Truly amazing central section, with an equally amazing dome. The photo cannot give you an idea how truly impressive and beautiful it is. Below: another angle of the market.
Let's start visiting the fish stalls, shall we ? Everything super fresh and clean - but hold your breath anyway.
OF COURSE you can also find herbs and spices in this market.
I was happy to quickly find a stall displaying spices called "La Parada de las Especias". I started a conversation with the vendor, who was a bit uncertain to do it in English - therefore I quickly shifted it into Spanish. He told me the difference of first quality saffron and a second quality one (he sold both) and to always pay attention to the expiry date. I bought a little box with 0,8g of superior quality saffron - enough for preparing three big paellas. He told me how to prepare a basic paella (duh! as if I had never done it before) and how to crush the saffran into powder (ahn!? I had never done that), using a mortar or placing it inside of a folded paper and rolling a pen in order to crush it.
"Ah, si ? Not dissolving it in hot water ?" I argued.
"No !" - he replied.
"Muy bien. And where does your saffran come from ?" I asked.
"Toledo" - he answered.
"Oh, I am used to saffran from the Middle East, Egypt, Iran..." a silly comment of mine that made his wife turn her face away making a disgusting face as if the air was suddenly stinking. "
This is excellent Spanish superior saffran !" - he crossed his arms seriously and started to nod heavily.
At this point more clients - chic ladies in their 60's with lots of make up - were gathering around me and guaranteeing that it was the best saffron ever and that from other parts of the world were just crap.
"Bueno ! I have the best saffran to make the best paella in Holland ! Muchas gracias señor. Adios y un buen dia a todos!" - and I exit just in time cause my husband coudn't understand a thing and was getting preocupied with so much talking.
The vendor advised me to add more water than usally needed for other types of rice. I wanna be the paella queen !