The Transnistria parliament building with a statue of Lenin out front. In the city of Tiraspol, Transnistria. Photo taken December 9, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Tiraspol, Transnistria...the country that doesn't exist.

Where are they going next? Northern Moldova. Arrive December 11th.

Monday, December 21, 2015

The very best place to buy your fruits and veggies!

Just about every town in Mexico does a weekly tiaguis market. There is no English translation for the word "tianguis", since this is essentially a Mexican and Central American event. The tianguis market can take place on any day of the week, but it usually takes place on the same day of every week in each particular town. Here in Valle de Bravo, the market takes place on Sunday of each week.

We have found that the weekly tiaguis market is the very best place to go and buy your fruits and veggies in Mexico.

Plus, it's fun to go to the tianguis market!

Around 11:00am, we walked up to the main road. It's only a few minutes from where Sherman is parked. Collectivo taxis go by at least every few minutes, but sometimes they are full and you have to wait for the next one. We didn't have to wait long though, and off we went.

Going into Valle de Bravo, there is only one two lane road from this direction, and it often gets backed up at that time of day. It's sometimes just as fast to walk, so we get out about 1 km early and walk the rest of the way. Also, we have learned that if we do this, our cost into town is only 10 pesos ($0.84 CAD) instead of 13 pesos ($1.10 CAD).

Sunday is a busy day in Valle de Bravo.

As we walked, I was keeping my eyes open for a mechanical or automotive shop. I had brought Sherman's bad battery cable with me to try and match it up to something. But while most typical shops were open, the mechanics appeared to be taking Sunday off. Until we came across this one...

Ruth, at the counter of the meachanics shop.

He didn't have a new one that would work, so I asked if he could repair the old one. He disappeared and came back 10 minutes later with a new connector on the end of the cable. Nice! Not the best quality of connector, but it will do until I can buy a new cable at a later date.

Cost of repairs? 20 pesos ($1.68 CAD).

This little kitchen supply shop was packed full of goods, with only enough room for a couple of customers at a time.

We made our way to the central area where the Sunday market takes place. Typically, the government will shut down a road or two, and that's where the majority of the market takes place. Vendors set up tarps to protect themselves and their goods from the sun or rain and often once you're in that area you forget that you're standing on the street. It seems like you're in an enclosed area.

Lots of colors and lots of stuff to look at.

We wandered around a bit without buying anything so that we wouldn't have to carry stuff until the end.

Depending on the size of the market, there will be at least several different vendors selling fruits and veggies. This market had at least a dozen. The largest vendor is not necessarily the best and we've learned to watch for which vendor is the busiest. Usually, the locals know which one has the best combination of both price and quality of product.

So we chose one, and did our fruit and veggie shopping. It was quite busy there, and with Ruth choosing the items and me hanging on to them, I didn't get any photos at that point!

The candy vendor!

We made a couple more stops...one to get some carnitas for take home, and one to buy some chicken. Odd, but the shops on the outskirts of the central area wanted 44 pesos ($3.70 CAD) per kg for chicken breast and the ones in the market wanted 55 pesos ($4.62) per kg. So we walked back to the outskirts for that before getting a collectivo taxi home.

Back home, we sorted our goods and got everything stored away.

Nice fresh veggies...and a 1/2 kg of strawberries.

131 pesos ($10.87 CAD, $7.75 USD) for all of this.

Large head of lettuce.
Small bag of fresh mushrooms.
Decent sized bag of green beans.
3 large onions.
1/2 kg of fresh strawberries.
2 jicama.
3 small bunches of broccoli.
1 medium cauliflower.
3 medium tomatoes.
About a dozen assorted potatoes.

Most individual items we didn't price check. We asked about the potatoes and they were 10 pesos ($0.84 CAD) per kg, and in the big commercial grocery store they had been almost double that. Hardly any locals buy fruits or veggies at the grocery store...they go to the weekly tiaguis market.

The strawberries are delicious. Not like the big tasteless steroid ones that you buy in Canada or the United States. They cost us 40 pesos per kg, (about $1.50 CAD per lb) a bit more than we have paid in the past. So our 1/2 kg bag cost 20 pesos ($1.63 CAD).

We didn't buy more fruits at this time because we still had a pineapple and some grapefruit that we bought earlier in the week.

Then, we had lunch!

Lunch!

Carnitas consist of tortillas with pork, salsa, hot veggies, and lemon. Yummy, and for only 40 pesos ($3.32 CAD) for the two of us. And we have leftovers!

We relaxed for the afternoon. Did some reading, and sat outside in the perfect weather.

Ruth made a delicious pad thai type of dish for dinner. With a few more veggies than what a pad thai would typically include...

The photo doesn't do it justice. It was delicious!

And, we had to suffer through another beautiful sunset.

As our friend Croft would say...life is good!

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22 comments:

  1. Great deal on the cable and do love the markets in Mexico awesome prices.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was nice that he could repair the cable but it isn't quite the quality that Kevin wanted but for 20 pesos, he isn't complaining either.

      Yes, the markets here in Mexico are fantastic, much better than any at home.

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  2. Replies
    1. There will be another year Helen! :-)

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  3. hope this helps
    Translation of tianguis in English:
    sustantivo masculino

    (Mexico) → tianguis
    street market

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, a tiaguis is an open-aired market!

      Delete
  4. Price of a cauliflower in Ottawa is $6.00!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They were expensive in Saskatchewan last year too! One store sold them for $4.99/kg. We ended up buying them at the Real Canadian Warehouse Club in Swift Current but only when then were on the 50% off rack.

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  5. Nice veggies... I love those markets! Beautiful sunset, too!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, they taste great too, especially the strawberries! The markets are one of our favourite things to do and see in Mexico.

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  6. We get all the same veggies on our veggie truck that comes everyday day except the strawberries. They are quite ready in this area. I never ever ask the price of things, just buy and enjoy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, we remember the veggie truck. Nice that you don't have to go to Mazatlan to get them. We have found that veggie trucks are usually a little more expensive than at the market but when you factor in your launcha fee both ways to Mazatlan I am sure this works out cheaper for you. At the markets we don't usually ask the price either because we know it is a good price but this time I only asked for the price of the potatoes so that we had an idea of how much cheaper they are.

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  7. Ohhh, the carnitas picture (and pad thai) made me hungry! Call them what you will, but local "farmer markets" are the best, and the most fun. Gorgeous sunset. Happy winter solstice!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, they were both delicious and we got to enjoy them again for lunch the next because we had enough leftovers of both.

      Markets at home just can't compare to the ones here in Mexico. We find the ones back home are more artisan markets where they up the price considerably, whereas here in Mexico the tianguis markets are where the locals go to get the best price on produce as well as other items.

      We started off with sunsets that weren't very spectacular but they seem to keep on improving the longer we stay. :-)

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  8. Wow! Looks like we'll have a good time at tomorrow's tianguis in San Miguel!

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    Replies
    1. You will love the tianguis market there. So much to see, hear and smell.

      Don't forget to check out the Botanical Garden while you are visiting San Miguel. It is further down the road from the market. It might be best to get a taxi ride there the first time and then just walk down the pathway from the hill back into town. After that you will know how to get there just by walking from town.

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  9. Replies
    1. Thanks Chris, you will be getting lots of them too, once you arrive in Mazatlan.

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  10. I am sure you have probably written on this before but how and with what solution do you clean your vegetables? Your posts are always informative with great pictures. Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. To be honest I don't think we have written about it before because we don't do anything special with them. Really, no different than at home. Any veggies that get cook will get the dirt rinsed off with water but any fruits or veggies that we eat raw we will rinse with bottled water an then dry them or leave them to dry and if it gets peeled than we don't do anything other than peel them. I am sure that will shock many people but we have never had an issue with this method.

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  11. Life is Good, isn't it? I love strolling through those local markets. So much activity and life! It makes for the day's entertainment all by itself.

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    Replies
    1. It sure is! :-)

      We look at the markets the same way, it is entertainment. We love the colours, the selection and of course all the people.

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