10 June 2009

El Mercado (The Market)

I was not a big open market kind of guy. In fact the last time I was in a big open market was in New Orleans at the French Market, and my companion and I were so desperate to get out of there and get a drink at Jimmy Buffett's place that we even walked right by the alligator heads without taking a closer look. I am into open markets big time now though.

Mercado Ignacio Ramirez is one of the three big markets available in San Miguel de Allende and the one that is open every day. In fact now I am fired up to hit the big, big, big one that is only open on Tuesday. Of course I did not even know about it yesterday, Tuesday that is. Ah well. Next Tuesday then.

I am admittedly not into the heavy duty cooking. I am getting my rice cooked and my beans cooked, and that is about it. When I was back in Texas, I had my friend Beej in a chat room, and via a chat she walked me through the preparation of a roux into which I threw some tuna and canned peas to slather on some toast. That was delicious and sophisticated cooking for me. However, I know that some of you are interested in that sort of thing. I commend to you Arlene Krasner's article at Sally's Place. I am going to see if I can find this Arlene Krasner. Her article about the markets of San Miguel is very well done.

The flower section is wonderful, and Arlene assures us that on Thursdays it is doubly wonderful.

She is also quite correct that one does not attempt to purchase fruits or vegetables at a store here. One purchases those at the market. Even I had figured that out previously.

And here is one of the bean guys! On down this aisle a bit are the meat guys.

Yes, that lady is asleep.

The market transitions here from food to artisan work, such as textiles, basketry, metalwork, trinkets, hats, shoes, extra tight jeans, etc.

Arlene Krasner is also correct about the tortilleria. I purchased 30 fresh tortillas there for 44¢ American and had ten of them eaten before I had walked 20 yards. Let me make clear that these are just the empty soft shells. They are delicious when they are so fresh that they are still warm. I no longer buy bread. Yes, family members, you won't believe this, but I have put my toaster away.

Now let me confess to one of the major reasons I enjoyed the market so much. These poor people have to listen to my Spanish. Not only are they a captive audience, they must act as if it is a pleasure to speak Spanish with me because they dearly want to sell shit to me. It is a helluva deal in terms of language practice. A couple of them tried to change us over into English. I did not respond. If they really want to sell shit to me, then they must speak Spanish with me.


Ruth said...

Should you wish to upgrade from the beans and rice, I can only say be careful of the meat guys. I had the foolishness to eat a rare steak in Mexico City, even though I'd seen numerous instances of meat being delivered, unwrapped, on the backs of bicycles, with numerous flies hitching a ride.

It's a fine way to ruin a honeymoon.

Señor Steve said...

Thank you, Ruthie. I have had meat on the economy only once since arriving a week ago. In fact that was my only meal in a restaurant so far. I shall not press my luck.

Sorry about that honeymoon.

Barb said...

Great pictures of the market, Steve. I am a longtime lover of those places, all the way from small Farmer's Markets to the huge ones.

spike said...

Senor Steve, I was on that walk, thru the open market in New Orleans. If Butch and Sundance could have had the same pace, they'ed still be alive today!

Señor Steve said...

I am now a short time lover, Barb, but a lover nonetheless.

Yes, you were with me on that infamous excursion to the French Market, Spike. I was wondering if you would see the reference to it here. You ARE a loyal reader.