Rise and Fall
- +3 Food
If you think trading 465 Production for 3 Food sounds like a bad deal, you are correct. Prior to Gathering Storm, there are no circumstances under which building a Food Market is preferable to building a Shopping Mall, which provides Gold, Amenities, and some Tourism to spur you toward a Culture Victory. The Food Market's lowered Production cost and increased Food yield in Gathering Storm make it somewhat better, and you may want to build one in a city with a Neighborhood if you're not going for a Culture Victory. Even then, however, this building should be very low on your priority list, as Food is not exactly the most valuable resource at this point in the game.
Far from the fluorescent-lit commercial food production hubs of today, early open air markets were a place for farmers to offload excess crops and livestock. Customers, in turn, would be able to inspect food for (relative) cleanliness.
Food markets would become a necessary feature of cities which moved further from areas of food production—part commerce, part civic endeavor to keep the population fed. Some markets were constructed alongside the cities in which they were founded; for instance, merchants have been selling cheese and meat at the Suq Bab al-Lūq in Cairo since 969 CE.