Saturday, August 16, 2014

Mercado San Juan de Dios

When I first came to San Miguel, I went to the San Juan de Dios market. I didn't like the market. I can't tell you why but that was my initial impression...and my first mistake.

I didn't go back until this year. It was then I had a very surprising revelation. San Juan de Dios Market is Mexico. Some call it the People's Market. After sitting down there one Friday afternoon and watching life go by I would have to agree. Where Ignacio Ramirez Market caters to the tourists, this market is filled with Mexicans, many from the campo, doing their daily shopping.

This market is filled with noisy energy and all sorts of wonderful, local food.
Going to this market is a colorful and educating experience. It's the best way to soak up the local culture. What better way to practice your Spanish, make new friends or buy for a weekend picnic.
Among the stalls selling fruits and vegetables, pollo and flea market wares, low cost fondas  in the back building serve up the foods the locals eat at huaraches, the deep fried ovals of masa topped with sausage, cheese, chicken, and nopales.

The prices at San Juan de Dios are low and compare more to the Tuesday Market. For instance, a kilo of Vanessa's Rosa tortillas is 12 pesos or 91 cents.

San Juan de Dios is a covered, permanent market with so much to see you need to go back many times just to experience all the local flavor. I see different things every time I go there.

I recently saw a funeral procession winding through the market. Locals told me the deceased, a very old man, came to this market every day, mainly to socialize. This was his final farewell.

Inside the market, you'll find more altars and shrines than you can count. Me, I just prayed I would find my way out of the maze...that was after I got a fix of Barbacoa.

I wasn't exactly sure where it was. I simply followed my nose.

Buen Apetito!