One of my favourite things to do, whether at home or while traveling, is to visit the farmer’s markets. I love buying fruits and veggies that I’ve never seen before, and then trying to figure out what to do with them.
This week in San Miguel de Allende, we made it to the Tianguis de los Martes (Tuesday Market), and it has provided me with all sorts of new foods and ideas.
There were avocados with soft purple skins, like eggplants, that have a more floral and buttery flesh:
A mountain of green tomatillos that make salsa verde make absolute sense. I would build an entire cuisine around this green sauce (made from roasted tomatillos, onions and cilantro) if I could.
So many beans, I don’t even know what they all could be…
Local people selling their fresh foods, like these breads cooked right in front of me:
And as you can see behind the chiles (did you know that chipotles come from jalapenos?!), clothes and food are sold all together:
Including a selection of under-things, seen here with the fabulous Pem:
But my absolute favourite find at the market happened completely by accident — while we were roaming the market, all of the cooking smells were calling to us. We were a little concerned about what was safe to eat, and decided to forgo any of the market foods as we were heading to a Street Food Festival later in the week.
And then we smelled the Huaraches.
Made with a masa (corn) base in the elliptical shape of a sandal (huarache), the fresh huaraches on the grill looked too good to pass up. Luckily, we bumped into a group of three foodies: Michael (who organizes foodie travel), José (a private chef), and Kirsten (a chef, cooking instructor, and Mexican food scholar). Michael assured us that he ate from this stand all the time, and that it was completely safe. We took him at his word, and asked about veggie options. José mentioned that most people don’t know that one can order more than one topping at a time — so we did: nopales (cactus), mushrooms, and cheese. We grabbed two huaraches with the three toppings: one with green sauce, and one with red sauce.
And watched them assemble the huaraches fresh before our eyes:
The final verdict? Fantastic. This is what street food should be. Freshly made, crispy, and topped with lots of different local flavours, so that you get a real taste of what the city is about.
As it turned out, San Miguel is a small place, and we bumped into our foodie friends again later in the week… Michael organized the Street Food Festival, where José was cooking… a whole post for another day.