Subject: Mexico on the Cheap! Part 4 - markets and food
Hi Ziners,

More from my son-in-law Peter's e-mails from Mexico.

I did a fair bit of wandering around in shops in Guanajuato - both to look at the different items which are available, but also to get an idea of what things cost. I was contemplating buying a pair of handmade leather dress shoes (I saw a pair in Guanajuato for less than $25) but I decided against it due to the weight. The grocery superstore (called of all things Bodega) has prices comparable to those in Canada, whereas I could buy bags full of food in the market for a couple of dollars. I am happy eating in the markets and sampling regional delights. Carnita Tortas (marinated pork BBQ, chopped, with a fresh tomato salsa in a crusty roll) are delicious, and the hamburger I had with chilli, tomato and avocado was about the best I've ever eaten. I am delighted with the availability of fresh fruit (pineapples in the market were 5 pesos each!) and avocados are grown locally. I have been making a fair bit of guacamole and eating it for lunch many days.

Chickens, that is the slaughtered, de-feathered chickens sold in the markets are also interesting - the skin is bright orange in colour. Marigolds are a naturally occurring flower here, and farmers allow the chickens to eat the petals, which in turn impart the colour to their skin and egg yolks.

Roadside stands are common (especially beside the numerous speed bumps along secondary highways) and people hawk everything from locally grown fruits and veg, artisan crafts, to used household goods. Driving from Guanuajuao to Morelia there were many stands selling strawberries and cream, and bushel baskets full of strawberries. Although they looked delicious, our bus did not stop so that I could sample. On the metro in Mexico City I saw a good dozen vendors hop onto a train at one stop (selling everything from crazy glue to copies of DVD movies (just 15 pesos each!)

Sent by Frances Toronto, Canada