Have you ever walked into a market where vegetables and fruits are all mixed up just in ONE basket? Imagine ripe, yellow bananas, green beans, strong-smelling onions and mild flavoured avocados all tossed into one big basket. And wonder why breads are placed in specific baskets where grain is stored in jute bags?
2. That brings us to focus on containers or baskets seen everywhere in markets.
Fruit is best displayed or stored in wicker baskets. Neatly arranged fruit remains well aired and the changing colours and smell pleases the senses. Baskets are also used for keeping fresh-baked breads. The shape of the bread remaining intact with the specific size and shape of the basket. Food chemistry is another deciding factor on the choice of container. Onions give a strong odour, thus need an airy mesh container. Bananas ripen quickly emitting ethylene gas, storing them separately from other fruit is essential.
Country style markets often display fresh produce in bamboo or wicker baskets. Sometimes straw baskets, totes for vegetable shopping, picnic baskets, bread baskets are sold in market stalls. They come in handy to the unprepared customer or an artistic shopper who delights in collecting.
The French have a flair for perfection and art! The baguette sits on long wooden shelves and either sits tall in a tote bag or lies sideways in a long basket. Certainly, one shoe does not fit all sizes!
In less fortunate countries, recycling and reusing is a way of life. The old basket turns handy for discarded fruit peels.
Jute sacks are popular for storing food grain. The natural fibre, allows the grain to breathe and cool. At Venkatesh Kirana (wholesale food grain) shop in Hyderabad market, pulses and rice are kept in large jute or plastic sacks.
In contrast, in Thailand, small quantities of rice sit pretty in cane baskets.
Cardboard boxes and crates make ideal containers for green vegetables and fresh flowers. Perishable produce is best stored away from direct sunlight, preferably under the shade of a canopy or covered under huge umbrellas.
At flower stalls, buckets of fresh water make for ideal containers. Baskets are lined with wet sponge to hold and nourish floral arrangements.
Strong smelling onions are best kept on open platforms in markets and are sold loose. Metallic or nylon mesh containers provide light and air for storing larger quantities of onions and help in the release of strong odour.
How are fruits and flowers stored in markets near your home? Your comments will add value and interest to my posts.
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