Located right in the heart of Barcelona, La Boqueria indoor market feels and looks like an Aladdin's cave. You wander through a profusion of colourful local produce and come across the guindilla, a sweet pepper that goes well with olives, anchovies and cold meats as an aperitif.
On the other side of the Mediterranean, take a visit to the mythical souks in the Medina, in Marrakech. You are attracted by the shape and aroma of cinnamon sticks, stars of the stalls in the Place des Épices (Spice Square) and of Moroccan cuisine, which uses it in its pastries and meat tagines.
The Egyptian Bazaar in Istanbul mostly sells food items and especially spices and dried tea leaves. It gets its name from the region's turbulent history: it was built in the 17th century by the Venetians who occupied the city and was financed with taxes levied in Cairo.
South-west of Bangkok, you will find local spices onboard a dugout canoe. Cooks skilfully prepare traditional Thai dishes while balancing on these narrow boats. You will love the taste of galangal which gives a flavoursome kick to your tom kha soup with its coconut milk base.
Moving on to Rio de Janeiro, markets are a great way to immerse yourself in the heart of local life: tourists are few and far between and you will discover some amazing tastes. On the stalls at Feira da Glória market, you notice rows of biquinhos: these sweet peppers with a distinctive taste also have antioxidant and digestive properties.
Setting out from Montpellier, it is back to basics with a visit to the salt marshes of Aigues-Mortes. The white gold of the Camargue region has been harvested here since Roman times. The great expanses of salt water take on brightly coloured hues, reminiscent of the feathers of the pink flamingos that live in these marshes.
Finally, to discover the secrets of peppercorn cultivation, head to Vietnam and the lush island of Phú Quốc with its sublime landscapes of beaches and virgin forests. The focus here is all about protecting the environment and traditional trades, like the pepper pickers who you will follow about on an excursion to the plantations.
La Rambla, 91
+34 93 318 20 17
Place des Épices (Spice Square)
Rahba Kedima Square
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
+66 81 196 5887
Feira Livre da Glória
Avenida Augusto Severo, 2702
Rio de Janeiro
+55 21 97047 3580
Aigues-Mortes salt marshes
Route du Grau du Roi
+33 (0)4 66 73 40 24