An old photo showing the market area in Zanzibar Stone Town
When traveling abroad in countries which are quite different from Europe, one of the best ways to get close to local life is to explore the local fresh markets.
Like the well known Italian piazza, markets are not only the places where food is sold but just as importantly, the venues where people socialize, meet and eat.
Stone Town has its own in an area called Darajani right outside the narrow alleys of Stone Town.
The Market is a kaleidoscope of colors, scents, cultures, noise and voices. But moreover it is the place where the Zanzibar's live show goes on every day.
Here you will find the fragrance of fresh baked bread called BOFLO, sold by local vendors directly from their bicycles.
And don’t forget the dried octopus!
Darajani is also the place where all fruits grown and harvested in the “shambas” (countryside in Swahili) get to town.
The fruit and vegetables are amazingly displayed to rival the best shelf of a European supermarket.
Zanzibar fish market at night - photo by Ivor Smith
And the fish auction market should not be missed.
The major auction with the biggest catches begins early in the morning,
and it continues for the whole day although with smaller fish, the most popular and tasty of which is "changu".
To complement all these fresh ingredients, also to hand are spices for daily cooking from the spice plantations. A visit to Darajani market while in Stone Town offers the chance to understand the real Zanzibar.
Written by Cesare and Anna Giacomelli, of the Zanzibar House of Spices