.
There were also celebrity sightings – Marc Nelson, Rovilson Fernandez, Anne Curtis, Mylene Dizon, Rowell Santiago and Agot Isidro. If there were more – I didn’t get a chance to see them! Also, may I just say that I enjoyed the man band, the one with the tiny guitar? I found it funny and nice to hear them sing ‘Always’ – reminded me of the UMD dancers.. Hahahaha!! 🙂
Congratulations to the organizers (Anton, Rache, RJ, Mommy Mondo) you guys did VERY well. BRAVO! 🙂