I can’t believe it took me this long to find the weekly farmers’ market

by Renee on October 9, 2012

Confession: For our first two weeks in Chapala, most of our groceries came NOT—as you might expect—from an open-air market offering freshly picked, sun-kissed, soil-dusted produce, but from a darker entity on the opposite end of the satisfaction scale.

Walmart.

Don’t judge me. In most new countries, it takes me a couple weeks to get a handle on the local markets and feel comfortable plunging in. Mexico is no exception.

This is a perfect example. I knew Chapala had a farmer’s market, somewhere, but until yesterday I didn’t know where to find it. Turns out it’s tucked away in a Mexican (not expat) neighborhood behind the bullring, sort of across from Soriana, the big Mexican supermarket. (How could I have missed it?)

Fortunately, my friend, Susan, and her lovely kids offered to give Scout and me a market tour.

We parked in the Soriana lot, darted (well, with six kids in tow, sputtered) across the highway, and then turned up a dusty, cobblestone lane next to a cow pen. Several blocks ahead, vendor tents materialized.

As farmers markets go, this is a medium sized one featuring the usual suspects: Fruit and veggie stalls, a few fresh cheeses, clothing, shoes, kitchenware, household sundries, food vendors.

There were a few novelties as well. A guy selling sheets of pig fat. A bulk shampoo vendor, who ladled the (slightly disturbing) viscous, pastel-colored liquid from buckets into plastic bags to go. An old woman with baskets of lime green parakeets and cockatiels for sale.

No big purchases on day one. Just some produce to get a feel for the place and then a quick taco stop.

These pork tacos were great, and at only $30 pesos (2.30 USD) for four, pretty cheap, especially considering that Scout and I only ate one each.

So that was our introduction to the Monday market in Chapala. I’m still a little hesitant to photograph people in markets, but next time I’ll try to get shampoo guy and bird lady. Maybe even the slabs of pig fat.

Adios!

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kirk October 11, 2012 at 8:27 am

Looks like you guys are settling in nicely. We definitely like the house you are renting – very charming and cozy…

Best,

Kirk, Michelle and Zoe

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2 elaine October 11, 2012 at 12:02 pm

this looks amazing! are those enormous jugs/vats of coconut water in one photo? ….and yes please – pics of the slabs of pig fat :)

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3 kat October 11, 2012 at 12:05 pm

Ahhhhh…..buy the pork fat/skins/bellies for sure! :-) Chicarrones!!! Learn to make them and you will love them…but…um…your arteries may rebel. Tell me when you learn to play dominos!! Nothing like a cold drink, chicarrones and hot sauce and a friendly domino game! Love to you all…..

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4 Renee October 16, 2012 at 3:06 pm

Loving you right back, Kat…

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