If there is one excellent way to experience a region’s culture, it is to spend time at the farmers market. The Limerick Milk Market is a foodie and gardener’s heaven, with more than 70 shops and stalls selling some of the finest foods and flowers available in Ireland. Located in the heart of Limerick, the market is housed under a giant white canopy, protecting shoppers from inclement weather. The Milk Market has been in operation for 150 years and has a well-deserved reputation for its quality products. Positive energy fills you the moment you enter, and every sense is awakened.
Primroses and daffodils boldly announce the arrival of spring, while shoppers and shopkeepers are still bundled in their woolens against the damp chill of a February morning. Huge baskets of dried lavender beg to be sniffed and touched. There are creams and soaps and lotions made with goat milk and Irish herbs and flowers. The shopkeepers seem to be unspeakably beautiful.
Irish and imported cheeses are piled everywhere, and there are plates set out for sampling. We happily participated.
In a corner, young musicians played the harp and violin, and their sweet sounds echo through the market. The players seem lost in their music, oblivious to the market frenzy that goes on all around them.
The aroma of grilled meat was irresistible, and we feasted on juicy sausage sandwiches dressed in caramelized onions and peppers.
Many of the shopkeepers are the growers and producers of the products they sell, and their passion and devotion are evident.
Freshly baked baguettes flew into the arms of the locals, wrapped in their cheery green and white striped bags.
All manner of sweet and savory pastries were on display, and we sampled a flaky croissant filled with almond cream and dusted with sugar. It was the most delicious thing I’ve ever tasted.
Local butchers offered fresh and grilled meats, and carved them to order.
Did I mention bacon? This beautiful pork belly was being salt-cured on site, and I wished I could bring some home with me!
For a few euros, you can taste the best of Ireland at the Limerick Milk Market—from a steamy bowl of seafood chowder to a mushroom tart.
I cannot think of a finer way to spend a Saturday morning, can you?