Sunday, 24 January 2010

Mexican street markets - Guest post 1

Following the brilliant (if not entirely original) idea of a fellow pig trotter lover and blogger Ryan at Nose to Tail Eating at Home, I'm opening up my blog to guests. Have you been to a lovely little market? Have a story to tell about some curious food stuff? Would like to share your Madeleine memory? Or have a thing about all things Russians? Get in touch and I'd love to share your story with the rest of the world.

The first post comes from the wonderful fellow anthropologist-to-be Sofia Larrinua-Craxton and her
website about 'all things food'. Sofia is Mexican - evidently - and teaches Mexican cuisine at Books for cooks in London, so she knows her chilli and her tortilla...

Mexian street markets...

Or 'el tianguis' as it is commonly known is the Nahuatl word for the various colourful markets which populate the streets of Mexico, here you can find all the things you need, thought you needed and things you would not even imagined existed but are sold, from wedding dresses to plants and baskets, these markets sell all kinds of stuff and it is lovely to see people buying all kinds of things.

A particularly nice thing to do is to buy fresh fruits and vegetables; courgette flowers, tomatillos, cactus leaves, ripe guavas, mamey fruit and avocados, sweet mangoes and juicy pineapples, all sit happily waiting to be tested, tasted and bought. For those who fancy a snack, just stop at any of the many street stalls, where you can taste a hand made quesadilla with fresh hot salsa or a 'tlacoyo' which is a tortilla filled with beans, usually made with blue corn and topped with a delicious salad of cactus leaves, tomatoes, coriander and crumbled cheese.

If in Mexico look for the classic green or pink canopies characteristic of these markets and delight in watching people offering their wares, haggling and buying. Try the various exotic fruits and vegetables and stop for some food. Don't forget to take a hand made bag or basket or better still buy it there. If you like Mexican cooking implements look for them at the stalls, you can get tortilla presses, lime squeezers and gorgeous enamel pots and pans at very good prices. Of course if you feel eccentric, you can always bargain for some silver jewellery, a banana plant, fake designer shoes or even a wedding dress, the choice is yours. Whatever your taste choices a 'tianguis' is really fun!

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