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Fruit & Veg Wonderland

John and I have just under 3 months left in DF before moving back to the other distrito (DC, that is). As our time south of the border wanes, one thing you can expect over the coming weeks is some posts whining w/r/t what we will miss about Mexico.

Whiny Topic #1: Mexico’s beautiful, luscious, tasty, bargain-priced fruit and veg

If you’re in the habit of reading Mexico blogs, you’ve probably already seen 8,000 photos of the brightly colored stands overflowing with produce at the zillions of markets in this country. Of course we will miss the amazing selection of seemingly every citrus fruit under the sun (except lemons, that is). But to be specific, we will miss how their cheap prices allow us to buy as many gorgeous vegetables & fruit as strike your fancy with almost no regard for cost.

Just in case I haven't posted enough Mexico mercado photos, here's a fun one courtesy mi suegra Penny (John's mom).

I remember when shopping back in the US, I would always be careful to note *exactly* how many limes I needed for a recipe, lest I recklessly waste money on an excess of  the “2 limes for $1 USD”. Avocados on our grocery list always provoked a debate of whether we could get by with just the required number, or if we needed to spend an extra $2 USD on a backup avocado– in the event that one turned out to be hiding yucky brown flesh under its rough shell.

In Mexico, I buy a bag-full of limes every time I hit the grocery store or a market, because we’ve now adopted the standard practice of  “lime goes on everything”. :) If anything, I am more likely to be reprimanded for not buying enough limes since, as John likes to say, limes are basically free here.

We make smoothies constantly with bananas & gorgeous ripe mangoes or bananas and plump strawberries. And we make a big batch of guacamole on nearly a weekly basis.

Just to drive the point home, I decided to add up what I spent on produce today during my trip to Chedraui (one of the big grocery stores here). Take a look at the pic below:

All of these fresh items were $214.80 pesos. Yum.

Depending on the exchange rate, all of those cost about $16.60 USD. To be sure, that is still plenty of money for many people here in Mexico. But given that I think I would have spent about half that much on the 2 avocados and 7 limes alone in the US, I feel pretty happy about that. Now if I could just break my cheese/bread/bacon dependency & focus on eating all of that before it rots… :) Wish me luck!

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5 Comments on “Fruit & Veg Wonderland”

  1. #1 Pookie
    on Jul 19th, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    Can you estimate the price difference one would pay for that produce had it come from a neighborhood market instead of Chedraui? What kind of bacon do you buy?

  2. #2 Gary Denness
    on Jul 19th, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    I’m not the biggest fan of fruit and veg. More of a chocoholic if the truth is told, and that habit means leaving Mexico will save me cash!

    But I will miss the street markets, because fruit and veg take up a fair bit of the monthly food budget, and we get more for less in Mexico.

    There’s also all that deliciously subsidised gas and electricity to cook the stuff with!

  3. #3 Sergio
    on Jul 20th, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    And don’t forget these are slightly-inflated Mexico City prices. It’s even cheaper when you get out of the District. I’ll never forget buying a bulging sack of avocados on a town square in Michoacan for 5 pesos. That uh, doesn’t happen in Poland.

  4. #4 Julie
    on Jul 22nd, 2010 at 11:32 am

    Pookie– good question w/r/t grocery store vs. mercados; I think it varies by neighborhood but I will try to pay more attention & see if there is an obvious winner!
    I will admit to getting snobby on bacon after buying a couple pre-packaged kinds at Chedraui that tasted a bit chemically– now I’ve been buying the Kirkland bacon @ Costco. However, for that I would definitely vote mercado vs. average grocery store– get the real deal fresh off the pig! :)
    Gary– yeah, as pretty as fruit and veg are, I would still pick a piping-hot slice of cheese toast (as I learned to make under the broiler during uni in Scotland) anytime!
    Sergio– yes, I imagine you are hurting on the avocado front in Europe. When we visited Spain we gaped at their prices. :) BTW, loving the new blog & apologies for being completely unhelpful re. blog SW tips. Obviously you chose wisely during my radio silence. ;)

  5. #5 laurencancun
    on Jul 23rd, 2010 at 10:06 am

    When I tell my suegros how much an avocado or lime goes for back home, they nearly faint every time. Funny that I use those two items as a comparison for them every time!! LOL!!

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