Lal Bazaar is the soul of Sikkim’s kitchen. It is where local women do their shopping and churn out recipes for their daily meals. Wandering through the vegetable market you are unconsciously taking a peek into Sikkim’s kitchen. Fresh vegetables and all sorts of items are being brought from all over Sikkim to be sold here. Lal Baazar is more like a flea market where you get almost everything from apparel to eatables. It is just few steps down from the dashing M.G Marg, which is the posh shopping area in Sikkim. Most goods other than the vegetables and food items are shipped from Siliguri, so it doesn’t lend a distinct character. But the vegetable (sabzi) market on the first floor looked exotic and unique. As I wandered through the market I was like a little child, on a quest to discover new plant species and eatables all along the way. For an outsider their priciest vegetables and food looked strange. It is also a nice place to interact with the locals who know a lot more about local plants and food. You’ll get some of the finest Yak ghee and mushroom here. Outside I was intrigued by a man who sold fresh trout caught from the nearby streams and Teesta River. Usually a walk through the food market can teach a lot more about people’s customs; things you’ll never learn elsewhere.