Today was market day in Zaachila. Here's what I bought. Hope this isn't crass, but I figured some people might want to know, so I show the prices for each item. My total expenditure was 255.5 pesos, or 19.31 US dollars. (a peso is worth @7.557 US cents today). Some of the things I bought not because I'm out of them, but because they're not always available at the market when I'm there, i.e., the peppercorns and coffee.
(forgot the garlic -- to the right of the poblanos.)
I wanted dried, powdered shrimp in order to try out the lovely Asian salads discussed here in #s 5 through 8, however it was not available. Instead I bought these little mystery shrimp, which are already cooked and meant for salad. They smell kind of funky. I think they're boiled in heavily salted water and left to lie around until sold. We shall see. More or less real size:
The shrimp were okay, but a bitch to peel. They were extremely salty. I first poured boiling water over the peeled meat, then let it set awhile in lime juice. I made a version of that SE Asia fruit & vegetable salad & boiled down the peels to make the dressing.
Where is everyone else's take from shopping? I wanna see!
Imec, there are many, many small producers of mezcal around here. There are people walking around every market selling it. You see that the bottle (1 liter) has no label. I could get it even cheaper at that market, but the people (a husband & wife) I buy from have a consistent, good product. One has to be discreet about this, but quite a few of the little general stores in neighborhoods sell mezcal under the counter. It's also sold door-to-door.
Huh! Good question, Casimira. I never thought to ask about the peppercorns. I'd love to have a vine of it. Will try to find out.
I stayed home today, and made spnach and basil pesto from the espinacas and albahaca (guess!) I bought in the Pátzcuaro mercado yesterday. Also bought a 1/4 kilo of white, cultivated mushrooms, even though the season is beginning for wild mushrooms. At the moment, "hongos del llano", or field mushrooms are available, but I just ddn't want to deal with them at this time.
Also a kilo of tomates verdes, also known as tomatillos, but they were intended to stretch the remaining carne en su jugo of wednesady. But there's so little of that left, i'll find another use for the tomates verdes.
Also, pimientos morrones de colores, or sweet capsicums in various colors.
What else? We bought two half baguettes with sesame seeds, and a few donuts from the new Bodega Aurrerá supermarket. To our delight, the pan baguette is quite good and the donuts are the best we've ever eaten in all of México.
Another surprise at Bodega Aurrerá were the pepinos criollos, small cucumbers, not the overgrown seedy ones grown locally, nor the long, English variety, but of a size just right for pickling. As they have a light wax coating, I've scrubbed then the best I could and am attempting to make a half gallo of Kosher Dill Pickles. At 1 peso apiece, these are not the cheapest, 3 kilos for 5 pesos as seen in the mercado, but of a higher quality.
The reason for no photos is that I went to the supermarket and everything ended up in plastic bags or containers. I weighed the tremendous importance of getting everything out and photographing it against the idea of all of the unwrapped items rotting before I was ready to eat them in this torrid weather, and my miserly ways won out.
Don't worry. If I had only one pomegranate, I'd still give it to you. Except for their beauty, I see no use for them. Would it be cruel to tell you that plastic cups full of cleaned pomegranate seeds are sold everywhere here?
Our neighbors, across the street, have a pomegranate tree in their yard that bears fruit much of the year. We can have all we want, pero no me encantan. (they don't charm me). I jutht can't thtand the pith.
For those still studying/living in Europe/poor craving cheap greens: Cailan is broccoli, but bred not for the flowers but the leaves.
Another thing, kohlrabi greens are excellent stir fried as well (shred them a bit, remove the leaves' stems, use K2's recipe). When I was still a student I sometimes went into supermarkets and asked for them and got them for free.
I had to go to the supermarket in order to buy a wedding gift. (supermarket = small appliances)
Didn't get anything exciting in the way of food, except that I finally got the ground dried shrimp I've been wanting to experiment with for the Asian salads. I was going to buy peanut butter for those salads as well, but I refuse to pay three bucks for 340 grams of Skippy.
I did get a beautiful bunch of cilantro and some very fresh, very small zucchini.
I have a small lime tree on my balcony so I don't have to import them.
Skippy peanut butter is terribly expensive here too. I don't eat the stuff, but my husband sometimes likes it. He goes to a Chinese-run store in the neighbourhood of African shops and buys it there much cheaper. Dutch peanut butter is a lot cheaper than Skippy too.